Not to beat a dead horse, but I feel I should better explain to the criticism I received for not contributing as much as was implied in TBS response thread, as well as show some screenshots. There was alot of things thrown at me, by multiple people, all at the same time. My lack of contribution to the games level design and art efforts seems to be the biggest criticism aimed at me, and one I want to address in more detail so their is no confusion on my contributions to the game. It would be great if the TBS art team would read this as well. Thank you.
Let me explain my role and contribution on the team in better detail. Leading up to my departure. I was responsible for the creation of 3d assets, textures, architecture and as well as Art Team Management. At the same time, I was also the only artist on the team who had even played Age of Chivalry, clocking in at over 1000 hours. I knew it’s mechanics and level design like the back of my hand, and what made those work, and what made those fun. Every single new recruit had never heard of the MOD, prior to joining, let alone played it. I even took it upon myself to make them load up the game and walk through it with them, just so they understood what they were supposed to be making.
And none of the artists on the team were able to do blockouts because of this, and also because they lacked experience in world building or level design, which was my primary job when working previously at BioWare on TOR.
Because of this I was funneled from only being a ‘3D Artist’, into doing level design and level art, setting up template levels for other artists to come in and take over. Similar to what Ben Wilson did for Battlegrounds by making it war torn once I established a solid foundation and vision for the map and it got handed off to him, and later what the artists who attacked me, did when they got handed my pre alpha, but still blocked out Stoneshill.
This was the natural progression of things, had I not created the foundation for these maps to be handed over for an art pass, they would never exist in there current form, if at all. I wish I had the luxury of being able to just sit back and do art passes like the art team guys did, but during the early stages of development, I took the burden of doing the dirty, but necessary work that no one else at that time could do or cared to do even if they could. The issue of having no level designers was a constant roadblock, and so I took it upon myself to do it, as I had a vision for the new directions the maps should go over the source version, with a more cinematic feel, better backround vistas, and more epic in nature.
Also, the one screenshot of battlegrounds that was shown in the attack against me thread, is the worst screenshot, from the worst possible angle among 5 other screenshots that look tons better. If you review the archive of my portfolio archive link pasted, you can see the other BG screenshots that show it was infact really fleshed out for being a pre alpha map, and resembled exactly the classic AOC version the map was initially inspired from with slight changes.
Battlegrounds pre Alpha-
This was never meant to be final art or layout. And most of the art that was in the map or that I created was used to still create the final version anyways, such as the windmill, and all the wood spikes, tents, wood shed, etc. Which is another reason I felt more than justified in putting final screenshots on my portfolio. The map still walked away with about 75% of my art and a majority of the layout.
Put simply, what I was assigned too was not just make simple 3d objects and texture creation, which I did do plenty of, way way more than is on my portfolio, but I also the dirty work of establishing a vision for the levels, constructing those levels, using Arena as a guideline, setting standards, reviewing all art assets that went through the artists. This is work that goes unappreciated but is necessary for the game to even get off the ground.
This is the work that allows artists such as those who attacked me, to go in and do a proper art pass, and even than these maps contained substantial artistic detail for being only a pre alpha. Way more than you would get at an actual studio. This gave new artists everything they needed to do their job, and also make that job as easy and streamlined as possible by myself.
On top of that, I spent half my day managing and reviewing art assets from the entire art team, mostly junior artists in charge of making props etc. I had to spend hours on screen share and voice chat, critiquing what they made, and more often than not, reworking or redoing there textures completely. It got to the point I felt like a full time professor, and it interfered with doing my own work which was always frustrating. This of course, is something that is easy to not get credit for, and TBS gave me none in their response post, despite being essential for the consistency in quality it ended up giving the final game and up the art done by dozens of artists up until my departure.Had I stuck or limited to only junior level 3d art, Chivalry would of had no levels for other artists to build from, because again, at that time we had no level designers who could do it, and the one we did end up getting, had never played AOC and was junior level, to say the least. From an outsiders view this can make it look like I did not do much, but this is far from the truth. I argue what I was doing, was just as critical and in many cases even harder than doing final art passes and layout changes that the TBS art team take credit for. With that said, both were equally important and the TBS art team did a great job finishing the levels.
I would even argue that my final levels would have looked just as good if not better in many areas, as the new artists took on a more ‘cleaner’ stylized cartoonish tone I was not a huge fan of. I felt maybe they had been playing a bit to much WoW, and it influenced there art, despite the architecture looking great. I even pleaded with Steve prior to the games release to make the characters textures look less stylized, which did get fixed, and the materials and textures less cartoonish. I highly suspect this is why many say things are inconsistent in the art style of the initial game compared to their expansion and second game Mirage, with the stylized, less dark and gritty art direction it ended up going.
Now I really am done speaking about this and moving on. Best to everyone, even those at TBS. My intention was to never ruin the reputation of your studio, only share my side of the story to those who cared to listen.
For the readers time, A very early first pass version of Tutorial level I blocked out, that was also later used as a template that TBS used to work from. Cheers.
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