Star Wars - Redemption | 2nd Hotfix Demo Release v2.0

News / 13 October 2022


Hello there ! 

Here's what changed since the last update : 

- Turrets added on big star destroyers, they mostly try aiming the closest enemy battleships. Player can only destroy lucrehulk's turrets, as it's purely visual there is no big destroyer explosion (yet you'll feel the impress there are some big booms everywhere ;)). As usual, the rig/skin/anim is completely made on akeytsu

- Code has been partly optimized, in order to avoid CPU overhead, a lot of code logic now run through independent loops when objects spawns (mostly for flying levels actors) 

- Added better self-destruct sounds, so you can hear plasma blasts dying near you when you fly under heavy shots 

- Added lights to the biggest explosions in space combat (destroyers blasts & player's missiles), this to bring more immersive surfaces 

- Optimized a few of the VFX used for explosions, so you can have more at the same time at a cheaper cost 

- Added random spawn to flying maps, since levels offers tons of places to have magnificent fights. To reach a new point quicker than flying on it, just to restart the level, and you'll have a chance to spawn elsewhere 🙂 

- Fixed Jedi Purge heavy FPS drop (was due to volumetric clouds in the sky, they are now simple 2D clouds, effect remains the same but costs much less to process 

- Revised all flying levels "battle strategic placements" of star destroyers. Mostly so you can see them sending all their firepower to their enemies ^^ Also adjusted spawn of starfighters AI 

- Reworked the projectile's logic of the player's starfighter, so they no longer keep existing after a collision. Also, the code is now optimized through loops instead of using event tick (that was a bit bad for performances) 


There's still some bugs & strange behaviours, but as is it's extremely satisfying to mess with ^^ 

...Again, A BIG THANK YOU for bringing so much love to this project, the last year have been quite hard for me and the love you brought to the project always helped me to keep going forward. I/We love you ♥

New character available, please welcome Vira !

News / 13 October 2022

Hello folks !

Today I want to bring on a very exciting news, as the 3D character Vira joins the pool of available characters you can get and animate.

She features a cool hairstyle, a light mantle and a curious saber, perfect to animate some fights (against e-LysE ? ;)), this plus little details you can animate to give her even more life. She also offers the standard facial rig setup I use to bring on my recent characters, so you can give her some personality, even if it remains quite simple (it's a game-res model ;)) 

As for other assets, she comes with a ready-to-animate rig on akeytsu, as well as some animation samples, so you can have a first idea on how you could animate her.

You can grab her directly here : https://artstn.co/m/K5rNJ

She also comes with skin variants, so depending on your taste, you can render her with your favorite one ! You can see all the skins below :


Vira comes in custom EULA and Akeytsu Lover licenses. Please note that the "Akeytsu Lover" license only provides the akeytsu rig (no PBR textures, yet of course Vira has her template default texture in akeytsu so you can see what you animate ;)). This variant license also exists on most assets, so if you enjoy akeytsu and simply want more rigs to mess with, here's your chance ;)


That's all for this small news ! Please spread the word, and have fun on akeytsu ♥ 

Star Wars - Redemption | Hotfix Demo Release v2.0

News / 28 September 2022

Hello there !




As promised, since the SWR 2.0 release of July/August 2022 here is a hotfix coming up to...well, fix things. But not only ;) I'll let you read all the details below, have a good read and, if you want to test all these things, simply download the demo, once again (really sorry for unstable or slow internet connections !)




- Blaster shots no longer collides with each other (this could prevent parry to send back a shot well blocked but cancelled by an opposite one)

- Enemies can now shoot you up & down. So each level has become quite dangerous now you can no longer escape through jumps

- when they die, enemies/Jedi knights no longer leaves a hidden capsule on the ground. This was preventing AI to find its navigation path

- Jedi Knights has more life than before (+33%)

- when you or a Jedi knight hit or parry a shot to an enemy, the target now gives a proper hit feedback (hand animated instead of simulated)

- Added the Jedi Purge bonus level, reachable only if you die in the bonus levels section

- Added Audio settings (Music, voice, ambient, SFX sound layers can be adjusted at will)

- Added pause menu>controls when you're in a starfighter level, so you can learn how to pilot this thing

- Made the UI On/Off persistent (but only per game session). Useful if you want to play without having to remove the UI before making screenshots every time you change a level

- Fixed a "red" door could open while she should remain closed in lucrehulk

- Fixed Vertex paint, was too black on some updated models of both Training Room's walls

- Fixed stairs and nearby models that weren't properly welded in both training rooms

- Fixed Jedi as they could receive decals from the environment

- Fixed a few of the UI translation (French) was issued

- Fixed a few walls that were having no collision in Lumberian Dungeon (bonus level)

- In Lumberia Dungeon, some areas of the ceiling were open and that has been fixed too

- You could still be able to fall down in space if you walked near the Venator hangar force field and stayed static while falling. Now you'll die if you jump into space

- Modified Jedi numbers in levels (generally increased), so you can see them more often and fight alongside them

- Modified Navigation mesh on some areas, so the AI can navigate easier through these pathways

- Modified 501st Clones so now they can spawn in the intermediate sections of the vent tunnels (Jedi Archives)

- Optimized Lights in the Venator hangar level (this issue was causing a huge drop of fps)

- Added new Main Menu (with a supercool music I wanted initially on the V2 trailer ^^ btw if you want to know a music title in the game, I've listed everything in the credits section, you can find them on popular music streaming apps, I recommend you audio network if you never looked at it, it's a fantastic place to find the perfect music for your project =))

- Improved the default idle of Mevenn (so she looks less...uh, obviously looping in the menu ? haha

- Improved backgrounds of Geonosis, Venator Hangars & Venator 66 by adding a few starfighters having fun far far away + minor fixes in galaxy sky holes

- Added random starting points if and only if you've reached the endgame (else it would've broken player's first exploration experience)



Now I should not spend much more time on the demo, maybe I'll work back on the scenario then, or maybe even not, I don't know ^^" I wish you the most pleasant time in this little game demo =)

Des Bisous ♥ Et que la Force soit avec vous !

