Friday with(out) Means - March 18th, 2011: Pretty Pictures Of Stuff
Kintaii steps up this week with a (for him) short post and lots of pictures, as we show off what the AO team artists have been up to for the last several months in prepping for the new engine. Lots of shiny pictures within!
Hey guys! Means is a little busy this week and was wanting some good ideas for today's post, so I convinced him to let me show off a few things that we're working on graphically here on the AO team to prepare for the new engine update. I should warn you - This isn't a long post today but it's a little technical, so hold onto your hats (i'm also feeling slightly uncreative so enjoy the thread title). ;P
As all of you read over the last few weeks we're still ironing out various issues with the new engine which, unfortunately, has caused a slight delay in its planned release. This is a bit of a double-edged sword in a way, because while we would really (and I mean *really*) love to get the engine out into the wild as soon as possible, this does give our talented artists MstrBstrd and Flaptoot (and the great guys over in our Beijing office) a chance to work on creating more and more new resources that are capable of taking advantage of the new engine's power. Work is progressing steadily on creating (and recreating) these assets for the game, and we figured that it'd be a good opportunity to show you guys some of the awesome stuff that our art squad has cranked out recently in preparation for the new engine.
Something I wanna note before you guys start digging into these pictures is that these are all taken in what we refer to as the "Cheetah Previewer". This is basically a plugin for 3Ds MAX that we've created which displays new models/meshes/etc in a way that fairly accurately emulates the working engine environment, all without having to put them into the game itself - Something that can be a time-consuming process even under the best of conditions). In other words these pictures aren't *technically* taken from within the new engine, but very, very close to it - Getting them to display in the engine itself right now requires work from Parsed too who, at the moment, is generally better off spending his time getting code tweaks and alterations into the engine instead of inserting new shiny resources every two or three days. ;)
Anyhoo, I'm going to sit back and mainly let the pictures talk for themselves - We've got pieces from Rome, Omni-Entertainment (clan areas are up next on the artist's plate, before anyone says anything ;)), a mock-up scene using Borealis resources, some of the new trees and rocks, some various stuff that MstrBstrd has been working on in his spare time, and other such goodies. It's a little hard some times to tell exactly what's changed between these assets and the old ones without looking at stuff directly side-by-side, but I promise you the difference is definitely there and is very striking when you have a chance to directly compare the old vs. the new. Again, these are just raw assets shown off in a previewer - These are *not* currently in the engine, though they will be and will look pretty much like they do now.
One special thing I want to note is the last picture, nanomagemale.jpg - This picture is kinda special in that it is entirely new resources; new character head from China, new body mesh, new weapon designed by MstrBstrd, and the Pandemonium Beast armour set redone by Flaptoot in zBrush for high-detail and with normalmaps and the like turned on; all that good fun stuff. This *will* be in-game and is not just a mock-up; these are completed resources and assets ready for us to plug into the new engine when the time comes.
Of course not everything in the game is automagically going to look this pretty when we flip the big "New Engine" switch, mind you - It takes a lot of artist time and resources to get even the stuff that we're showing off today together, and until an artist has a chance to put time into recreating the resource/assset it won't be this shiny. We've been making great progress toward the revamp of some of our most 'commonly used' assets, though, which will help breathe a very nice new sense of life into the world of Rubi-Ka, as well as just generally look really, really cool - Hopefully you guys will be as excited with what the artists have cranked out as the rest of us are. =)
I hope everybody enjoys the pictures, and we'll see you back here next week. Cheers! =D
- Borealis Bulidings
- Rome Entrance
- Assorted Stuff
- Nanomage Male