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Portalus Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Historical | Status:Final  (rel 01/22/08)  | Pub:Portalus Games
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Hybrid | Monthly Fee:Free
System Req: PC | ESRB:TOut of date info? Let us know!

NPC Art

Posted by Keith Cross on Jun 19, 2007  | Comments

NPC Art  - MMORPG.com

The latest devlog on the Pirates of the Burning Sea official site gives some insight into the creation of NPCs and also shows off some NPC images.

Artco's last Devlog explained how our avatars had taken a giant leap from their old state to our new one. As the ArtCo team iterates on the new approach, the avatars continue to evolve and improve and we're pretty excited about the way it's going. And so I thought now would be a good time to share the new NPC work with you.

Ideally we'd like to create NPC characters that are completely unique and modeled specifically for that character, but that approach is too cost prohibitive for us in terms of time and manpower. The Pirates of the Burning Sea look and feel demands that we populate our world with tons of colorful characters who also don't tax your video card too much, so we needed to come up with an approach that would allow variety and quantity without being too constraining (in other words, NPC characters who are not too generic). Working with the devs we devised a technique that enables rapid NPC character creation with variety, while keeping memory usage economical.

Our system leverages a lot of the existing avatar pieces, plus a fair number of new and unique pieces. So, like our players do when customizing their characters, we toggle through a number of parts to assemble our NPCs. The only real difference for us is the number of categories available; in avatar customization the player has roughly 17 categories to toggle through to build their characters, things like heads, hats, coats, etc.

In NPC assembly we get three categories: heads, torsos, and lower bodies. Even so, the parts in these categories are much more complex than in player avatar customization, because our options are made up of a combination of lots of other pieces. For instance, when we toggle through our head options, we see a variety of faces to choose from, but each has a different hat and a different hair style already built in - and possibly jewelry or eye patches, etc. We also have the ability to colorize each of these categories in two areas (like red hair and a black hat for heads). The same goes for torsos and lower bodies. In the end, this process allows us to assemble a large number of NPCs that look great without sabotaging performance, because they share some of the same parts.

Read the full article here.

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