Tag: Warren Louw

EM-8ER Update – October

Hello Emberites!

Two things with this update. First, I wanted to say it’s been an incredible blast to be working on the game. I’m so excited about the setting (Massive Planetary Warfare), the Kaiju theme, the art direction, and the incredible new tools for game development. It’s all thanks to you, and I’m super grateful to have this chance to make Em-8ER.

Second, I wanted to update you on the team’s efforts:

– Joe has been working on the THMPR high-poly model. Some of you have caught his live-streams where he uses a program called zBrush to create the mesh. ZBrush is like digital clay you can push and pull to create your model. It’s pretty amazing to watch and I suggest you pop in on one of his next streams to see for yourself.

– I’ve been working with Warren on the characters for Em-8er, starting with the female. Character modeling will be an upcoming fundraising milestone but it’s important we lay the ground work beforehand. I gathered a large number of references and notes together while brainstorming more about Reaper culture and the terraforming process (you’ll see why this is relevant later). Warren has turned around the first draft of rough sketches and it’s already looking really good. We’re going after a mix of realism and stylization. I’m a bit tired of the “cartoon hero” look so many arena shooters are doing these days. I want to make sure Em-8er stands apart, visually.

– Tommaso and I are about to embark on some refinements to the Omniframe. Specifically, we are identifying which parts are customizable and starting to break it down in preparation for modeling. The Omniframe art asset exe is the second goal after we’ve created the THMPR. This will make sure we have all the customization points considered when we build it. While customization is not a part of this milestone, we want to make sure the current model will support it when we get to that point.

– Art pipeline. I’ve been doing a deep dive into the Unreal Engine, starting with the art pipeline. Since this is an art asset milestone, I want to make sure we’re fluent in getting assets into the game. Unreal is an incredible engine, and I wish we had it on some of my prior games. The new Physically Based Renderer is a great advantage not just for looks, but for speed of creation. I’ve been working with creating materials with a program called Substance Designer and importing them into Unreal. Using Substance Designer is way to create PBR textures procedurally, instead of using photographs or hand painting.

– Server research for the future game. While not part of our milestone (and no multiplayer planned for even the playable mockup), we need to start looking at how we’re going to create a server that can handle an online shooter with the scale of a planetary wargame. On Firefall we learned that our lag compensation model hindered our ability to give creatures great AI and limited some of the things we could do. I’ve been working with a new programmer on the team on some of these issues and we are currently in a long research phase that will last 4-6 weeks. If this works out, we may have a new person joining our team!

That’s it for now. Our immediate goal is to show you a complete THMPR model, and then move on to texturing it and importing it until Unreal.

As for physical rewards, please forgive us as we concentrate on the digital ones first, as these are most important to the game. 3D prints and books will take some time to manufacture, and we want to make sure we complete the digital model of the THMPR before we start printing even just a part of it. Again, once we have the model, expect 40 days or so of manufacturing time.

See you soon for our next update!

Update – Warren Louw Joins EM-8ER Team

We’re excited to announce that Warren Louw is joining the team to help design and illustrate the characters for EM-8ER! You can see his art in the featured collage image on the blog post. Character modeling and customization in a future EM-8ER playable mockup funding goal, but we’ve used some of the extra funds to start this process early.

Warren is a well known illustrator who’s work has graced the covers of DC Comics and ImagineFX magazine. He’s well known for his beautiful females and crisp illustrative style.

Did you catch that? Thanks to your incredible support on the last milestone, we will be creating BOTH male AND Female characters for the game! Personally, I’m thrilled we will be able to offer more options to player and I thank you once again for making this possible.

Meanwhile, JoeSolo is hard at work producing the model for the first 3D test print of the THMPR model, which will be mailed to Gatestrider and Max Kahuna backers. We expect the printing production run to take 30-50 days due to the speed limitation of 3D printing and hand painting the Max Kahuna rewards.

Work also continues on developing the Unreal client. We have a basic framework up and running, but we’ll need to wait for THMPR to be game-ready and rigged for animation before importing the model into the whitebox test level that will ship with the art-preview EXE to backers.

The Tsi-hu human nickname contest is also proceeding smoothly. We’re impressed with several of the submissions and your vote participation has been outstanding.

Finally, we are working on finishing up the forum titles for all backers. We do this via e-mail address, and where the e-mail used for Indiegogo and the forums differ, we have to manually contact backers to establish their forum name. Thank you for your patience!

If you’d like to see more of Warren Louw’s work, you can find him here on DeviantArt: