As always, a few people are still unsure on the fate of teamblurgames.com, so let me start the news post with the same message; teamblurgames.com around 6 or so months back now, went into host trouble… In fact the host just disappeared. So, we have moved to the new much more friendly, open (and expensive) team-blur-games.com. Massive change right? Anyway, you can get to the new OverDose site, as well as links to the forums, SDK/Developer Wiki, Screenshots, the whole seven and a half yards, simply by clicking this shiny logo below:
Many moons ago, we made the decision to change OverDose’s design goals. Back then, it was simply Quake II Evolved: OverDose, a single player add-on set in the Quake II universe with minimal multiplayer. But the issues with that were that it still used Q2E tech, it was likely still in need of keeping basic Q2 support, and it was a huge task. Making an entire single player game isn’t easy… So, we updated the engine without the constraints of Q2, we changed our goals to a more realistic multiplayer only game, and while some of the game play elements have been changed over the years its remained largely the same… Even down to us having no help at all.
Now, as designers, this hurts our feelings quite a lot. Lets put the cards on the table, open up honestly for a second… We have some kick ass designs. I mean, really, really good concept art. There’s no shortage on the design front. We have an engine that’s more capable than what most retail engines have. Hell lets be even more honest, if we had zero entry requirements for model detail/creation, we would likely have a few more models done now. Even more honest? If this game was simply a zombie mod on the source engine, I’m sure it would have been done ages ago… Because you know, there aren’t enough of those. But sadly because we had the balls to take things to the next level, we found support lacking. Not from fans, hell no, our fans are awesome and stick with us through some rough times. But when it comes to helping us, people tend to shy away, and I don’t know if that’s because of our entry requirements or what, but I don’t think so… I’ve seen mods for source engine games with much more detailed models that ultimately get wasted anyway as they can’t be used… So I have no clue.
So this post is a cry for help, but also a laying out the facts kind of post… What we want, what we need, and what we simply could do without. But lets be honest here… When I started designing OverDose, I had no idea what a normal map was, I made textures the wrong way, and I couldn’t model… Things change. PEOPLE change. And that’s what Team Blur Games looks for. We don’t want the combined forces of id Software, Epic and the guy that made L4D Zoeys breasts as modellers… We want guys that think they can maybe do it and are willing to give themselves the push to get there. We want guys who are willing to learn and enjoy the experience. Hell, if we get some amazing modellers then even better, but the point remains… We don’t turn people down just because you can’t 100% do what we want alone. So if you find yourself applying and us saying you aren’t what we are looking for, don’t take offence… Its just that we need to set certain minimum standards regardless of what help and tutoring we can give you. Apply anyway, you just don’t know unless you try, right? The very worst we will do is point you in the right direction.
Anyway, before I start writing an essay of tears, I’ll get onto our main requirements. Give it a read, you may be surprised…
This is such a hard area to cover… We have had people try, then disappear. We have had people do entire models, get to the detailing pass, then just some how lose the internet down the back of the couch... We have had pro modellers from pro dev teams come to us, say how amazing our artwork is, do all of ten minutes sculpting, show us this amazing progress and then say “look at what you could have won!” and go… It’s not easy. Character models are hard in OverDose because there are no shortcuts… Its not source engine, where you can make something in Milkshape and have it look spot on in-game… (Just to clarify for people... I don't mean all Source engine games are ugly, I'm simply saying that a model with no high poly render to texture normal map in OverDose will look like total crap, but in Source, its perfectly fine to just support the mesh with a decent diffuse only texture). OverDose is a true next gen engine with all the bells and whistles… So what does that mean for the modeller? What’s put on him then in terms of workload? Here’s the actual “requirements” for what the character models MUST have, followed by optional extras:
REQUIRMENTS: All models MUST be made using a high polygon sculpt for render to texture normal mapping, which will mean some pretty hardcore polycounts for the high poly. This doesn’t really mean a simple sub-d mesh. While that can look ok for the some things, lets face it for organic surfaces its not the best solution. For the low polygon model, the aim is anywhere between 8,000 to 12,000 polygons. This means aiming for 8,000 as a starting point and adding on what you need to get a decent silhouette. Our concepts are detailed, and in some places, round, so we don’t need extra jaggy areas on them. The engine itself isn’t so much polygon limited as you may think, so don’t worry about that here. Heads on character models, for both the CMC and MDR teams, are to be on separate surfaces, as heads are interchangeable in-game. The model and animation format we use are .md5mesh and .md5anim, so the importers and exporters for Doom 3/Quake 4 will work perfectly. Yes, this is all in-game and yes, you can test anytime you like your actual results, in-game. Texture resolution wise, we aim for each character to be using a 2048x2048 for the body, with a 512x512 for the head HOWEVER these things are hardly constant, and if you need less, use less. If you need more, use more. Simple really. Of course the standards apply with what formats you use, Diffuse, Specular and Normal maps are the bare essentials, with height being an extra if you require it (Also glow maps, alpha masks and the like will more than likely be needed, but support is given on creating those so don’t worry). As a modeller, animation is NOT your job; However if you can do it, please knock yourself out as it will help us. But all we look for is finished MODELS. Of course rigging and animating your own model will come in handy, because once we get just ONE rig done, the other models on the CMC/MDR team will likely use that same rig.
