Raid WW2: The Environments

Crafting Worlds - The Artistic Story Behind Raid: World War II Environments

This story illuminates how characters, environments, and leading the emerging art team intertwine in the process of breathing life into a virtual world

To the Environments

My journey with Raid: World War II was an odyssey through the vivid landscape of game art production in its entirety.

The characters were the lifeblood of our story, but the environments and levels provided the backdrop against which our narrative unfolded.

As the lead artist, my responsibilities spanned more than just character design. I was entrusted with the task of setting the artistic direction for the environment, crafting the world where our characters would come to life, and leading a team of emerging game environment artists on this epic journey.

The Team

The art team responsible for environments and levels was primarily comprised of junior artists. Eager and talented, they brought a fresh perspective and infectious enthusiasm to the table. However, they also needed guidance, mentorship, and a firm hand to help them navigate the treacherous terrain of game development.

As their lead, I took it upon myself to provide the needed support and direction. I was not just their lead artist but their mentor, guide, and confidant. I saw it as my duty to help them grow, not just as artists but as individuals.

Watching them grow and seeing their raw talent evolve into skill and proficiency was one of the most rewarding aspects of my role as lead artist. Through their growth, I grew. Through their successes, I found my own.

With Diesel, our old and somewhat limiting engine, they did their best and produced captivating environments no matter what limits we had before ourselves.

Their resourcefulness really inspired me, and I must say that it was a privilege to work with such young talents.

Upgrading the Engine

Within every limitation lies an opportunity for innovation, and we found part of ours in the form of shaders. Working closely with a young, talented engineer named Jure Ratkovic, we set about creating various shaders to enhance our visual capabilities.

We pushed the Diesel engine beyond its perceived boundaries, developing new systems for environment settings, flares, lighting, and more. We created a new terrain shader, integrated ambient occlusion, and incorporated light probes.

In the process, we implemented a standardized texture packing system using gloss, specular, and metalness maps to be compatible with standard tools in the market.

By doing this, we significantly improved the speed of our art pipeline since exporting from Substance Painter was virtually seamless, and rendering was more aesthetically pleasing.

This new pipeline was a dual effort. I developed the custom texture compiler that packed exported textures into the correct channels and exported them into a custom texture format (based on .dds). On Jure's end, the shader supported the rendering of these property maps.

These innovations elevated our visuals to a new level, allowing us to infuse life into our world in ways that Diesel had never allowed before.

Brick by Brick

The lessons I garnered from this project were invaluable. I discerned the significance of selecting the right tools for the job and the art of flexibility and adaptability by creating your own tools and working within the constraints of a given technology.

I gained deeper insights into leadership, mentorship, and the importance of nurturing a supportive, collaborative environment.

Ultimately, these elements proved to be of paramount importance!

for Visiting

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for Visiting

.. and now that you've scrolled down here, maybe I can invite you to explore other sections of this site