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Quake IV Modeler Q&A

3DStation's Jeffrey Unay Q&A (thanks polycount) chats with the modeler at Raven Software at work on the models for Quake IV. The conversation offers an introduction to Jeff and his work as a high res modeler/artist. Topics include how he got his start, his feelings on why creating sculptures of characters helps in his work, the software he uses, the process he follows, and more. The article is illustrated by 3D renderings, a couple of screenshots, and some photos of his clay sculptures.

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56 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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56. Re: Graphics Feb 10, 2003, 22:56 pancreas
 
Yeah Hitman 2 was fun, but it was more of a stylized tactical stealth game than an action FPS. Or at least, that's the way I ended up playing it. The graphics were also very bland IMO.  
"Nothing livens up a robotic hymn of doom more than an amazing pair of jugs." - Brak
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55. Re: Graphics Feb 10, 2003, 11:04 MindTrigger
 
Glas,

While id isn't directly developing Quake4, they are working closely WITH raven to make sure it is done the way they want it. It is, after all, id's game.

 
--
He cut the possum's face off then cut around the eye socket. In the center of the belt buckle, where the possum's eye would be, he has placed a small piece of wood from his old '52 Ford's home made railroad tie bumper. Damn, he misses that truck.
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54. Re: Graphics Feb 10, 2003, 01:41 Totalitarinism
 
Hey, if you like non-linear, exploration, and don't like a lot of polys on your models, play Hitman 2. Great physics, too (I try to get distance records with my dual .45 pistols)

 
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53. Re: Graphics Feb 9, 2003, 22:47 pancreas
 
Yes Raven is doing Quake 4, I think on the DOOM 3 engine (That's all I've heard so far.)

I for one will be very happy if Raven can at least make the gameplay (not necessarily the graphics and theme) of Quake 4 reminiscent of Quake 2. The linear, heavily-scripted trend of current FPSs (HL, MOH, U2, even NOLF for that matter) is disturbing IMO. Many modern FPSs now feel more like interactive movies or rail shooters than actual games. The sense of exploration and discovery is gone. I fondly remember rocket-jumping over various obstacles, or listening for various activation sounds to obtain some very rewarding secrets in Quake 2.

I also wish that more attention would be paid to dynamic graphics. I'm talking about explosions, weapon muzzle flashes, bullet ricochets, character animations, non-solid animations (Such as water, fire and gas), real-time lighting, realistic physics, etc. Basically everything that signals to the player that the world is responsive to his actions. That it is real not in a picture-purfect, ultimate vacation spot sense (Where you must stop to look at the pretty graphics), but more like in an action movie where every prop that can blow up will blow up in various spectacular fashions according to the player's whim.

This can only be logical in an action game, but some of the recent supposedly action-oriented FPSs I've played place an inordinate amount of time on detailed textures, super high-poly purely decorative objects, coloful backgrounds and various other little nuances that you'll never notice in a fierce battle. Perhaps they reason that this important for the atmosphere, but you don't need doors with more polys than an entire Half-Life level or microscopicly detailed textures to create atmosphere. As an example, aside from a few token levels such as Sulferon and Acheron, I was seriously more immersed in the levels of RTCW and MOHAA than those of U2 (If you tapped my headphones while I was playing I would literaly scream. Hell even Diablo II creeps me out more than U2.)
 
"Nothing livens up a robotic hymn of doom more than an amazing pair of jugs." - Brak
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52. Re: Graphics Feb 9, 2003, 17:42 Mad Max RW
 
It holds plenty merit if your as sick of space marines and 800 lb giant plasma gattling guns as I am.

 
Avatar 15920
 
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51. Re: Graphics Feb 9, 2003, 00:55 Glas
 
#48 id isn't developing Quake 4. Besides, the reasons you are giving as to not playing the game really don't hold much merit. There were new things put into each new game id did. Too numerous to name here, but they were there. I do believe it is Raven Soft that is doing this game though.

 
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50. Re: Graphics Feb 7, 2003, 20:15 pancreas
 
Is anyone else other than me waiting anxiously for Kreed?

