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.
This is a view from the center of the structure entrance looking out over the sand dunes. You can see the cracked pillar up close, with the distressed façade being brought to life with normal and specular maps. The unique world sky and exterior lighting are also visible in this image.
This image is a closer viewpoint of the Jaffa soldier in his shiny, detailed armor and silks. His staff weapon is also highly detailed with normal and specular maps. The Jaffa uses a different shader per material. So skin, metal, cloth, all have their own unique ‘feel’ and texture in the scene. The low detail mesh of the Horus style bird decoration up on the overarching pillar can be seen as well – given depth by its shader to appear ornate and metallic.
This is the view from behind the Stargate near our Goa’uld structure. The Egyptian culture-influenced obelisks cast long shadows in the afternoon, the DHD (Dial Home Device) is visible just beyond the gate, waiting to dial in some far off destination light years from this planet.
Here is the main chamber in the Resurrection Station. Created faithfully from the concept art, the center firepit embers burn lazily, smoke rising slowly to the open ceiling, while torches give a warm light over all the details in this room. Plants enhance the feeling of ‘life’ in this chamber, and the activated sarcophagus can be seen near the far wall, it’s white light spilling out into the room. Detailed arches, pillars and normal-mapped walls round out the visual quality, with a scarab carved sun disk overseeing all.
An environment shot showcasing the soft, rolling sand dunes which stretch off and away from the Station. The illumination of the Jaffa soldier by the waning sunlight is a nice effect. The subtle water of the oasis nearby draws attention to our highly detailed skydome. The landscape details, such as cracks, rocks and such are all normal mapped as well, for better visual quality overall.