Star Wars - Redemption | Demo Release v2.0

News / 31 July 2022

Hello folks !

Here's a wonderful news, as today is the release of the last update of  Star Wars - Redemption project. Still for free (as it's a fan game and just a little demo)



Like in the past, please take the time to read the following lines before getting the demo :

- First ! The FAQ ;) https://www.artstation.com/blogs/vexod14/WzLz/star-wars-redemption-frequently-asked-questions

- The demo is given for free, all you need to do is to register here on artstation, go to my store here : https://artstn.co/m/y138n and pick the demo. If you want to share the demo to a friend, please share the link to the free product instead of copying files on a USB key, it helps me having an idea of how many players tested it (it should also help reporting bugs later on, tracking who gets what...etc. Thanks in advance)
I wish you will enjoy exploring this little project ! If you already have bought it, then simply head over the links and the update will be there, right next the 1.0 version ;)

- Since it's "inspired by" star wars (but not only), you may recognize environments, starfighters, destroyers...etc. Yet I didn't want to stick to existing designs at a "fanatic"-precision, so you may notice differences between official designs and those from Redemption

- As I mentioned several times, this update 2.0 of the demo will be the last. Please understand that I, as well as my friends who helped me on this update, are legitimately in despair need of fresh air and holidays. The demo has been at least made on our spare time and in my case, often during in-between jobs "like" a real one, except I could work drastically more per day. What you see took a lot of time, efforts, to a small group of peoples and there's no magic here, only hard work, and luck from time to time to get things working as expected by accidentally hitting the good button haha.

- Speaking of friends who helped me, let me introduce them again ! Laurent Dessart, he helped me on blueprints parts I wanted to code myself, and implemented great features to the demo like the Jedi Knights with a solid randomization system, savegame for ForceGhosts count, Critical hit chance, or the OST switcher. Thomas Chaumel, was here to animate Mevenn, Battledroïds B1 & Starfighters, as well as doing 5 nice shots for the trailer last year. For this update, he polished Mevenn animations (Attacks, jumps, idles...etc) and animated the Jedi Knights ! Last but not least, Thibaut Hunckler, was also here like Laurent to guide me through code logic in blueprints. Thanks to him, we now have the possibility to attack enemies and see them die, especially with a dash (whish is super cool to use ^^)

- The game should run fine on most configs and now offers real ways to cut off ressources at runtime, so if you feel your PC is struggling, head over the Options and try changing the global quality, as well as reduce the resolution to 75% or less. This should greatly help. Yet, if your hardware is too old, some functions may not work properly and the game may crash or simply refuse to launch itself (but that should be only for 10y+ computers). Settings are applied each time you modify them, no longer needs to restart the level ;)

- We tested the demo on a 2080 RTX with a i7 9th Gen & 8GB of RAM, so if you've got this (or better) it's good ! By default game quality is set to Epic, the "Ultra" mode is here for "Cinematic" quality, but is visually not this better, only sharp trained eyes will see a difference.

- You'll find an update list in the shared folder, if you want to read all that's been added to the initial release (I won't put this here as it may spoil some parts and is, honestly, quite long/boring to read ^^")

- Also, good news for english readers : the ArtBook now has a translated version =)

This last public release is here to polish the demo part of the project, still as a simple tribute to the fantastic & inspiring StarWars universe. We hope you'll like it and that you'll have some fun with it =)


Now I'll go take some sleep before well deserved holidays, if I don't answer that's normal, I'm out of screens =)

Des Bisous ♥

Star Wars - Redemption | Work in Progress #19

Work In Progress / 29 July 2022

Salut à tous (haha, en français cette fois les gars !)

This one will be full FR, because why not =)

Donc, petite mise à jour de la progression de la démo.

Pour commencer, je suis heureux de vous présenter la "version SWR" du chasseur Naboo N-1, pour les besoins de la démo je n'ai pas fait tous les détails du cockpit ce qui simplifie pas mal de choses à commencer par le rendu (pas de transparence=pas besoin d'animer/modéliser le reste).
Vous pourrez l'admirer sous toutes les coutures dans un nouveau hangar du Venator ;)

Je n'exclus pas de faire le cockpit plus tard, notamment pour la version marketplace du modèle car c'est un peu un must-have quand on veut filmer du dogfight un minimum sérieux.

Ce vaisseau a probablement le design le plus léché de la saga, et a donc été un des plus compliqués à cerner. Il y a énormément de lignes de force, de courbes, et de simplicité qu'on peut difficilement le rater, ça demande toutefois pas mal d'observation et c'est une autre paire de manches que de foncer tête baissée dans la création d'un décor.

Voilà un apperçu de ce que ça donnait en jeu il y a un bon mois avant ce post (ça a un peu évolué depuis ;)). Notez que le mode combat spatial, qui n'est dispo qu'en bonus, a été codé par mes soins ^^ C'était un énorme point manquant depuis la création du jeu, et je n'aurais jamais penser m'y coller ni atteindre quelque chose d'aussi amusant à jouer (ça reste trèèèès simple et imparfait, mais c'est déjà chouette d'avoir tout ça !)

