Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
Art Director Raphael Lacoste discussed the creation of the amazing open world for the latest part of the award-winning series.
‘Origins’ is one of the biggest and the most ambitious parts of the Assassin’s Creed series. The game features incredibly big open world with wide open spaces, ancient tombs and shining temples. A couple of weeks ago, we’ve covered a little interview with the environment artist Oleg Gamov, who worked on the game, but in case you’re feeling the lack of knowledge, check out this new talk with Raphael Lacoste. It features some interesting bits of information.
In the initial concept phase, how do you balance the creativity with something that will translate well to the in-game engine and player experience?
Usually we try to have some freedom at the beginning, as this is the point where we can make the most interesting artistic decisions.
After that is when you get more constraints, but that’s good also because oftentimes art needs some sort of constraint.
If it’s a free-for-all, do-whatever-you-want environment, the end result may not be the best thing for the player to experience or one that they will enjoy. It’s great to have this sort of funnel where you start off super creative, then you have more and more constraints with the scriptwriters coming in, writing bios for the characters that help you describe them more accurately.
The definition of the world and how to make it credible is also a limitation that will guide us.
I think it’s really important to have freedom in the beginning, to give the artist the room to be creative, but then you need to find the balance between the two parts of the brain to make something that is truly epic, memorable, interesting for the player, fun, beautiful, and well suited to the story!
Can you walk us through the basic process of how the visual feel for Origins was created?
After the concept phase, we create some visual benchmarks in 3D. Sometimes we’ll take a character model from a past game and use that to explore the world in 3D.
We do a lighting pass to see if we can capture the feel of the concept art in the game engine. This is also what we show our bosses, so there’s a lot of pressure! Since this is what they see, this is the scope and standard for the final visual feel.
So that’s why it’s very important to work closely with the technical directors to ensure all the benchmarks we had at the beginning are technically feasible in the game engine.
You can read the full interview over at the official website.