Frogwares has been catering to my twin loves of adventure games and Baker Street’s most notorious detective for a good long time. The latest installment of the Sherlock Holmes series, Crimes and Punishments, is currently in development, and Frogwares has been putting tailors to shame.
Over on its devblog, the developer has been showcasing attention to detail that even Mr. Holmes would be impressed with. Victorian London has certainly been given a face lift.
Even if your knowledge of Sherlock Holmes is limited to the modern adaptations like the awful Guy Ritchie travesties or the superior BBC series, Sherlock, you’ll undoubtedly be aware that the famous investigator can solve a case from the tiniest of clues, like specks of mud on a pair of new shoes or a torn garment. With that in mind, Frogwares is putting no small amount of effort into making clothing extremely detailed.
Garments are based on authentic period clothing, and even the patterns and construction of said costumes is researched before being designed with cloth simulation software. Different layers of clothing have an impact on other layers, and then wrinkles and stitches are digitally scuplted to make them look good enough to wear. I really do want to be a dapper Victorian gentleman.
To bring the textures of these garments to life, Frogwares have scrapped its old method (employing one huge texture) instead opting to use Tiled Textures.
“Here is how it works: usually there are several textures and we take 1 as a basis for our future garment.This basic texture also known as albedo texture already has the color in it with some basic gradients but there is no pattern inside. After this we add tiled textures 256px sized in Unreal Engine on top of albedo and then we duplicate it several times, it will add some accuracy and clearness for our image. This way we can zoom in the image even 800 times and it will still be super sharp keeping all the small details on it.”
If all this sounds lovely but a bit inconsequential, then you aren’t thinking like a consulting detective.
Check out the rest of the devblog for interesting titbits on how Frogwares has been constructing scenes and employing lighting – it’s pretty fascinating stuff and, of course, contains lots of pretty pictures.