Ensuite, viennent les Commandants Clones ARC Troopers Phase 2. J'en ai créé un par armée intégrée à la démo. On a donc ceux de Kamino (les "blancs", pas vraiment de gros marquage sur l'armure, ils sortent quasiment de l'usine)


Puis ceux de Coruscant, les "Shock troopers". Ce seront aussi eux qui vous embêteront dans Lumberia. Parce-que le rouge se détache bien du vert avant tout ! Cohérence graphique oblige, on adapte le scénario après (ça va pour le coup rien de compliqué : on est post Ordre66 et les Jedis sont traqués. L'armée Clone est démantelée et ne subsistent un temps que ceux vraiment proches du pouvoir, des postes clés ou des missions importante, donc en toute logique on croiserait soit des Shock troopers, soit des Kamino troopers, avant de passer à du Stormtrooper =) Que je ne suis pas prêt de faire, j'aime pas des masses ces armures retro, vous savez mon amour pour la prélogie et ses designs ;))

Ensuite on a la 414ème (ceux de Mevenn, notez que je n'ai pas fait Maxonn/Axe'L/Crusher et RedJaws. Je me réserve la liberté scénaristique de les faire évoluer plus tard. RedJaws notamment, passera outre l'ordre 66 et son histoire se poursuivra sur un arc relativement indépendamment des rebelles/empire)


Et enfin la 501ème (qu'on verra bien évidemment dans les Archives). Je vous avoue que la tentation de faire un des clones bien connus de la série était très, très grande. Mais ça collait pas, j'essaie d'être raccord autant que possible avec ce qui se passe dans l'univers canon, et l'une des grandes astuces est de tout simplement mettre en place l'histoire dans de nouveaux décors (comme par exemple Lumberia). En revanche dès qu'on plonge dans des lieux connus il faut faire gaffe (et je suis presque sûr que malgré toutes les précautions que j'ai prises il y aura des incohérences...bref). Le tout c'est de pas passer 15 ans à vérifier trop dans le détail mais tenter plutôt de capturer l'essence du lieu, l'ambiance, qu'on s'y sente un peu comme dans les films et les séries, rapidement (et puis bon, je vous rapelle que je suis seul à faire tout ça haha, j'ai pas le temps de niaiser comme on dit !)

Ces clones ont pour but de servir d'ennemis + coriaces, mais également d'habiller certains décors. Il s'agissait aussi de compléter la base de chaque armée, il manque encore pas mal de spécialisations comme les pilotes, mais ils sont moins importants pour le gamedesign.

Ils sont à la fois une mise à niveau côté modélisation (+ d'équipement) mais j'ai également revu l'ensemble pour créer les peintures de guerre, histoire de conserver un maximum de cohérence. L'ARC Trooper de la 414ème a un peu + de détails que les autres, je voulais faire un mix entre l'armure de Mevenn et celle des Clones Troopers réguliers de la 414ème, en accentuant les clins d'œils jeux de formes qu'on lit sur l'armure Phoenix et en ajoutant + de couleurs (Mevenn garde le violet sombre pour elle, histoire de la garder démarquée)


Ces ARC troopers sont modulaires, comme les Jedis. On peut donc créer plusieurs variantes facilement =)

Viennent ensuite de l'amélioration de niveaux (enfin...disons que j'ai pété des murs pour voir + grand =D)

Geonosis

Probablement le niveau le + barbant (bah oui, y a pas un pèt de véget, c'est tout plein de sable, ça manque de vie...) bref, fallait améliorer ça !
Et comme l'été dernier j'avais posé vite fait un potit bout de concept pour une sorte de gouffre avec des tuyaux et tout et tout, je me suis mis à plancher là-dessus...quasiment depuis le mois d'août 2021. Je sais. Un an, c'est long. Mais je ne suis pas resté bloqué sur le syndrome de la page blanche, non, je l'ai habillement laissé de côté pendant des mois (haha, astuce du chef !), le temps que ça infuse dans ma tête, que je trouve quelque chose de cohérent, un angle d'attaque. Et ça s'est résolu en deux trois soirées (le + long a été de s'y mettre, j'ai enlevé des morceaux que je pensais vitaux, de bonnes idées mais impossibles à faire pour le moment faute de temps...et c'est rentré nickel !) L'extension n'est pas géante mais elle offre un petit supplément plutôt sympa à explorer, ça reste une "petite" map ^^



Le plus gros morceau étant...le Temple de Lumberia. Enfin !

