Greetings warriors of Calradia!
A video game is made up of a number of key components which come together to create an interactive experience for the player. At the core lies the calculations and scripts which make the game operate and respond to the player’s input, but on the outer layer these operations need to be represented to the player in a way which makes sense and is easy to digest. This is where Graphic Artists step in, turning the cold plethora of numbers in to graphical representations of actions, characters and places to make the game visually come to life.
In this week’s blog we talk to Graphic Artist, Fatma Nadide Öçba. Nadide works on a number of different visual aspects of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, helping to relay information from the game to the player, in an immersive and appealing way.
Fatma Nadide Öçba
Kocaeli / Maşukiye, Turkey
Electrical Electronics Engineering + MSc in Medical Imaging (KTH, Stockholm) + 3D Modelling (Future Games Academy, Stockholm)
OFFICIAL JOB DESCRIPTION
2D/3D Graphic Artist
WHAT DO YOU NORMALLY DO DURING YOUR DAY?
My workflow consists of a number of steps to get an item from the design stage all the way through in to the game. I start by doing extensive research for references, with the vast majority of these being historical items, and they could be anything: books, pens, horse harnesses, torches, you name it… Then I prepare sketches or sometimes I photo bash, (this is a process where I gather photos which have the right colours, angles and references and then paint over them.) Following this I get approval from the game directors and turn these into 3D models for use in the game.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BANNERLORD?
I am a big fan of the really nice level designs, as well as the new game features. Each time there is a new shader, the game looks more beautiful.
Also, when I saw the effects of the cloth physics for the first time I was so hyped! Seeing the clothes and armours move according to world physics was so satisfying.
I also love playing with the atmosphere settings, it makes the props look realistic, (I love testing my horse harnesses with the atmosphere, they look so shiny… so precioussssss.) Salute to the engine coders and technical artists!
WHAT'S THE MOST DIFFICULT THING THAT YOU SOLVED SO FAR, DURING THE PRODUCTION OF BANNERLORD?
Sometimes, the integration of assets into the game can cause some minor problems, but I think I had the most difficulty with skinning my horse armours. I didn’t have much experience with skinning at the time, so it was a somewhat challenging, but fun, learning experience.
WHAT DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK ON?
I am tearing castles into pieces right now for siege. This isn’t exactly the most fun process, especially when trying to break down wooden towers, however I think player’s will really enjoy the end result when they are demolishing enemy towers!
WHAT FACTION DO YOU LIKE THE MOST IN BANNERLORD?
Aserai. I love the Middle-eastern, fairy-tale feeling to the cities of this faction. Dreamy.
DURING THE DESIGN PROCESS, DID YOU SIMPLY DRAW INSPIRATION FROM OUT OF THE BLUE, OR DID YOU USE EXISTING HISTORICAL/FICTIONAL SOURCES? AND IN EITHER CASE; WAS IT HARD TO STICK TO A CERTAIN "PERSONALISED" DESIGN AND NOT COPY TOO MANY ELEMENTS FROM EXISTING DESIGNS?
As I said before, we tend to stick to historical influences for our designs. But as an artist, of course one would like to be creative, so I usually try to add small ideas and imprint my own personality on to the design. There are also cases that I have to be creative, especially when I can’t find reasonable or enough resources for a functioning model, and so I have to engineer it myself.