Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A bit of a disappointment - Part 1

Throughout the Christmas break I have been quite busy preparing myself to enter the Blizzard Student Environment Art Contest.
I have taken this very seriously and once my SS1 module finished I began brainstorming about what I wanted to create exactly.

The requirements were pretty clear: I need to create a somewhat small environmental scene that features a small structure, rocks, grass, trees and props. All of these have to match the polygon count of the models found within World of Warcraft.... which is very low.

Another important element was to present something that has not been witnessed in the game before. Basically, design something new, something refreshing to the game.

My initial idea was to inspire something based on the Sekler culture, which I am part of myself. Sekler people are a group within the Hungarian culture. Seklers used to be the guards of the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1920, however Hungary shrank to a third of its size and a lot of Hungarians found themselves in foreign countries. The Sekler population ended up in Romania.
The Sekler culture has its own unique architectural style and I was aiming to create something based on this.
Older Romanian architecture has crossed my mind as well, due to their mystical nature. I decided to explore some old churches in Moldova, bordering Transilvania.

The pictures above showcase Romanian churches. Sadly, I did not find them unique enough in order to be very different in comparison to what a player can find in World of Warcraft. I haven't seen churches EXACTLY like these ones, but there some which look pretty similar.
I did note one or two small details that I might use later on when I concept my structure, though, so the trip was not a failure my any means.
I also liked the ruined wooden planks on the church to the left. It is good reference for texture painting.. I took some close up shots.

The next day, I went to several small Transilvanian villages which have a lot of Sekler decoration themed structures, especially gates. I've found that World of Warcraft designers do like their gates and a Sekler gate would be an awesome idea as it is quite different and detailed. That detail though is surface detail, which would allow the possibility to really push my texturing skills. WoW is a completely hand painted textured game.

This detail was really inspiring to see and I already knew that I somehow want to incorporate a gate for my architectural piece. The gate would serve as a tool that sets the initial mood of the building. I wanted to take some of the details from these Sekler gates, but improve the silhouette quite a bit as this are to square to suit WoW's style.

To be continued...

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