Pour la petite histoire, je fais des recherches graphiques sur ce temple depuis 2018, je suis même passé par une construction à base de Kappla haha ^^" Mais assez tôt, je voyais un Temple dans Lumberia, un peu comme dans un Indiana Jones ou un Tomb Raider/Uncharted. Mais dans l'univers Star Wars. C'était dès le départ un casse-tête sur le plan technique. Comment j'allais pouvoir texturer un décor aussi gros ? Sans qu'on ne distingue la répétition des textures ou de gros pixels ? Faire des décors de cette taille pour un jeu demande de la patience, et beaucoup de recherche. Si je ne l'ai pas fait à l'époque, c'est que je manquais de connaissances sur la façon dont créer des décors pour du jeu-vidéo. Alors oui, j'en avais fait pour divers projets, et ça tournait très bien, mais jamais je n'avais envisagé de faire un bloc aussi colossal, et pendant longtemps eh bien, j'ai laissé ça de côté. J'avais le temple au loin, enfin, une ébauche, un test. Mais je ne savais pas par où commencer. Et au final, ça a été le déclic juste après avec tombé la salle des serveurs dans les archives. Pas besoin de faire des tonnes de textures, juste viser les couleurs qui fonctionnent bien, rester subtil aussi. Car de loin il ne fallait pas que ce soit un pâté de pixels. J'ai aussi eu une idée qui m'a motivé l'an dernier ; des piliers "fleurs". Même si quelque part on est pas tout-à-fait dans ce que j'avais en tête, ce point m'a permis de donner une âme à ces lieux et je pense que c'était ce qui manquait pour savoir comment dérouler le reste du temple.
Autre point important : l'architecture. Je voulais que ça fasse cathédrale, mais sans connotation catholique ou autre, juste cathédrale avec de longs piliers et une voute impressionnants. Et quitte à faire, de partir sur un mix avec une pyramide triangulaire. J'aime bien, parce qu'un triangle est une forme élémentaire et quand on s'y promène, chaotique. C'est moins évident qu'avec une base carrée ou rectangulaire, et ce chaos apporte du mystère au décor. Pourquoi les Lumbériens ont-ils fait ça ? Comment s'y repérer ? Quel était leur culture dans ce coin reculé de la galaxie ? Qui a allumé tous ces cierges ? (haha. Bon, c'est moi. Je trouvais déjà ça étrange dans Diablo, mais ça reste excellent pour l'ambiance !)

(Excusez le framerate pas dingue, j'ai toujours un souci avec le setup d'OBS et c'est balo, parce-que mon PC est loin d'être à genoux ^^") 



Lumberia a été un terrain de jeu fantastique pour créer des coins féériques, et je pense que je pourrais pousser le délire beaucoup plus loin si jamais je bossais à nouveau dessus plus tard. C'est un peu une planète magique où on peut se permettre des écarts temporels assez profonds, et où la nature omniprésente est empreinte de magie, de rêve. Et puis y a des champignons qui sautillent ^^


En parallèle de ça, Thomas a créé de nouvelles animations pour Mevenn. C'est une feature sympa qu'on retrouve dans beaucoup de jeux, parfois très vieux même (comme Rayman 2), Mevenn peut désormais jouer des animations après un certain temps. C'était l'occasion pour Thomas et moi de faire autre chose que des idles simples, et si j'ai lancé beaucoup d'idées et fait les premières versions de nombre d'entre elles, heureusement pour vous, les anims finales ont été soigneusement faites par Thomas. Et il est bon, le bougre

En voici un bref aperçu :

Autre point très, très, mais alors très important : la gestion des projectiles.

Avant, c'étaient de vrais passe-murailles et les ennemis pouvaient se tuer entre eux, on avait donc un gameplay à la fois super simple (dans les plaines) et super chaud (dans les couloirs, car imprévisible). Désormais, les ennemis ne peuvent plus s'infliger de dégâts entre eux (ce qui vous force à les attaquer) et leurs tirs sont bloqués par l'environnement, avec un joli effet d'impact que j'ai adoré faire =) (mon tout premier =D)

Dernier point : les outils du photographe (bon, pas aussi poussés que dans la vraie vie, mais suffisamment costauds pour vous permettre de prendre de beaux screenshots, bien cadrés =))


On retrouve donc la règle des tiers, la spirale du nombre d'or et les diagonales (non-visibles ici, la capture date pile d'avant que je rajoute ces overlays), ainsi qu'un offset de la caméra qui permet de modifier la position de Mevenn dans le cadre (voire ne pas la cadrer du tout pour juste capturer le décor). On a également un focus qu'on peut soit maintenir en auto (il fera alors systématiquement la mise au point sur Mevenn peu importe la distance), soit en free, pour faire de la macro par exemple(les textures s'y prêtent bien en général). Et enfin un changement du FOV, qui permet d'aplatir ou d'élargir la perspective et par la même occasion d'accentuer l'effet de profondeur de champ (ça n'accentue pas vraiment l'effet, mais on le ressent + si le FOV est bas=perspective aplatie, les éléments flous seront "plus proches" de ceux nets ;))

Bon, et le tout devrait être dispo very, very bientôt. Des Bisous, et que la Force soit avec vous ♥

Star Wars - Redemption | Work in Progress #18

Work In Progress / 13 April 2022

Hello there ! (one day I should stop beginning with this ^^")

It's been many months since you heard about SWR. But as I said, I want to bring a more finished version of the demo =)
it will still be just a demo, any kind of real game isn't planned, and I'll be switching to another project once SWR demo will be done

So, what's up ?

A few levels, in terms of pure art. Just cause I wanted to bring on more levels now I've defined a solid way to produce them =) (And you probably don't know my penchant for making overkill details & stuff no one but me will notice x)) New levels added consists in :

Jedi Temple on Coruscant, showing magnificent blue holobooks, one of the high places of Order 66. I found cool to create this interior environment,it was like playing the sims except you can craft everything you want. I learnt a lot while making this, especially on the texturing process. Making env. Art is definitely a technical problem to solve first, making sure your shaders meets most requirements, having the good texture palette (that's how I see an atlas, just a painter's color palette. Offering enough texel density & surfaces when covering most of the room).I initiated this level last year for just a single shot of the trailer, keep in mind that I simply wanted to show like... a wall behind Mevenn, and perhaps a balcony and a sculpted bust. I ended up making the whole place. It's always like that, I plan a little thing, then I add a lot over the first idea. Pfew !

