Style in Every Asset
After Renegade Line had the successful Kickstarter campaign, one of our main goals was to improve the art style in terms of looks and performance, but also how it interferes with the gameplay, which can be quite important for a fast multiplayer shooter. So we started completely from scratch: new technical concept, new theme, new assets and new level design.
We decided, that the goal for the art style was to keep the environment simple to read and simple in shape. With this, the idea was to keep all dynamic gameplay information very visible and quickly readable (Other players, grenades, talents and potential dangers for example).
This was achieved by using only simple textures, simple shape for the environment and also smoothing and highlighting the edges (Curvature), so everything not related to the environment has the chance to pop out and be noticeable.
The workflow was different depending on the assets, for the house I modeled everything inside Maya, use alot of bevels and lattice and then apply my textures that I created thanks to an high poly sculpted in Zbrush and baked in Marmoset/Photoshop. For all the vegetation, it was made inside Maya with simple planes and some work on the vertex orientation in order to smooth the shape, then I simply apply and alpha texture and then multiply it with a solid color inside UE4, this way, we can easily adjust the color of the vegetation to fit the ground textures and the lighting of the scene. For all the cliffs/rocks/some props, I create a base in Maya, then sculpt them inside Zbrush, then retopo inside 3D Coat and baking with Marmoset, I always use a blurred curvature in all the textures in order to soften all the edges.
Working With Materials
The soft cartoony look was achieved thanks to a curvature map that I used during the albedo creation, the curvature was added and blended with the albedo then I blured it a bit in order to soften all the edge and highlight the interesting shape of the assets. For the look itselft, the idea was to keep simple and clean albedo, with not a lot of variation inside it and keeping them as simple as possible. This cartoony look was also accomplish thanks to a lot of work on the normal map that I hand painted most of the time inside Quixel or 3DCoat. 3D Coat was here to do the retopology, I find it really pleasant to do it on this software, it was also used to paint some details on the objets, for exemple the rust on this object.