GameSim/Keywords Studios, GameTextures, etc.

General / 29 June 2021


I haven't posted on here since I made my sci-fi panels. This is not much of an art blog, but more of where I am in my career. I've been working with GameSim, a Keywords Studio in Orlando, FL. I did actually move to Orlando, FL, but temporarily. I joined right after my contract ended at Vicarious Visions in Albany, NY. With many game developers working from home because of the pandemic, this has become the norm. But, I wanted to visit Orlando, and experience what it was like there, so I packed lightly for this move and was there from February 2021 to May 2021. I was able to meet some of the members in my team, but not the whole company.

GameSim started out as a government contractor in Orlando, FL, working on military training simulations, then started working with a few game studios, mainly EA Tiburon in the area. The company got acquired by Keywords Studios four years ago. The company's focus now is more catered towards games. There's so much going on under the hood at GameSim. I'm already 10 months ago, and am enjoying my time working with them.


I actually had an interview at another Keywords Studio, Lakshya Digital in Redmond, WA, for an Outsource Environment Artist role, but didn't get the job. That was 2 years ago in early 2019. It almost comes full circle, but for this case, I'm a contractor working with them.


Also, I just wrapped up making a set of materials for GameTextures.com. I started around early January and just finished my last one a few days ago. I was working on them on the side, in between my trip in Orlando, FL. I'll post more of them soon, once GameTextures publishes them.

These past 2 years has been interesting, since I got let go at Hardsuit Labs on Bloodlines 2, to working with Airborn Studios, an art outsource company, Vicarious Visions/Activision in NY, and now GameSim.

Separate from all of this, I just wanted to add this here. I was there at GDC2019 when Paradox announced this game. It's been delayed three times now and there's been so many fires and devs leaving the project. Just a few months ago, Paradox removed Hardsuit Labs on this project, and will be giving it another studio to finish it. One side of me wants to throw more of my opinion about what just happened, because it was HSL's pitch to make this game, but I'm all behind Paradox. Better than having this game cancelled. They spent so much time marketing this game, it'd be a waste to just cancel it.


  

This all screams Activision. My contract at Vicarious Visions ended months before they merged under Blizzard. Before the merge, we got a chance to work on Call of Duty: Warzone Season 3. I only worked on a few materials for the game, that I don't think made it in the game.

But, right after getting let go (fired) at Hardsuit Labs in March 2019, it went from that to this. I can't even complain.

And to add, on my way to Albany, NY, and while I was there, I had thoughts of visiting Florida, or checking out a studio down there. Now, being with GameSim/Keywords Studios, that pretty much covers my story starting in San Diego, CA, going up to Seattle, WA, then to Albany, NY out of the blue, and to Orlando, FL just to try it out. I did fly back to Seattle right when I started working with GameSim, but ended up staying in Orlando for 3 months, and spent about a week outside of the city to visit Key West and Miami.

The AAA bug just all came about in just one year or so with Activision. I'm now back in the Seattle area, with no real rush to jump to another studio. I plan on going through some of the new features on Substance Designer and Painter, and will eventually check out Unreal Engine 5 at some point.

Sci-Fi Floor Panels WIP 3

General / 29 August 2020

Another update on these panels. I'm tempted to want to make a few more, to make a corridor. Not sure yet.


Sci-Fi Floor Panels WIP 2

General / 29 August 2020

Another update on the sci-fi panels. Because of time-sake, I'll just focus on this. I had a small scene in mind, but I'll just scrap it. I've never really done much sci-fi panels. This has been challenging just trying to have it make sense in a way. Going to add a few bolts (I know I'm missing a few), and then will try and add some color to it.

Sci-Fi Floor Panels WIP

General / 28 August 2020


Working on some sci-fi floor panels. I'm not fully behind what I just made, but I'll keep the pattern design. 

Blocktober

General / 03 October 2019

I thought I'd join in #Blocktober, before I move out to Albany, NY. Here's my first attempt. I was aiming for something similar to the Gang Beasts game. I don't know if this thing goes on everyday or whenever, but I might try something totally different next time around.