I started off with a simple shape to kinda mimic the good old battlefront 2 level from Pandemic, just to have a starting point for the servers blocs. Then I brought a box around them and started to build some things. I wanted to bring the player close to the server towers in confined clusters, that's why you see a 1st floor. And this was only a starting point made roughly at the end of the day. Next was about to be much more exciting and it brings the Archives level to another pleasing state of nostalgia exploration. Archives was already good as is and "Servers Room" was only meant to be a bonus, for when I will have time to build it... and I finally added this to the level in nearly a little week of work (put apart the Jedi Statue sculpts ^^)


Statues are completely using the Jedi characters assets I made before them, but they are static and uses only a single UVSet without mirroring/overlapps, since I wanted to control completely the surface and avoid unwanted "butterflies" patterns. There came a wonderful tool of 3DCoat : UVs. Cool point is they are synced with paint layers, so if you rearrange them, 3DCoat will automatically bake old texcoord to new one for each layer. It's awesome how it saves a lot of time ! This way I could simply repack my textures per statue, reduce drawcalls and improve the final look while keeping normalmap/AO baked data =) It's wonderful ! An important point to keep in mind when doing this is to avoid to rotate or flip UV islands, else you will break the bake of your normalmaps. And don't worry, you'll see jedis next in the post ;)



Just because "pourquoi pas ?" =D Simply the Roughness render pass. These clones look terrific !
Star Wars - Redemption is an overgrown original idea. (You can note that somewhere ; In French I would say "c'est une idée originale qui n'arrête pas de partir trop loin". Haha)

Next environment is the "Lucrehulk's Corridors", giving the demo a deeper Prelogy mood. I loved crafting this level, as it's the first memory I have of the entire Star Wars franchise. Yep. I didn't start with A New Hope but with Phantom Menace, the first shots over Naboo, Qui-Gon Jinn & Obi-Wan slicing BattleDroïds with John Williams music to emphasize the whole thing...this has rapidly become a strong good memory.
In case you wonder, yes, I love both trilogies but the prelogy is definitely my favourite one for dozens of reasons (if you want to discuss this...let's go in the comments ^^")

So here is a little glimpse at the last assets I did for the level, but it's globally the same routine : Roughly lay out ideas in 3dsmax with a quick blockout, test "Lego" pieces and see if it feels right, then start the pipeline...
Make a texture palette, model assets, unwrap, integrate. Done

Except here I wanted to refine a technique I used on Lumberia Assets : make use of a second UVmap to add dirt over the base surface. This greatly helps selling the asset as part of its world and not just a 3D asset with tiling stuff everywhere. Making big environments of course you will use tiles a lot, but it's better if you can hide them as much as possible. One solution would be to make everything by hand on a 8K map, pretty un-optimized and not the best time saver...another is to mix UVs to actually texture your asset, using fewer maps. Like really fewer. It's also way faster than painting 8K maps per asset of course ;) I keep this for really important props and characters, but tiles are textured the same way : by hand. Smartmaterials are a base, just a base. It's up to you to take your best brushes and give these automated texture a better & more personnal look ;) The diff with how I approached this technique on Lumberia is on details put into the dirtmap. Lumberia has a shy paint look, I wasn't completely sure of the direction I wanted to take, and I had only straight dirt gradients. A lot of variants, colors...etc, but here what really helped me is I decided to add circular and rectangular dirt shapes, and when you have domes, boxes and curved areas, this rapidly becomes helpful. Else it simply requires more vertices on the geometry, just to support a second UVmap...I don't like it, especially if I can avoid it.

Here's the comparison of with and without this "Dirt" effect :

Looks better, right ?

Now here's how it looks once polished :







Also new characters, such as these R2 Units, with cool animations to enjoy of course. Animation is a fun part of game art I learnt to enjoy thanks to Akeytsu. Anim - I think - is often misunderstood compared to modeling or texturing. Sadly, it's probably the most interesting part =P. That's where things get alive at their deepest level. Especially an important point to keep in mind if you're in 3D. I've been making tons of environments & characters, but being able to animate them gave a new dimension to my work. I can finally give life to them, it's a really special feeling ♥

You can view more R-Units here : https://www.artstation.com/artwork/G881qd




Jedis are also coming in, as I want to populate levels a bit more. Since I wanted to have some being's species, I made a few variants, mostly for the head. Here is a line-up showing globally every "asset". I can mix them to get a lot of unique characters. To spice up a little more the cocktail, I've made 5 new lightsaber hilts, inspired mostly by Prelogy designs. The double hilt is my favorite (don't hesitate to tell which one you love the most in the comments ;) ). Of course I can change blade colors at will, and each Jedi can handle both right/left sabers (even 2 doubles, like Krell) so there are a lot of possibilities. Here are a few shots, but you can have a closer look at them here : https://www.artstation.com/artwork/OmxKZg
As always I used akeytsu to rig/skin/pose the characters, I continue to encourage every animator to get their hands on it. Please note that akeytsu is going to have a free version soon, so you should be able to mess with all the rigs I did in their very best conditions =) Also yes, these Jedis are about to come on my stores aslike Mevenn, clones, and any fan-arts : under limited/standard & editorial licenses only (no-commercial. Still cool for your personnal training and offers wider actor choices for anim challenges ;))