I'd play this for atmosphere alone. The devs are promising some seriously eerie, out of this world sci-fi environments (Kinda like the small handful of levels in U2) which the screenshots certainly hint at. Plus it's got a suprisingly deep backstory.

"Life is not about the second chances. It's about the little mouse, and his voyage to an exciting new land. That, my friend, is what life is." - Dad
 
"Nothing livens up a robotic hymn of doom more than an amazing pair of jugs." - Brak
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49. Re: Graphics Feb 7, 2003, 16:23 MindTrigger
 
Devistation looks cool! I like the story. Police State. Very good theme. I've been waiting for someone to make a good game with the Unreal engine...maybe this will be it.

I don't care4 much about Q4 either. I absolutely loved Quake 1 and 2, and with Q3 it started to get lame. Unless Quake 4 is some how revolutionary this will probably be the first time I have NOT bought a game directly related to id. (I have bought: wolfy, doom, doom2, quake, quake 2, quake3, Wolfy2)

As for Doom3...Im stoked to see what it looks like, but I don't expect the gameplay to be anything special. STALKER will own if they do what they are promising.


 
--
He cut the possum's face off then cut around the eye socket. In the center of the belt buckle, where the possum's eye would be, he has placed a small piece of wood from his old '52 Ford's home made railroad tie bumper. Damn, he misses that truck.
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48. Re: Graphics Feb 7, 2003, 13:40 Mad Max RW
 
I've been following STALKER for quite some time now and it looks absolutely amazing. It's one of the very few games I'm looking forward to. I'm more interesting in STALKER than Doom 3 to be perfectly honest.

About Quake 4, forget it. I'm so sick and tired of id making sequel after sequel after sequel and making NOTHING NEW. Then all the other copy cats do the same damn thing and add a few thousand more sequels to an already bloated market. Instead I'm giving Devastation a try. It has a lot of new stuff, but is a deathmatch game at heart. UT2003 looks amazing and the engine is unbelievable, but the game sucks hard. These guys at Devastation take the latest Unreal engine and make something new with it. http://www.devastationgame.com/

 
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47. No subject Feb 6, 2003, 22:07 dizzydiz
 
as to "procedural" stories, this link, i think on blues the other day...has stories that generate themselves, to make games that "will be less like scenes from a film and more like a reactive and interactive world that players can explore almost endlessly. "
the prototype uses the unreal engine. here's the link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/2708995.stm

This reminded me somewhat of the idea presented in the book "Ender's Game"..and others I'm sure.

 
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46. Re: #42 Feb 5, 2003, 23:01 Chance
 
pancreas said:

"Many FPSs that have been praised for their so called "innovation" are actually hybrids of other games and/or various genres of entertainment (Not necessarily from videogames.)"

...snip...

"Basically, there's really nothing new to see here. If you look hard enough the derivativeness of any title will become apparent. What we call "innovation" is really the technique of creating new experiences by mixing in old ones..."

...snip...

"The argument for "innovation" is fundamentally weak and it will take a huge technological advances (as stated below) before we can expect anything truly innovative."

Agreed. They have to make a breakthrough in AI before you'll see any real innovation IMO. Until then, to borrow your analogy, it's like chefs working on variations of the same recipe. Some just taste better than others.

That's why I always smile when they start talking about the latest "new" thing...

 
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45. Re: #42 Feb 5, 2003, 22:46 pancreas
 
They are a hybrid of a RTS(RPG) and a shooter.

Many FPSs that have been praised for their so called "innovation" are actually hybrids of other games and/or various genres of entertainment (Not necessarily from videogames.)

My initial impression of Deus Ex was that it was heavily based on a lot of older games. I could for example clearly pick out the System Shock 2 and Thief influences. The RPG system, the stealth system based on sensory perception, the dead body moving, the non-lethal weaponry, the supposedly philosophical underpinnings in the storyline, etc.

The multiple pathways in Deus Ex are nothing new if you've ever read a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, while the conspiracy laden plot literaly screams X-Files (Deus Ex is best characterized as an all-you-can-eat smorgasborg IMO.)

SS itself was a clear-cut hybrid of an FPS and an RPG, while Thief 1 retained so many FPS elements (The zombie-shooting crypt missions for example) that to it took a sequel to fully develop it's stealth aspect.

