AA: The world of voxels

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Hello and welcome to Artists’ Articles, we are Marc and Hjalte!

As you may know, our game’s models are made out of cubes named voxels. Voxels can be viewed as the 3D-version of pixels. Some games like Crossy Road and Cube World also use voxels to make their 3D-models. While it is possible to make voxels in other programs like 3DS-Max, it is far more efficient to make the models in a voxel-program, such as Qubicle (see minddesk.com). Here are some examples of our work in Qubicle:

treeseses stopsign

There are many reasons why we chose to go the voxel way. First, Making voxels heavily ¬†reduces the time it takes to make our models. Going for a 3D game with this short development span means we need to cut time wherever we can. Second, going for voxels make the game feel more cartoony and fun, which is exactly what we are trying to go for with our game. Making the game too realistic or too serious would do more harm than good. Third, we are used to working in voxels in previous projects. Check out Above the Skies on our website to see what we’re talking about.


This week we’ve been working on the fire station itself. The station is of course modelled based on the Station 5, which the game is also named after.

Due to high amounts of individual voxels in big complicated structures like Station 5, we’re creating the individual parts of the station seperately before mashing them together. This means our sensitive and fragile graphics cards wont break their nails trying to render it all, which in turn gives us a smoother modelling experience.

Replicating the station in voxels is a process of looking at the station and trying to recreate it. This can be difficult with just a picture or two, but thankfully we chose a real world location, which means we can look at our structure in Google Maps and get all the angles. Still, it seems the google car that took those photos didn’t possess the ability to fly, so we still need to use a few drone/helicopter shots.


It’s also extremely important to keep scale in mind when creating a structure like this. The fire station is your home in the game so of course players and fire trucks need to fit inside the station, but it also needs to be comfortable size so it doesn’t feel like a big empty hall or a cramped attic.

To solve this we use fire trucks and player models when creating our buildings, so we can constantly see the relative size.


That’s it for this edition of Artists’ Articles, feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below. We’ll see you next tuesday for more artsy¬†endeavors!


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