Two little tips about skinning though =) I don't remember if I've said this somewhere else, but : use QUADS. But only for skinning, else it's simply a non-sense (especially when you rely on normalmap bakes), always remember geometry is made of triangles, not quads. Quad mesh facilitates skinning for a simple reason : smooth algorithms. When you smooth a vertex weight, you basically ask the software to look at nearby vertices weights and lean towards their values, this way you'll reduce the gap between them and reach a smoother joint influence through your mesh. Nearby vertices are defined by connected face, using a quad you preserve edgeloops & flow, so your texture remains nice when deformed. If you smooth a triangulated mesh, things can rapidly become bad. But don't worry, you can of course skin roughly your triangulated model, then transfer skin on a remeshed model to fix weavy weights, and transfer back to your tri-mesh =) No need to have the best flow ever, just quads and a model at least as dense as the final one, also no UVs needed here, as we only need it to support skinning data ;) 


Second tips : use "global" retopo to ensure smooth connection between cloth parts/layers. Here I had to keep the cloth bands following the Pelvis/Stomach/Spine/Torso, so I used a global mesh underneath to copy/paste skinweights, then I removed influences from shoulders and gave them to extra cloth joints. Just so I can adjust these parts if needed and avoid them to always depends on arm-cloth. If the jedi is in a relaxed pose, then I need to keep the shoulder cloth up =)
Also, as I wanted to have modular possibilities on my character like changing the lenght of the sleeves, their meshes needed to be split out of the main body part. Thanks to the same global mesh I could transfer the connected area weights and avoid having ugly seam when deforming each sleeves =)
Finally,if you look closer you can see meshes only has one side. This simply helps keeping final mesh thickness cause I'll source a single vertex for two targets, so both will end up with the same weights and reduce drastically front/backfaces overlapp fights



Isn't she beautiful with these skinweights ? Fun fact : twilek version wasn't planned at all. It was... (guess what ?)

A bonus. Hohoho =) But a really good one, that's my favorite version of the female Jedi Knight ♥






The whole texture painting job is done on 3DCoat, except for baking (Marmoset Toolbag 4)
Using smartmaterials here : https://www.artstation.com/a/548911 as a base. I highly encourage artists to take control over their textured asset, don't let smart material do the job, it's always better when you can feel the human artisan's craft =)


Below are some old WIP shots of the male version, the outfit colors wasn't good yet and I didn't paint over the leather of the boots. It looks a bit better once finished ;)

I wanted to bring a more painterly look to the base color (I really loved what Fortiche Prod did with Arcane. Animation is awesome, but what bugged me even more was the painterly look they managed to put everywhere, it's extremely fine, precise, aaaaand wild/bold at the same time. I love it so much ♥ So as overwatch did back in 2016/2017, Arcane inspired me)

To finish, please keep in mind that this is still WIP and subject to change/evolve up to an unkown level, it actually depends on how much time I can pour into the project. I'm working hard on it (like never before) since early March of this year, and I wish things will be over as soon as possible. But I don't plan to release something i'm not proud of.

Cheers, et que la Force soit avec vous =)

des Bisous ♥

Some news =)

News / 19 November 2021

Hello there !  


It's been a while and I'm not coming back with fantastic stuff, although projects I'm working on are still evolving in a solid way, but I also wanted to let you know that now you can support me whenever you want through paypal

This helps me doing more creative & personnal art on my spare time :)
(If you're a 3D artist/animator, you may prefer to get some 3D assets in exchange, so don't hesitate to take a look to my store. I'm also regularly participating to ArtStation Sales so keep an eye on it ;))


I don't take the time to express it, but thank you a lot for your support. The big wave of love you showed to Star Wars Redemption, Maewenn, Syblast, e-LysE and many other art posts shows how much it's important to keep going and thrive to achieve always better stuff. While I don't know what the future holds, I want to explore new universes, which means star wars fan arts will take less room. But don't worry : I still want to do a stylized Darth Maul and at least one custom PodRacer with a lot of super cool technical pipes and pannels ;)

Yet, returning to more stylized pieces, probably in fantasy, is what I'm deeply looking for...

About "SWR" (I hope you guess what I'm talking about ;))

The v1.4 of the demo has shown many issues we are fixing since August in addition to little gameplay improvements, yet it will remain a demo, so don't expect an AAA game. The months since release have been once again a one-dev-army time, where I did everything, including Blueprints & Animation. Thomas is no longer able to animate on the project due to personal difficulties, yet he contributed one last time two months ago with a cool idle and a few adjustments on gameplay attacks. Not sure he will be back on the animation until the next & last update. Thibaut has recently jump back on blueprints, this helps me focus back on art stuff (and that's most welcome !)
You can gather a few infos on what's going on by watching out my twitter/twitch posts & videos (simply search for "vexod14"), but I prefer to hold in the dark most of the new stuff incoming ;)

But, well...here's a little wip of one of the many things I'm working on :


The model you see is the final lowpoly asset, I love using parallax heightmap in addition to normal map to restitute highpoly volumes, it works so well in Marmoset Toolbag 4 =)
I didn't put all his little gadget-arms, only those which really impacts gameplay possibilities and global silhouette (he can still hack doors, fly with mini-jetpack-arms or electrify an opponent. Not sure all these will be in the demo ^^")

I'll be streaming soon the texturing process on 3DCoat, and I'll probably make an R2-D2 skin (I have the "canvas" to make it, I won't use it in game because I have litterally nowhere to put R2 and say "it could happen !", but crafting a fan art is always a good way to learn on design part, to impreign more of the art direction you try to follow and express your own way through it later =))



I still do not plan on working more on the demo once this last version will be published, as I think I need to fly on other & preferably smaller projects. Even if I've learn a lot with SWR, it's time to put all these new skills on more personal projects =)

Also, I'm thinking about making a Patreon since probably two years now, but I still need to define what I'll be doing with it, tutorials perhaps ? Or maybe concept art ? Commented making-of videos ? Feel free to tell me what you would like to see, this will surely help !

