Here are two examples which we were given by Annabeth, for a futuristic/industrial crate and barrel and a fantasy/historic ones with their texturing and uv map examples. I decided to have a quick look at how other games have created their own unique assets whilst retaining the obvious form of crates and barrels.
Fantasy/historic researchCrysis - I really enjoy watching this video showing how they have applied physics to the stack of barrels, and how they fall so realistically depending on where and how they were hit.
Donkey Kong franchise - This franchise has been successful in developing the same game concept into lots of different styles and formats, even expanding to barrel shaped plug in bongo's for one of their games. Donkey Kong probably uses barrels the most out of any game, as it holds such importance to the game play, rather than it being a simple means to break to find rewards.
Harry Potter game franchise - Although not an obvious game to focus on, this film based game still uses barrels and crates but has chosen to disguise the concept in different forms such as treasure chests and vases.
Crash Bandicoot franchise - I really like the number of crate designs used in the Crash Bandicoot games, and I really love the image I found of the animation for the crates as often it is forgotten that these inanimate objects do need animating for when the character interacts with them.
Kirby - I like how the use of glow lighting suggests that it is space age and fusturistic.
Wall-E game - The game to the massive Pixar film uses the crate idea in a different way, using them as building blocks for the broken and destroyed world left behind by the humans.
Crates made by other game developers - Although not used in games, and simply created for fun, these crates show some really interesting concepts for futuristic crates.