Sunday, July 10, 2011

Environment, EverQuest II Qeynos Trade skill

I Need to create a short cut for this statement, "Everything must tell a story". When I started on the Qeynos trade skill center I went straight to Disneyland and its themed areas for inspiration. Every section should tell a story on what is crafted in that area. Break down, tailor in center common area, spell craft in the posh library room. Potion area had a bit of an accident resulting with a hole in the ceiling and magically twisting the room, I personally blamed the gnomes. Armor crafting is found in the bedrock. I also make these distinctions to help with player navigation. At all times in these maze like buildings you should have a good idea of where you are. Nothing to me as a player is more frustrating then immediately getting lost in identical looking rooms.

When this area first went to QA I got one of my favorite bugs. Basically it was a detailed write up with pictures and diagrams, on how the potion crafting room was twisted. Not a bug, those pesky gnomes I tell you.

Responsible for, design/layout, geo construction/uv, some prop placement and lighting.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting these screenshots!

    I've actually been looking around the web, googling, YT'ing, etc, looking for something that deals with the creation of EQ2's environments.

    I'm a big fan of game design and, in particular, environment design. EQ2's design has always been intriguing to me in that it seems to be very different than most of what you see out there.

    Most games I see seem to be a combination of heightmaps and 3D props. As a result of that, most of them - with few exceptions - feel very "thin" to me. Like there's no weight or substance to the world.

    Another approach seems to be where everything is hand-modeled/sculpted and then assembled inside the engine/editor. Final Fantasy XI, XIV and EQ2 seem to follow this approach, though in different ways. FFXI/FFXIV utilize a more "tiled" approach, while EQ2 seems to follow a more modular approach. At least to my eyes.

    I have to say I really prefer the hand-modeled approach. It seems to make everything seem more solid.

    For example, EQ2's environments - especially the wilderness areas - always feel much more solid to me. The normal mapping certainly helps give the surfaces a sense of depth, ut I think it largely comes from how the areas are constructed as well. I personally describe the results as seeming very "chunky".

    From my observations, it looks like the wilderness areas a a mix of large, sculpted meshes for the ground, ramps, etc. While cliffs and the such can either be modeled directly out of those planes, or created via modular 3D models of cliffs, boulders, etc.

    The effect is, again, much "chunkier" but at the same time makes for a more "solid" and more believable result, with its own unique look.

    I don't know if I'm correct in my observation, or if I'm close or way off.. but that's the impression I get.

    It's definitely something I'd love to learn more about, though. Are you aware of any other resources I might find, on the web, or even if it's in an "Art of" type book, that goes into more depth or detail with how EQ2's environments, how they were designed, etc?

    I'd love to see more "behind the scenes" type content about it.

    Thanks again for sharing!