Des Bisous ♥


- Vexod14 -

Star Wars - Redemption | Frequently Asked Questions

General / 22 September 2021

Hello there !


After seeing tons and tons of similar askings on the Trailer and many other places, I figured out a little problem :  I never made an FAQ, so here it is :3

Q : how do I download the demo ?

A : once you've got the free product from my store here on artstation (go on my profile>store),downlad the .txt file, open it and follow links provided in it



Q : how do I update the demo ?

A :It's not an auto-updater, you have to download the archive file again. What is updated is the content inside both of the folders you have access to, it doesn't download modified files and install them for you, you have to do this.
Pay attention to the fact I bring some hotfixes, if the file has been recently modified, something fixed is in it (I may warn on my social media channels such as youtube, twitter...etc, you can find me @vexod14)



Q : How do I install the game ?

A : there's no need to install it. Simply :
1) Unzip the archive file somewhere on your PC
2) go in : "[Build Version number]\WindowsNoEditor folder"
3) double-click on "StarWarsRedemption.exe"



Q : The link said it reached daily quota, but I want to play the demo !

A : When something new comes in,there's often a first rush of users. First weeks are expected to regularly reach quotas, so if you can't get the demo yet, first, try all links. Then wait a few days and try again when there will be less download demands.



Q : Why not putting the demo on steam then ?

A : because it would require too much things to setup the project there, meaning time spent not on dev. I don't want to do this for the demo



Q : Why lightsabers are floating, is it a bug ?

A : It's not a bug, but it comes from a software limitation first of all. Back in the days, akeytsu had no "Space-Switching" feature, meaning that you had to choose where the saber hilt will be attached forever. In-hand was problematic, cause making the saber fly on its own implied tracking it frame-by-frame manually. Instead, we choosed to attach it to the character's root, so except if we decide to move the root, the hilt would live freely. What's important then is that you can make wider movements, so you have a greater range of possibilies for Mevenn's animations and I can tell you that Thomas & I really loves that. We do not plan on sticking it to the hand even if that's possible, it would mean a degradation of both Mevenn's powers and what she can offer to us animators.


Q : Is this a game ? 

A : Yes, but not only. This project could derivate in a film, a serie, whatever as it serve the main purpose of telling a cool story =)



Q : Which engine is used to make the demo ?

A : Unreal Engine 4



Q : Do you plan on porting it to Unreal Engine 5 ?

A : Maybe, but currently there's some issues with a few things.That said I'd love to see the demo running with Lumen ;)


Q : Is this a movie ?

A : No (or perhaps not yet). I wanted to make the trailer to see how far I could push akeytsu and train my personnal animator's skills (which are still not good enough I think), it was also a quite better way to express Mevenn's personnality throughout pure animation, without any game constraints


Q : Is this official ?

A : No, it's fully fan-made


Q : Will this be on consoles ? (PS4/PS5/XBoxOne...etc)

A : Not for the demo, but probably for the game (if the game is a thing one day of course). Also, you have to understand that making a game for PC is not like making a game for consoles. Even as powerful as the PS5 is, it's a static hardware evolving roughly every 3 or 4 years and has middle components compared to what a PC can do. Not the same hardware, not the same capabilities, not the same limits. Devs and especially artists often rather work on PC titles than console versions. On PC, it's open-bar on ressources compared to others



Q : Will this be on mobile ? (Android/iOS/Switch)

A : No.There are games tailored for mobile and suitable to an existing ecosystem/market. SWR is simply not made for this, I encourage those asking me regularly if I'll port the project to mobile to accept I won't do that. Thanks


Q : Will this be on MacOS ?

A : Not for the demo. You can play the demo and a lot of games either on a dual boot (get a win10 license on websites like instant gaming for a few bucks) or using bottle apps like CiderGames

Q : Can I use a gamepad instead of mouse+Keyboard ?

A : Yes ! This was one of the new features of version 2.0, I tested it with an XBox 360 controller on Windows 7, 10 & 11, and I assume most controllers compatible with windows should work. That said, you still need a mouse to navigate in menu interface, and a few shortcuts are exclusive to the keyboard/mouse (but not gameplay essential. Things like camera offset, FOV, zoom...etc), so best is to keep both next to you and use your favorite one when in game ;)  


Q : I saw a warning about the required hardware, am I able to run this on a poor laptop ?

A : As for any software, there's always potential issues. When you launch an app, you have to prepare yourself to react efficiently to any possible problem. Yet the game has been tested on really, really poor hardware (not a chromebook, but quite close) and it ran nicely without crashes, in low graphics mode of course. By default, the game should set the best quality mode depending on your PC hardware, but if you're unsure you can change quality settings (and launch a level to apply changes). One single guy apparently destroyed his PC by launching the demo, I do not made it to achieve such curious goal, and I hope this guy was just a stupid troll. 


In any case, if you feel your computer acts strangely, don't wait : hit Ctrl+Shift+Esc or Ctrl+Alt+Suppr and manualy shutdown the game process. If this doesn't work, a good old manual power off is legit to prevent any hardware overheat damage. Keep in mind that this should not happen, that's just common rules that apply, like training in case of a fireplace


Q : I don't have a 1070 GTX or equivalent, can I run the demo ?

