If you’ve followed the development of Unreal Engine 4 for some time like me, you may remember Epics Art Director Chris Perna presenting his so-called “Working Concept Art”, “Visual Prototype” or “Visual Development”, in short: VisDev for their upcoming new Unreal Tournament based on UE4 in summer 2014:
In case you haven’t seen the video, I advise you to take a look at how Chris Perna and Jim Brown talk about the progress of meshing out things, adding mid-frequency details and finally adding high frequency details to give a sense of scale while keeping clean persistant floors to ease readability and navigation. This philosophy of level design process goes hand in hand with the concept presented in Epics “Intro to Level Design” Video, which is also worth a look.
Speaking of noteworthy insights, Epics Environment Artist Josh Marlow recently shared an insight into the modular asset work he prepared for Epics Level Design workflow – every “lego piece” as they called it, perfectly prepared for grid snapping alignment which paves the way to “as much reuse as possible“:
About 7 months after the first visual prototype, with UE4 being availiable for free – now everybody has the opportunity to get a sneak-peek into what the Art-Team of Epic has been achieving by developing this prototype into an already pretty polished map called Outpost 23 – which is playable in the pre-Alpha-release of the new Unreal Tournament.
To put “pretty polished” into different words – to me it looks absolutely amazing.
Reason enough for me to publish a new Blogpost to celebrate the inspirational UE4 lighting artwork (after my breakdown of Koola’s Lightroom scene) which can be found in this map.
In my eyes, Outpost 23 has evolved into a visually stunning masterpiece, which is why I highly recommend you to get your hands onto the freely availiable Unreal Engine 4. You will find the possibility to download the Pre-Alpha of the new UT when you launch the Epic Games Launcher.
Here’s an evolution overview to give you an impression about the design progress:
Finally, here’s a selection of 4K (or to be precise: UHD) Screenshots I snapped while flying through the map. For the real thing, make sure to run the game yourself though!
So why does Epic give so much insight into the early stages of the new UT? Not only does Epic let the whole community experience their inspiring developing progress: They also encourage talented artists all over the world to get involved into the design progress itself and design weapons, character assets or even whole community driven maps. With a polished map like Outpost 23, we sure do have a high quality bar to look up to 😉
By the way: As I just noticed by coincidence, the official UT blog just called for Screenshot submissions of Outpost 23 – which fits perfectly to my blogpost 🙂
Just some days after publishing this blogpost, Epic now released a great behind the scenes video of the development of UT and a nice 1080p 60fps flythrough of Outpost 23 (formerly known as DM_Circuit). UT Project Lead Steve Polge talks about Outpost 23 being a “visual bar prototype” and Chris Perna states: “My charge was – Hey, I wanna make UT modern, I wanna compete with all the modern games / graphics – I think we need to be there, to create something compelling that people and new audiences are going to want to play. I feel like we’ve achieved that goal, I think when people see this thing they’re going to be blown away.”