NOLF 1 was an FPS with campy humor in it, and humor is nothing new in gaming. While NOLF 2 was the same thing but with renewed emphasis on the Sneaker and RPG elements, which by that time most players had already become familiar with through other games.

Basically, there's really nothing new to see here. If you look hard enough the derivativeness of any title will become apparent. What we call "innovation" is really the technique of creating new experiences by mixing in old ones (Like how adding cheese, more salt, and mushrooms can spice up the stale omelet. OK, bad analogy.) If such a word is to be taken that lightly, that I can venture to say that even more "traditional" FPSs such as Serious Sam are innovative as well since they take the tried and true formula and push it in different directions. The argument for "innovation" is fundamentally weak and it will take a huge technological advances (as stated below) before we can expect anything truly innovative.

"Life is not about the second chances. It's about the little mouse, and his voyage to an exciting new land. That, my friend, is what life is." - Dad
 
"Nothing livens up a robotic hymn of doom more than an amazing pair of jugs." - Brak
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44. Re: Need something new? Feb 5, 2003, 18:17 MindTrigger
 
Zar,

I am all for the "Pro Mod" concept that is out there. I have been calling for this for years. I am sure other gamers have too. I am surprised it's not built into these games by the developer. Build a "novice" option and an "expert" option. The spread of the weapon fire and other aspects of the game can be tweaked based on these settings. It's a good solution.

We still need a good solution for maps. I guess this will just come with time. We are entering a period with engines like X-Ray (Stalker) and Doom3 being able to draw some nice terrain. In the next few years I think it will get better.

I expected to see way more plantlife and such in Unreal 2. It was pretty, but I expected more. The first Unreal was such a huge leap graphically. I just didn't see that with U2.

 
--
He cut the possum's face off then cut around the eye socket. In the center of the belt buckle, where the possum's eye would be, he has placed a small piece of wood from his old '52 Ford's home made railroad tie bumper. Damn, he misses that truck.
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43. Re: #42 Feb 5, 2003, 10:51 sc4r4b
 
Some of us (actually many of us if one judges by sales figures) actually enjoy the "eye candy" aspect of FPS games. I hated Deux Ex, and NOLF. Those games, IMHO, are not real shooters. They are a hybrid of a RTS and a shooter.

I am assuming you meant to say RPG not RTS... You should try NOLF2. I never really liked sneakers like Thief but NOLF2 is really an outstanding game.

 
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42. Re: Graphics Feb 5, 2003, 09:04 CyberNutz
 
Some of us (actually many of us if one judges by sales figures) actually enjoy the "eye candy" aspect of FPS games. I hated Deux Ex, and NOLF. Those games, IMHO, are not real shooters. They are a hybrid of a RTS and a shooter.
Not all of us have the time, and or skills/patience to play through a game that requires you to think and manipulate and sneak around enemies which have the advantage of knowing where you are even when you think you are hiding. With the old style FPS you run and gun. Pure adrenlin fueled excitement. Which is why the continue to sell very well. And why developers continue to put them out. With ever better graphics capabilities. I loved the Doom series of games. I loved Unreal I and will probably love Unreal II. I also love UT2k3. Especially now that new maps are coming out for it. Give me the eye candy and fast paced excitment any day over the boring, tedious, sssssllllloooowwwww gameplay of games like Deus Ex and NOLF and other of that ilk.

 
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41. Re: wait a sec... Feb 5, 2003, 00:55 EvilGoof
 
Well Bronco, you could look at the money as a rental fee for the amount of time you got to have a slave. I might be willing to pay enough money to have a young hot chick be my sex slave as well as cook, clean and all the other duties I order her to perform depending on the length of time. What is the amount of time they have until a divorce can be filed? I am probaly better off getting my Metal band back together and attracting the young groupie chicks the natural way. Oh well, Too bad being a game designer like this Quake 4 dude does not attract chicks.

 
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40. Re: Need something new? Feb 4, 2003, 23:39 Zar
 
#35,

I sympathize with your complaints, especially on the multiplayer side. But getting around the limits and linearity of scripting in single player games is hard. It can be done by:

1) Putting insane amounts of effort into a branching storyline tree to give the illusion of non-linearity, or
2) Solving some fundamental and essential problems of artificial cognititon.