This was based on The Shop on The Messenger game. I'm not entirely sure if this even counts as a blockout.




The 3rd one was based off of This is the Police 2.


  

Vicarious Visions!

General / 17 September 2019

Alright, announcement time. In October, I'll be joining Vicarious Visions! Over at Albany, NY! as an Environment Artist!

Looking forward to working with the team there. Going to try something new for a change.

I'm going to miss Seattle, but who knows, I might come back here or in SoCal. This will be a one year contract. I'll see how this goes. I'm liking the idea either way, giving this a shot.

It's been an interesting journey just going through hoops finding the next gig. It was great working at Hardsuit Labs, for as long as I did, on Bloodlines 2, and being there when Paradox announced the game at GDC earlier this year.

After that ended, it's been a fun ride jumping on board with Evil Noob, an indie team down in Miami, Florida, just for the sake of working with a team down there. And, having a chance to work with Airborn Studios was awesome.

But, now it's onward and upward, especially all the way in Albany, NY!


[UE4 - WIP] Columbia Scene - (Based on Hitman 2)

Work In Progress / 14 September 2019

Going to try and wrap this up soon. I didn't get all of what I wanted, but for the most part, I wanted to dive on mainly creating foliage. The past few days has been boggling down on tests and some interviews. Something's locked down for sure, and I'll eventually have to pack up and get things moving. For now, I'll want to get most of this out the window before I move on to the next thing.

[UE4 - WIP] Columbia Scene - (Based on Hitman 2) - Trees

Work In Progress / 29 August 2019


  



Back on some more foliage pieces. Made some leaf clusters for the trees, and some hanging pod flowers by the leaves, using what I made, along with the tree bark material. Went for a 2nd pass on the plants and flowers I made a while back. The vines, I'll work on those later. 

I made some of the stems for the plants a bit thicker, just because they'll be fairly small. I'll most likely use of couple of those to break some of the space of just seeing so much green around the scene. Going to make a few more trees to replace what I added a while back.
 

[UE4 - WIP] Columbia Scene - (Based on Hitman 2) - Foliage

Work In Progress / 14 August 2019




  

Here's an update on the leaves. I've been trying out ways making some of the flowers and plants in SpeedTree. I'm still trying to wrap my head about the flowers, and making the back side of it. So far, I'm planning to make a couple of these, that'll be around the grass, to avoid just having a green grass look around the scene.


I initially was using a bunch of materials and textures from MegaScans and GameTextures, but decided to go back and make the foliage from scratch. They'll be fairly small, but for the most part, I just wanted to make them, for the sake of the portfolio piece. I didn't want to just fill up the majority of the scene with assets that aren't mine. Aside from the foliage cards, I'll probably go back and make a moss material that's covering the rocks, that's probably the only other material that's not mine (it was from Substance Source). The paint passes were done in ZBrush. I went the route of just using the Polypaint tool.
  

[UE4 - WIP] Columbia Scene - (Based on Hitman 2) - Grass

Work In Progress / 30 July 2019


Small update on this scene. I'm in the phase of adding some grass. Using that LandscapeGrassOutput node in UE4.

It's basing it off of the grass material, of the 3 blends. I have 3 variations of grass, and 2 variations of the fern plants/clusters. This might all be overkill, but I'm just testing this out. I played through the Hitman 2 game again, and noticed that they have a ton of plants around for the player to use, to hide from the AI. I'm trying to find a fine line in between.

Just a while ago, I was debating on whether or not I should create the foliage plants on my own, or use what exists online. I'm using some materials from MegaScans and GameTextures, and am editing them out in SpeedTree. I have some plants that I grabbed off of from the SpeedTree store, that I plan on using, either working off of the graph nodes, or making some from scratch, and switching the textures completely. 

I most likely will replace what I did, and recreate them, without heavily using the asset packs. I tested out making some grass, from scratch. I plan on refining this for the scene.