WipEout Fury Developer Diary – Environment Design
A WipEout track is set in a utopian environment populated by stunning, cutting edge architecture enhanced by contemporary graphic design. This aesthetic is created by designing architectural forms that are influenced by abstract sculpture, structure in art and science, futuristic architecture, mecha detailing and contemporary product design.
To create the WipEout aesthetic our concept artists use a fluid design process that involves creating abstract shapes in 3D and bouncing work around the team from artist to artist to evolve and clarify the designs. This results in bold, abstract 3D structures, which are rendered and painted over with architectural detailing and placed into the context of a WipEout environment.
These concept images use the structures as set pieces, trackside furniture, tunnels etc and give the production team an idea of how they would look in game:
The positioning of objects in a WipEout environment is created by a design process called Dynamic Composition. The results can be likened to a piece of music providing the track with a visual melody, rhythm and harmony. This process involves sectioning the environment along the track to provide the fundamental flow of shapes that creates an interesting rhythm for the player. It includes strategically adding set pieces which provide focus for the player and then populates the track to create an enhanced game experience. The result is a dynamic environment that emphasises the feeling of speed and movement as a result of the rhythmic pattern of structures around the track and also focuses the players’ attention on set pieces.
WipEout Fury is all about the use of bold structural shapes which define the architectural forms. These structures are oversized so they register with the player as they accelerate past at high speed and their striking shapes become associated as icons of each track. Interlocking modular shapes & overlaid layered surfaces make best use of the lighting by allowing shadows to play over the structures, and sunlight to glint through the gaps. This gives the impression of a highly complex and richly populated environment which is enhanced by the use of hyper-real gleaming hi-tech surfaces.
That’s it from me! But here’s Tony (Games Director) and Paul (Producer), after the jump, with answers to some of your questions from the WipEout Fury ship update last week.
Myself and the WipEout team have noticed that you guys have a lot of questions about the forthcoming WipEout HD expansion pack, Fury. Here are the answers to the questions that we are currently able to answer.
Suzzopher: “Any idea on a launch date?”
A lot of people have asked us this and it’s lovely to hear that people are so keen to play Fury. I am happy to say that it is in the final phase of QA testing at the moment. Once this is completed we will be in a position to announce the release date here on the PlayStation Blog.
JacktehKnife: “I was wondering if they plan to introduce Home Game Launching in the future?”
Yes, we are looking into adding in Home Game Launching. We will have more news on this in the near future.
Brave9zero: “Will the new add-on modes (Zone Battle ETC) be playable in Split-screen?”
Hi Brave9zero. Of the three new game modes only Detonator is single player only. Zone Battle and Eliminator are tremendous fun in multiplayer both online and in split-screen. We routinely play Eliminator mode here in the studio just for fun. The carnage is unbelievable especially now that players can turn their ship around and attack opponents head-on. You’re going to love it.
Apolloeye: “With the new cockpit designs will you still be able to see the pilot in photo mode?”
Yes you will be able to check out the pilots using photo mode. We’re looking forward to seeing the shots you all take.
koolkid201: “Will there be any new HUDS coming with Fury?”
There are new HUDs for the new game modes. We had to design these from the ground up to ensure that the pertinent information is relayed to the player clearly. These HUDs are always used in the new modes regardless of which of the HUDs you have selected in the options. The reason for this is that it takes a lot of graphic design work, implementation and many, many iterations to get a HUD right. We simply didn’t have the time to make new game mode HUDs for the existing HUD themes nor did we have time to create any new cross-mode HUDs like those in the original release of HD.
silvio6silvio6: “If the ships are made from “new technology”, why not add new weapons too?”
We would have loved to have added new weaponry but the difficulty with doing this is that it would have unbalanced the game play. When developing a Wipeout game, perhaps the trickiest aspect to get right is the difficulty balancing. By its nature when you add randomly picked up weaponry to a race pretty much anything can happen and trying to make the game fair to the player while maintaining a challenging difficulty curve is very tricky indeed. Our design teams do amazing work in this area. So, if we had added new weapons to the new ships existing races would have been thrown out of whack, especially for people racing in the older ships.
- Paul & Tony