Devlog No. 1

Welcome back to my devlog series. In todays devlog I will show you a large marine snail I made for use in UE5 (Unreal Engine 5).

This large snail is found along the coast of Southern Africa where it's referred to as an Alikreukel in Afrikaans. It's found in the tidal zone and has been a source of food since long before european contact.

Snail, modeled in Blender.

The goal has been to create a stylized version of the real snail for use in a survival game set in Southern Africa that I am currently prototyping. The real snail is a bit rounder then what I have modeled and my stylization is more reminiscent of the ramshorn snails found in the aquarium trade. I have however, decided to keep the white cap that shows when the snail retracts into its shell; it's a trademark of the species.

Snail, retracted into its shell.

The crawling animation was made using shape keys in Blender. This is a useful method for working with very simple models that don't require a lot of animation. When importing to UE5 I choose to use solid colors, as this is the low-poly look I am going for in the game. It's kinda hard to see anything in the viewport but you can get a good idea of the animation.

Snail animation in viewport.

For the final actor that gets placed in a level I have created a small script that lets it crawl in a circle, just to give some interest to the snails movement while keeping it in the same area.

Snail animation in viewport.

The next step will be adding player interaction. The snail should retract into its shell when picked up, and of course the player should be able to eat it, yum!