Wow how boring was that…? You don’t go into this stuff blind by the way. We have a lot of concept art, of every class and on both teams, completed. Most of which is in colour, some of which includes complete orthos as well. As I said, we have an amazing team on concept artists and I think we owe it to them really to get this stuff in-game running around killing things. An example of our art work flow? Why sure thing:
So you’ll never be going in blind. Equally we also know that what works on paper doesn’t always work in 3d, so you will have more than enough chances to change certain things to fit the mesh better.
Weapon models are exactly the same, we have oodles of concept art for them but nobody will to give them a go. A huge reason for this is the ongoing “hand battle” we have been facing. A few years back I made some hands, to which people cried they looked like something out of CS: Source. Of course they did, they were military based, what did people expect? Then we had some high poly hands sculpted which in the end after testing didn’t turn out too well as the gloves lacked any form of detail at all, and in-game it just turned to mush. Not great… But hands are an area that still needs completing, for both teams. Weapons however, well weapons as I said are in the same boat as the concept art. Tons of pictures, references and the like, but nobody actually doing much of anything. Again, here is the info:
REQUIRMENTS: All weapon models MUST be made using a high polygon sculpt for render to texture normal mapping. For the low polygon model, the aim is anywhere between 8,000 to 16,000 polygons. This means aiming for 8,000 as a starting point and adding on what you need to get a decent silhouette. Why so high? Well, the first person view weapon is the most seen model in the game that takes up the most pixel space. Its right there, right in your face. In fact 16,000 is pretty common these days in a number of engines, like Crysis 2, UT3 etc. Weapons also use multiple “add-ons” such as scopes, silencers etc, all of which are stacked onto the model, so these are required as well. The model and animation format we use are .md5mesh and .md5anim, so the importers and exporters for Doom 3/Quake 4 will work perfectly. Texture resolution wise, its variable, but we aim to be using a 2048x2048 for the most part, going higher or lower as required. Standard Diffuse/Specular/ Normal maps are usual, blah blah blah, same as the character models really.
So yeah, pretty basic stuff. We have concepts on most things, anything we don’t have, we have a team of amazing artists who can whip you stuff up in a matter of hours sometimes, so it’s worth asking. Examples? Sure thing:
Applying To Help
These are just a couple of our concepts for everything, but you can see when it comes to design everything is solid, consistent, fits the theme etc. We hardly have a lack of ideas, we just have a lack of brute force putting those ideas in-game, and we really could do with some help. So if you think you can do just one of these things, or know somebody that maybe could, pass this page onto them? OverDose is not going be given up on, its not going just be thrown to the side like most things these days, and we DO want to see it get released… With your help, it will happen sooner. Hell, as soon as we have one finished character model done, we can release the beta, so you know… Sooner the better?
If you feel up to applying for any of the above positions then please send examples of past work as well as the position you are looking at applying for to:
Thanks for your time, and I hope to see people showing interest!