Friday, 17 October 2014

FMP Idea Dev: NeoMediterranea

As a long time fan of Arena Shooters, as I'm sure is understood from earlier posts, and this summer has been pretty exciting. Unreal Engine 4 was announced and released in March. A few months later after two years of Epic saying they aren't going to make a 4th Unreal Tournament, they announced that they would indeed be making a 4th and this would be made with immense help from the community. Following this Bosskey studios, Cliffy B's Indie team, made some noise about another free-to-play title but nothing more than that. Following that Reakktor Studios, behind the Necron Games, announced that they were bakk with an answer to the current state of the FPS genre, Toxikk. Toxikk is by far the closest to the end of production and it plans to answer a lot of problems that have arisen with the yearly model of the AAA FPS games.

This renaissance and people at work talking about how little the artists thought about gameplay lead to this idea.

"To create a competitive dual map for an arena shooter using a modular asset pack usable for a series of maps set in a similar location."

The idea is to produce a pack of modular assets, ranging from materials to fully animated prefabs containing multiple meshes. Where possible these assets should have exposed variables allowing the user to change as many different aspects of the asset as possible for example: material, colour, age/grunge, speed of animation etc. The assets must all fit within the art-style and be as modular and reusable as possible. I have been thinking about the architecture around Montpellier as being the main inspiration for the environment as I feel that it is both interesting and fitting for the environments for arena shooters. The Mediterranean-Way is to fix things so that they do the job, if you look at Venice this is obvious, you have ancient buildings that are repaired and repaired and rarely demolished and rebuilt. The same is true here in Montpellier on the other hand it also has a young population and it seems quite successful in modern industries therefore there is much modern architecture and even some very modern features around the city. This idea of the contrast between the old buildings that are being patched up and fixed and the brand new modern or even futuristic buildings being right next to each other is really interesting. I want to push this idea even further into the future hence NeoMediterranea. I'm going to need to get some more photos of the modern architecture in Montpellier but here is a moodboard of a selection of images out of the hundreds that I've been using as reference.

After having this idea I realised that my level design hasn't been tested in a long time. As I've been playing and watching as much Quake Live as possible and I'm very keen to combine art and sport together I decided to make a rough blockout of a Dual Map. Dual maps are really important to the competitive scene and the level design is very tough to get right because of the level of skill of players. Arena shooter duals aren't about shooting they are about map/item control and therefore the level design and item placement is incredibly important. This was tough as I haven't really done any level design based things since 2010-11 so I had to re-make lots of mistakes and remind myself of a lot of key points but here we are DL-NeoMed_MK1. 

So far I've started to photobash and concept some of the areas. I want 3 different areas so that a range of environments are plausible with the asset pack, old, broken and abandoned area, futuristic, Tokyo/modern inspired area and industrial sewers area.

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