“End of Nations” (MMORTS = Massively Multiplayer Online Real-Time Strategy) is another title I was involved in developing. I helped get the art pipeline setup for the crew over at Petroglyph (one of the many tools I created is mentioned in the previous post).
There aren’t many characters (as you’ll notice it’s mostly vehicle based), but we did include soldiers on the vehicles and their perimeters. And yes, you’ll get to see their little flailing bodies ejected from their units when you blow them up. Getting that set up was a big win (with the help of John Fazzie programmer and Sean animator), because we felt it gave the players’ units a little more depth and visual appeal; which added to the whole “living world” experience. Since there was less work involved in creating a typical character pipeline, it allowed me to spend more time assisting artists with and streamlining the overall production of art assets.
One area in particular that I enjoyed working on was gibs and debris. Working with explosives is always fun, right? I worked closely with our FX team to getting the timing and type of explosions just right. We were able to workout some interesting and fairly complex setups for this, such as “second generation” or “chained” explosions.
Rigging and skinning were fairly straight forward since the units were mostly rigid; occasionally smooth binding was used for some of the geometry effects I created and other accessories like cloth tarps,etc.
I was able to automate the skeletal creation, control rig, and other necessary controls for various dependencies of animation, whether driven by the engine or animated prior to export. The technical artists were also responsible for setting up and tweaking the lights on all the units.
The title changed names many times during various stages of development, but they finally settled on “End of Nations”, which I happen to like. It reminds me of Rage Against the Machine’s remake of Renegades of Funk, hence my choice for title submission was “Order of Nations: Renegades” 😛
|“…destroy all nations…”
I also really digg the back story, written for us by John Dombrow before leaving to work at Bioware Canada. The trailer below gives you brief idea of what the synopsis is about…