The first is too damn complicated and expensive do to beyond a certain minimal degree, and the second has no workable solution anywhere in the world, AFAIK, not just for games. So you are really asking for the impossible right now. Any general solution for artificial intelligence that can generate a new storyline will require a cognitive level far beyond anything now possible. Right now, we employ professional writers to create a story framework. If we are able to have a computer game generate a compelling story that varied from game to game, who needs writers? That day is not coming soon, so I think if you are digusted with single player FPS now, you'll be disgusted for a long time to come. Still, I would agree that there are better stories and worse stories and I'd always pick the better one if I had a choice. On the other hand, some games are just cool to play and they don't need a deep story at all. John Carmack and Trent Reznor agree on this point when interviewed at E3. The more "story" a game has, the more boring it is, because you really want to ACT in the gamespace, not watch a C-grade movie with occasional periods where you play a game in between. This is why, for them, the look, feel and play of the game are as or more important than the story or the story should be activated through the gameplay rather than wordy exposition.

On multiplayer, I agree that there can be problems with weapons and strateigic balance. On the other hand, these multiplayer games need a big enough installed base to make it worthwhile, so you need to put things in there that may not always satisfy the ultimate expert. Mod communities have helped solve this by creating "pro" modes for games and some even have these modes supported by the developers. I know it would be better if there was one standard game for everyone, but there's a market to serve.

This comment was edited on Feb 4, 23:46.
 
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39. Several replies in one Feb 4, 2003, 22:40 Creston
 
VT Hoodlum "Um... I'm going to have to go with "Awesome Looking Boring Shooter" probably selling more copies. It may not the way we want it (Deus Ex was definitely one of the best games ever) but it's the way it is. "

I didn't make it clear enough that I was talking about my viewpoint, not necessarily the viewpoint of the "average" gamer.

nin & tallone

I guess my information is not as up to date. Thanks

Von Helmet : "but there really were only three ways for the Lebedev situation to go down"

*********DEUS EX SPOILERS, don't read if you haven't finished the game (and then what the hell are you reading this for anyways? Go finish the game already!) ********

You'll notice that I said that those six, seven ways had greater or smaller effects in the story. While what you say is true from an end result point of view, there are more ways to do that encounter. For example, Juan Lebedev dying is one result, but either you can do it, or Anna can. Both of them have small differences in some of the comments you get etc.
True, these small things don't have an overall massive effect on the story, but let's see how Deus Ex 2 does things.
I'll still take the little small differences over the static shit that is Unreal 2 any day...


Zar : "the genre has always been the same: Run and shoot. Run and shoot. Open stuff. Close stuff"

I see where you're going with this, but for me, Nolf2 was a very welcome breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale genre. As was Deus Ex. I'm not saying I'm sick and tired of FPS games, I'm saying I'm sick and tired of FPS games that ONLY improve the graphics, and make the same lame design decisions all over again (as Unreal 2 does. Textbook example, for me, of how NOT to do an FPS)

Phew, sorry for the length of the posts guys! Here's a cookie for reading through it.

Creston


Creston


 
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38. Re: wait a sec... Feb 4, 2003, 19:55 Bronco
 
does anyone here have or know someone with a mail order bride?

Ok, I'll bite ...

I don't have one, never have. I tend to like women that think for themselves.

The local paper: http://www.philly.com did a piece on these set-ups over a year or so ago. Can't find it in their archives...

Basic report of guys that can't relate to women as equals purchasing a 'submissive' woman only to find out that they were used to pay for them to get to the states. As soon as it is legal for the women to divorce they do.

Bad news.

Unless you feel like paying for someone to come to the states and get their citizenship for 'free', save your money.

-TPFKAS2S
http://www.braglio.org
How many toes does a fish have?
How many wings on a cow? I wonder, yep. I wonder!
 
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-TPFKAS2S
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37. Before I forget... Feb 4, 2003, 19:25 Fungu
 
http://home.earthlink.net/%7Eczb3/quake4videos.htm

Thought that was cool. Whoever modified Q2 did a very nice job.

 
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56 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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