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Concept art © 2012 Sony Online Entertainment LLC. SOE. All Rights Reserved.

Planetside 2 is out! Watch an awesome fanmade trailer here: [link]

Releasing this after John Smedley's tweet: [link]

So, with the game and related media floating about I think its safe to release some of my pre-viz work I did for SOE from 2009-2010. I will be releasing in the order of what is only out already in the media, and then finally once the game is 'gold' then the rest will follow in updates to come.

Planetside ([link]) was, and is, an unimaginably amazing true-MMOFPS franchise that should have taken the world by storm 9 years ago. It was the only game back then that could hold my attention for more than 7 minutes. Defending a hard-earned facility, Mass Gal drops, MAX Raids had me rushing home from school and logging on and doing my part for the TR/Vanu. Most of the defining moments of my life's gaming experience is credited to Planetside and its open-world 'sandbox' nature, allowing hundreds of players to wage epic freaking war in a 24-hour long persistent world server. The network connectively was surprisingly sharp, and the frenetic gameplay, camaraderie and immersion to be had was nothing short of exhilarating.

I eventually left the game due to the introduction of BFRs (Don't get me wrong it was fun as a Collosus killing shit and acting out my Mechwarrior fantasies on live human opponents, being a troll even before it became a popular meme, but the entire battlefield dynamic just changed too drastically for comfort. I mainly enjoyed the combat with 50% infantry, 30% armour, 20% air vehicle mix...)

Fast forward 6 years, and right after finishing up my Space Vagabonds commission and wanting to take a holiday, a phonecall came in from SOGA Taiwan. It was for a project titled Planetside Next. I think I screamed a bit. A combination of self-doubt, horror, and eventually facemelting joy followed by a frantic followup email and a test and the job was awarded to us at IFS! :) (Helped to be a fan and swearing on my life that I'd do my best to homage Planetside and update it respectfully, too.) It was then supposed to be just a revamp of Planetside, a sort of Planetside reimagined. Explains why you don't see glass cockpits on my vehicle concepts, that was an early creative decision when they weren't sure they wanted to show off the characters or not due to engine limitations (IIRC they wanted to vastly increase the player count with the same engine or something, so something had to give). I also chimed in saying it was fantastic idea, because we'd be able to create a truly hard-sci fi futuristic look where high end optics were commonplace, removing the need for fragile transparent components. A cold, hardened look that is reminiscent of drones. I still think its a great meaningful look, and I always feel kinda broken-hearted when I see how in the current iterations the cockpit areas of my designs got carved up into glass, because it was a real labour of love for myself, and the early team members (GM John Laurence, Programmer/PM Steve Wang, AD William B. Yeatts) that went into designing all that stuff.

While I may not agree aesthetically with those changes, I can definitely appreciate and understand why they went the direction of showing off glass cockpits and crew especially now that the project has the brilliant Forgelight engine to bring that world to life. (Don't get me wrong, if its an open canopied jeep or ATV by all means uncover it all, show the crew, the rawness and exposure has beauty too... just that my design approach at the time was simply based around the original principle of being a hardened cockpit coffin and the pilot buried behind layers of protection. To my mind, it is very hard to just swap a part out and change the context and expect the design to carry the same meaning anymore. Players might not ever care, but I just felt the need to say my peace on that tiny matter. :) )

So anyways, I spent almost an entire year (2009-2010) on the project. It was one of the most transformational periods of my life professionally and testing in my personal life as well; the relationships forged and artistic growth, the incredible brain drain endured along with the soaring creative highs, no money can buy any of that. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to have experienced it all and especially to have worked on the project of my dreams alongside some amazing people (credited above!), the game that made me a gamer. Can't wait to show more when I can and I sincerely hope my efforts have added to the joy of fans worldwide! Long live Planetside! :)

More on this piece:
-Credit to Steve Wang/John Laurence for supplying the brief and specifics for the weaponry and carrier functionality. Some of these ideas are so badass I wish they make it ingame.
-One idea for the carrier I had, was to have players take up the controls of the command tower, helping to guide in aircraft via laser strobes, acting as air traffic control to avoid accidents especially in a hectic conflict zone. Judging by the way air engagements are right now in Planetside 2 (not unlike 1) it seemed like a sensible choice plus it would reward players who enjoy taking up less glamorous roles and still be able to benefit with some kind of XP gain.
-The carrier would ideally be manned by 20-22 players, filling all stations. 20 for defence, 2 for command and control. One idea i had was that if the carrier was short on human players, that the Command and control positions could take 'manual master control' of all the guns on the carrier and have all the onboard weapons slaved to their reticles. Think freelancer and similar arcade space sims. That, or have the AI control individual turrets and prioritise fire based on threat level. Or have the Command staff 'Q/spot' targets for the AI to engage.
-The landing/catapult sequence would be mainly automated, after players bring their aircraft to the landing zone to the rear. One within a 'landing field' the aircraft would be computer controlled to assist in a neat and orderly landing pattern, minimising horrific pileups. This sequence would take the player through an automated rearm, repair sequence as they are taken the entire length of the carrier from stern to bow, after which they are locked onto the catapult hooks and launched out the front back into the fray.
-The open top wasn't something I went for initially, the original idea was a SPACE carrier that was fully concealed- but they wanted it to feel like a traditional seaborne carrier, and i think its grown on me quite a bit :)
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© 2012 - 2024 ukitakumuki
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KonungrVrael's avatar
Is it normal that we can't download with the app ?