Meta!Blast

Meta!Blast is a game focused on plant cell biology and biochemistry. My primary role on the project was art directing up to 8 artists, concept art, developing the art pipeline and workflows, material look development, building and lighting environments, and sculpting many of the organic assets. We wanted to move beyond the typical heavy-fresnel look seen in many biology visualizations, and instead consider the implications of a highly transparent environment which resulted in focusing on the reflected light. To add visual variety, we made the human technology elements stark white to convey a clinical feeling. Many artists worked on the project and are credited on the individual images when their contribution can be singled out.

Developer: Substrate Games, LLC and Iowa State University
Platform: PC
Release Date: 6/21/17

Will schneller metablast cell
Will schneller metablast chloroplast
Will schneller metablast chloroplast infected
Will schneller metablast chloroplastthylakoid
Will schneller metablast chloroplastthylakoid dark
Will schneller metablast mitochondrion

3d assets and base lighting setup by Andrew Navratil.

Will schneller metablast mitochondrioncristae

3d assets and base lighting setup by Andrew Navratil.

Will schneller metablast mitochondrioncristae molecules

3d assets and base lighting setup by Andrew Navratil.

Will schneller cell advancedfx test

Light tests for a time of day system I was developing.

Will schneller substrategames metablast organelle concepts
Will schneller polished data capsule
Will schneller substrategames metablast storyboards2

I played a key role in planing out this storyboard sequence. Illustrations by Amy Dixon, and base assets by various team members.

Will schneller willschneller approachcell

Still image from a prerendered animation sequence that helped secure a large piece of funding. Also served as a visual target for the team.

Will schneller willschneller metablast vacuole

Still image from a prerendered animation sequence that helped secure a large piece of funding. Also served as a visual target for the team.

Will schneller willschneller metablast chloroplastthylakoidlumen

Offline look development for the protein-scale environments. These were incredibly heavy scenes with thousands of animated protein models.

Will schneller willschneller metablast chloroplast

In-game look development with subsurface shaders. We ended up not being able to use them as they were too expensive for our hardware target.

Will schneller metablast theleafinterior

In-game look development with subsurface shaders. We ended up not being able to use them as they were too expensive for our hardware target.

Will schneller schneller mb thylakoid 02

In-game look development for atmosphere, as well as moving lipid bi-layer membrane. We ended up using heightmapped textures as the terrain objects were too expensive for our hardware target.

Will schneller schneller mb organelles hp 01
Will schneller schneller mb organelles hp 02
Will schneller schneller mb thylakoids hp
Will schneller schneller mb trichomehp