We’ve Been Expecting You…
So for those of you who are too young to remember, Goldeneye was a Nintendo 64 game put together by Rare under the watchful eye of Nintendo. The game started off as a third person shooter with a lot more gore, until Shigeru Miyamoto stepped in and made some suggestions. Turns out they not only increased the frame rate but migrated the game in first-person territory.
The game stands out as an important one. Especially for those of us locked into the 30-40 year age bracket.
Goldeneye proved that the genre could not only work on a console platform, but thrive. Thanks to the analogue stick, Goldeneye was a rollercoaster of emotions – it was fun, frolics and pure hell as it tested the boundaries of friendships in the four player split screen Deathmatch mode.
Oddjob, a character that always caused arguments – a walking atlas ball with guns, but most would go prone whilst kneecapping opponents. Something deemed unforgivable, yet, a perfectly legal move.
This iteration of Bond really is the best and to this day there has not been one to rule them all. Nintendo with Rare, took one game and made it a smash hit. When EA acquired the license shortly after the they could never hit the same success despite numerous attempts. Even Activision couldn’t recreate the magic when they copied the original for the Wii.
Looking back the game has aged and not gracefully so, it’s okay and still playable. But it would require the most diehard gamer with a pair of rose tints to overcome some of the obsolescence.
I am of an opinion that Goldeneye is a game that is best remembered. Not replayed.
Step in Jude Wilson. Student with a penchant for Bond, video game environments and the Unreal Engine.
Revisiting popular Nintendo games with the Unreal engine has become something of a trend but when I saw Jude’s work it made reach out. For the first time in a long time seeing his rendition of the Facility map – there was a connection to the game I had not felt since playing in my yonder years.
I salute him for that.
I caught up with Jude to find out what his connection was with Goldeneye and why he decided to revisit a classic reimagined.
R.G.B: Hi Jude, thanks for catching up with us. Can we start with you telling us a little bit about yourself?
J.W: “Hi, my name is Jude Wilson, I am currently studying Games Design for a Master’s Degree at Sheffield Hallam University. I am half way through my third year. I’m a 32-year-old mature student that wanted a different career and this was my choice because I absolutely adore games and love being creative.
My aim is to become an environment artist/level designer one day, a dream scenario would be to work at Rare Ltd or Nintendo!
My gaming tastes today are actually RPG/action-adventure, I love the ‘Dark Souls’ games, ‘Castlevania’ and ‘Skyrim’. With that said though I also hold a dear place in my heart for retro games from Nintendo and Rare Ltd. My all time favourite games are ‘Banjo-Kazooie’ and ‘Tooie’. Anything by Rare Ltd really!”
R.G.B: What was it about ‘Goldeneye’ in particular that made you want to recreate the facility level in the unreal engine?
J.W: “Well, ‘GoldenEye’ is the game that I spent many hours on playing with my friends on the multiplayer mode and our favorite level was always the ‘Facility’. Blowing the huge cylinder tanks up with proximity mines was so fun, especially if you killed your buddies!
Basically, the piece I have created was for a university assignment, I was given four months to try to take a game that was roughly 15 years old and re-imagine a small scene to the standard of today’s games.
It wasn’t a tough choice, I knew straight away that I wanted to make a piece from the Facility level, mainly to give my friends something nostalgic to see and anybody else that played this game and loved it as much me and my friends did.
I hope I get a good mark.”
R.G.B: What was your process, and how long did it take?
J.W: “It took the whole four months to make. I was given the assignment around September 24th 2015 and I got straight to work on it within the same week. I finished it on the 3rd of January I think…
I start of by making the largest assets first. It’s really important to work large before going down to the small details. I used modelling software called 3DS Max and with that I started with modelling the whole corridor (no stairs) then importing that into Unreal Engine 4 (UE4).
I’d make really basic textures to put on the walls and floor just to get a feel then I’d dive straight into making the lighting. Lighting is so important, you must create that as soon as you have your scene’s basic (bare bones) lay out. Do this before you make any other assets because assets look different under different lighting. The worst thing is creating the lighting at the end and all the assets can look strange all of a sudden i.e. too dark, strange tint in the colours and incorrect reflections on surfaces.
I use Photoshop and Substance Designer to make the textures, the textures use Physically Based Rendering (PBR) and this is how the assets ‘look’ are made to look realistic. Each material normally consists of an Albedo map – The Colour, Normal Map – the 3D surface and cavities, bump basically.
Ambient Occlusion – the Shadows in the crevasses, ‘Metalness’ – is it metal? And the ‘Microsurface’ – how rough is the surface?
An artist will make these textures for every individual asset made. There are other textures too, but these are the bread and butter ones.
The lighting in conjunction with this is incredibly important for the textures to work properly and look correct.
I also had, to use correct scaling for the entire project. So, The doors are actually proper fire door style sizes, even the fire extinguishers on the walls are to the correct measurements.
So, the software I used was: 3DS Max – 3D Modelling, Unreal Engine 4.9.2 – the game Engine, Photoshop and Substance Designer – to create the textures, and finally, Marmoset Toolbag to test render the small asset’s with textures before moving them over to UE4.
I’m sorry if I’m confusing to anybody, it’s a lot to take in. I am going to upload a breakdown of the process (with imagery) for a small area very soon on my website.
To anybody that want’s to do this, I can’t stress enough how important going to University is. The knowledge I have learned there is invaluable. Also, before university, start off with getting your drawing skills up and have a play with the free 3D software; Blender. Blender will help you to get a small understanding and a head start in the 3D world. So, in a nutshell; experience with Blender and Photoshop then on to University!”
R.G.B: Are you looking to put these skills into the gaming industry or another artistic sector? What are your artistic aspirations?
J.W: “When I graduate, around May 2017 I think it is, I would love to become an Environment Artist in the Games Industry. That is my dream. I’ll try my best and give it everything for that chance.
R.G.B: What is your next project?
J.W: “My next project for now are the assignments for next semester starting January 18th. I am going to make a small castle ruin that is heavily inspired by Dark Souls.
The summer is when I will get some free time to spend on my own projects that I want to do. There’s a lot of freedom at University in the final years but there are always constraints and targets to stick to. I would love to go back to my ‘GoldenEye’ project and possibly make the famous toilet area! In fact next year, I get to choose what I want to make so I might even try to make another ‘GoldenEye’ level, maybe the Bunker or the Archives.
That would be awesome!”
R.G.B: Thank you for your time today.
Jude Wilson interview by Ash RGB_RetroBlog
You can visit Jude Wilson’s website here.
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