Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Stargate Worlds : Added to List, Screens & Article

Today Stargate Worlds finally joins our Game List. Cheyenne Mountain released five new screenshots of the game and an in-depth article explaining them all by Art Director Nick Heitzman. Enjoy the article and images below and don't forget to cast your vote on our hype meter.

These are a few images from our visual target for Stargate Worlds. Basically we wanted to cut a small slice out of one of our worlds, and through concept art and the magic of Unreal 3, bring the whole scene visually up to where we want to set our bar. We chose a desert world, and the Goa’uld, because of their familiarity to folks from the basic Stargate lore. The Goa’uld influence lets us have some anchor in reality through the Egyptian cultural influence, while still keeping to the wonderful vibrancy of the show through the Jaffa soldiers and overall color and style of our visual target.

This structure is, in fact, a Goa’uld Resurrection Station on some far flung desert world. With excellent concept as reference, we took the polygon count to the edge of reasonable, and then pushed the visuals even further with normal, parallax and specular mapping. We’ve also made use of Unreal’s amazing effects, such as heat distortion, particles and localized lighting.

Also, while our mesh is lit using a light map solution, the character shadows and lighting are dynamic, and recognize the static shaded areas in real time. Our characters, as personified by our Jaffa guard in the shots, utilize multiple shader types per material. Giving ornate metal one ‘feel’, while flesh and silk cloth two other completely different textures on screen. Plants and skin use transmission masking to enhance lifelike appearance. The sarcophagi in the screenshots animates to activity, toggling on emissive lights and glow which bathe the character in illumination. So many details have been given process to achieve our desired visual quality, we are very happy with the final result as a massively multiplayer playground.

While we expect to continue to make strides visually throughout the project, the images from this area give a good representation of how Stargate Worlds will look, both in style and detail. Now imagine this visual quality across a wide variety of cultures, worlds, huge starships, and more. We hope to use all our talents and Unreal 3 to bring the Stargate mythos to artistically stunning reality.

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