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pencil Supporting the team where needed

bullet_none posted 17 days ago
Since coming back onto the team in December of last year I have been doing my best to help the team and the project get to completion in any way I can. Along with project coordination, I have been creating content for team members. Mostly just random props here and there. This keeps me fairly busy, but if I do find spare time I work on rebuilding ut_crenshaw.

I hear a lot from community members idling in the official Discord that we don't post enough updates and content. This isn't because we are not doing much that can be shared, quite the opposite in fact. We have added a great deal of new team members as of late whom are working on things that we have not shared for a multitude of reasons. One is that code doesn't make for sexy screenshots, but rest assured that programmers are working hard getting core features working at a very fair clip. The private alpha we have eluded to is in sight, however we can't share details on that just yet. But, there is a great deal of content and information that we can, and should share. Things we know are core to the game and won't be letting the "cat out the bag" so to speak.

I can share that we have decided on converting some core maps from previous beta's, and that they will be available for alpha testing. We have shared shots of a few of them, most recently Algiers, Mykonos, and Tohunga. Currently we have just a handful of maps converted since we are basically building these maps from scratch, utilizing only the raw collision data from previous iterations so that the core "feel" of the level's gameplay won't change. For the level designers out there, what this means is that we are not recycling any assets from previous versions. Everything has to be rebuilt from scratch with greater detail. Let me share some examples with you.

Currently JohnnyEnglish, V3nd3tta, Krasus, and a few others are working on Turnpike. If you have played Turnpike enough, you recognize this van.

This van was originally modeled in 2002 by a 3D artist named beardmonkey, and I converted it for use in Turnpike for WU. This asset is 17 years old, and way overdue for an Unreal 4 facelift. Like all assets for the new Turnpike, it had to be remade from scratch with a greater level of detail.


Here is the current version of the van that I am modeling for the team of level designers reworking Turnpike.
I am close to 95% done with the exterior, and I am working on the interior, engine compartment, and undercarriage.

The old van had one 512x512 px texture, which was pretty standard for a model when this map was originally made. When Turnpike was released originally there were only a handful of level designers that knew how to work in a 3D editing package. Also, there were very few professional quality free 3D modeling tools out there to create and export these types of models. Things have changed a lot since then. Now we have free, professional quality 3D tools like Blender that give us the freedom to create professional looking content.

The new van will have a multitude of PBR materials made from a great many assets including standard diffuse, normal, spec, ambient occlusion and heightmaps. I think the Urban Terror level design community that has not yet made the switch to Unreal from Radiant will be a tad overwhelmed at first, but once comfortable, they will be impressed.

This asset for Turnpike isn't the only thing I would like to share. Yes, I will be remodeling Crenshaw for all you fans of the hood. I started out taking one random object from Crenshaw, and basically taking it all the way through the asset creation process for me to get back in the swing of creating 3D assets again since I have been working in 2D for the last year or so with both personal apps and professional ones.

The asset I chose was one I really wasn't happy with back in 2003 when I released the Crenshaw. In fact, it wasn't even a model, it was made from patches in the editor. And that asset was the Telephone poles.


As you can see, its pretty ugly. Not uncommon though back in those days as almost all mappers made everything they needed custom in the editor with brushes or makeshift patches. It wasn't pretty, even for back then.

I did a lot of research on telephone poles before i started, and I learned a lot. One is they prefer to call them utility poles, and the other is the amount of information online on how to make these poles and what goes on them is staggering. So I had a lot of reference images and blueprints on how to make one of these things correctly.

Here are a few wips (works in progress) from the process of creating this test asset.


As you can see I did a lot of detail work to make this asset as close to what a utility pole in Crenshaw would look like in the early to mid 1990s. And here is what I came up with.

Suffice to say, I have been a little busy. And this may seem like overkill for a utility pole, but this is the level of quality and detail I want to put into the entire level. When you step back in Crenshaw, I want you to feel like you're back in the hood.

Well that's pretty much all I have for now. Since we have yet to fill the Public Relations roll on our team, I have decided to start doing a monthly post here on the developers blog, and I will start encouraging other team members to do the same with relevant and interesting updates on their progress. This way you will get more of a steady stream of information and content. We will also be posting more content to our social media portals since we know a lot of you guys don't check the homepage, or idle in Discord.

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