Project Update #53: The man who makes monsters

Discussion in 'News Comments' started by Dark Elf, May 15, 2013.

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  1. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Feb 6, 2002
    Update by Bobby Null, Designer and Beast Master


    Greetings, everyone! I'm on update duty this week, and while this will relatively brief, I'll give you a little insider info I hope you find interesting. Today we will be talking about the bestiary. Yeah, that's right... it's time to talk about monsters.

    One of my responsibilities has been creating the bestiary for Project Eternity. I'll admit, it's been a lot of work, but it's also been a lot fun. Like most of the things we do here at Obsidian, the process has been very collaborative. We have a few high-level goals regarding this process on Project Eternity.

    • Creature Variety - The goal is to have a large library of creatures to use for the final game. Thus far, we're on track to meet this goal. The concept artists, modelers and animators have been tearing through the bestiary and delivering quality assets at a rapid pace.
    • Recognizable is Good - We don't want to try to reinvent the wheel with every single monster. As we've shown in an earlier update, we feel some classic monsters, like the ogre, are essential to capture the adventuring feel we are aiming for. Moving forward, we are committed to including monsters that we feel fans will appreciate, while giving the beasties flavor appropriate to the world of Project Eternity.
    • Different if Cool - We've already shown one of the unique creatures for Project Eternity in an earlier update, the skuldr. We will continue to create other unique, and often times bizarre, creatures to populate our world, but unique doesn't always need to feel bizarre. Different because it's cool is the goal.

    So now that I've briefly discussed our high level goals, let's talk about a new creature: The Cean Gúla (KEN GOO-lah, "Blood Woman", Glanfathan), and the pipeline we use to get it through the concept phase.

    1. The creature idea is added to our bestiary document.
    2. Members of the team can comment on the document and share their thoughts/concerns on any given creature.
    3. The bestiary is updated based on feedback from the team. Some creatures get the thumbs up, while others get cut.
    4. An approved creature is then assigned to a concept artist. In the case of the cean gúla, Polina Hristova was in charge of this crucial step.
    5. The concept artist does a first pass, creating a series of thumbnail sketches (image below).
    6. The leads of the project review the thumbnails, choose a favorite, and provide the artist with feedback.
    7. The artist creates a final concept based on the feedback received (image below).

    Once approved, the creature continues down the pipe as it is now ready to be modeled by one of our character artists. We'll save the rest of the creature pipeline for another update.
    That's all for this week. As always, let us know what you think on our forums. See you in two weeks with an update from Rob Nesler. He'll be talking about the entire art team and what they've been up to.

    Kickin' It Forward: Jagged Alliance: Flashback
    Article by Josh Sawyer, Project Director

    If you're a fan of turn-based tactical RPGs, be sure to check out the Kickstarter project from Full Control, Jagged Alliance: Flashback. If you've played the classic Jagged Alliance games, you know they are challenging and incredibly fun. In particular, Jagged Alliance 2 features great freedom to explore the world, a huge array of gear, awesome tactical fights, and a large cast of colorful mercenaries with cool personality mechanics.

    Full Control have shown a lot of love for what made the Jagged Alliance games so memorable, including elements found in fan tweaks (like JA2's 1.13 community patch). They've got about a week to go in their campaign, so head on over and check it out!
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