A : Yes. The 1070 GTX is a good one if you want to experience the game with Epic quality settings, but the demo will try to find the best way to run fine on your PC, so if it's lower, the game will use lower settings. I tested it on a 660m GTX (the reduced version of a desktop Graphic card. This one was a good one back in 2012 ;)) and the demo runs quite fine =) Yet, there's a DirectX compatibility issue that prevents the current version (1.4) to start if you don't have a quite recent PC (not necessarily good but recent). This will be fixed in next version



Q : Is ultra widescreen supported ?

A : Yes, up to 21/9


Q : I want to give money to the project, is there a patreon/teepee or anything else ?

A : Thanks and no, your love for the demo is already more than what we expected and we can only thank you a lot for that


Q : How many peoples works on this ?

A : most of the time, and especially since the v2.0 release : only one (me)


In 2021/2022 after the 1.0 release, I received more or less important help from Thomas Chaumel (Animation), Thibaut Hunckler & Laurent Dessart (Blueprint/Game Design)


 Alexandre Cheremetieff helped in 2020 (Blueprint/Game Design), and before Fantin Gislette (Blueprint/Game design from early 2017 to mid 2019). Steven Menager brought some help on Mevenn's animations back in 2019 for a few months, Anthony Daneluzzi helped me on a few technical art points

 

 Each one of them are friends before all. You can find all these details in the game credits

Since I started the project, I've learnt tons of things on nearly every fields required to build the demo with nowadays toolsets. Back in 2013, I started my career as an Environment/Props 3D artist for precomputed movie feature films. The rest gradually stacked to the pile as I changed my goal towards realtime engines like Unity, Marmoset & Unreal


Q : Are you affraid about Disney ?

A : Always. And it would be stupid to ignore it. But I think this project respects their franchise, characters, worlds. And, well, we do not aim to make a game so no competing here. I think it's safe to say we're not enough devs, we have other professionnal objectives than making this project and honestly it's miraculous that we were working together on it for a while, cause often fan-projects doesn't last this long (I already got a few kind of these in my backpack ^^"). Finally, when making a fan project, if you constantly worry about "will I be striked or not", you're putting on yourself a silent but consistent pressure everyday, that's bad for your mental health and your motivation. So I keep it in mind, but worry more about enjoying what I do & learn everyday ;)


Q : I think you could add...[name what ever you think of]

A : Thanks for your ideas. But we do not make the game players want. Doing so would bring an unwanted pressure on our shoulders and we simply would stop developping the project. Instead, we make the game we would love to play, hopefully it will sound as good once in players hands. It's really important for creative freedom


Q : Do you plan on making a full game in the future ?

A : No. As I never planned on making a demo in 2012/2013 when I first designed Mevenn. To me, planning also adds pressure the same way it does when you promise to make what players wants (see previous question)


Q : I'm a voice actor/musician/artist/programmer...etc and I want to join your project, is it possible ?

A : Thanks for your willing to help. Yet it would extend the time required to manage team members and reduce time available for other fileds. As I manage the team, and make most of the project myself, this would simply reduce final potential of the project (as a demo). Of course, if the demo becomes a full game project, there will be a need to build a team.


Q : Why Mevenn has this haircut ? I don't like it

A : That's your point. I didn't make it to please everyone, but to stay true to Mevenn's character design


Q : Why Mevenn doesn't speak ?

A : Because it would require to recruit a voice actor that fits perfectly to Mevenn in French (yep, on this project, dubbing in French version will come first. Cause I love our artists since my childhood and I would definitely love to give them the true lead of voicing on the project). Also, no voice means worldwide language compatibility at some point ;)


Q : What's the main character's name ?

A : Mevenn. M e v e n n . Not Mavene/Meven/Maveen/Meveen


Q : And does she have a last name ?

A : Yes. As stated in the lightsaber artwork, her last name is "Lum-Sodren". So you have "Obi-Wan Kenobi" or "Qui-Gon Jinn", her is "Mevenn Lum-Sodren"


Q : Do you have a storyline ?

A : Yes. But as it's the core part of the project that contains a lot of spoilers I keep it secret. Also, it's still evolving on many points and I want to keep the ability of doing so until I release anything. Also, please note that now a good old friend of mine, Aurélien Baarsch, has taken a deep dive into the scenario part of SWR, he has a brilliant mind and I trust him a lot on telling beautiful stories because I know how far he can go. In addition to that he knows a lot more the lore of the canon/legends, which is an invaluable help to create believable links between what exists and what I need to tell with Mevenn =)


Q : Will this be open world ?

A : No. Open worlds are cool, but on different projects, not sure it suits well to 3D platformers. Also, focusing on details when you are alone wouldn't be possible if I aimed to do an open world, at least not like I do on straight forward levels ;)


Q : Will there be any customization ?

A : Not in the demo. Customization is a great way for artists to express themselves several times on a character, yet it demands a lot of development time. Take a game like overwatch for example : customization wasn't really there at launch, look at it now, with dozens of skins everywhere. They built the game first, and then added what we call "cosmetics". Cosmetics should never pass first, so when I take the time to make a few armor variants, it's for precise reasons (storytelling/lore most of the time), not just to add customization. I also like to think Mevenn as a unique character, so I don't want to create costumes that doesn't fit her own lifestyle/spirit


Q : Can I make a 3D print for a tabletop game ? Or Cosplays ?

A : You can as long as you don't extract any model/texture out of any asset that belongs to the project (this also includes separate assets you can get through my different stores). In other words, you can recreate the designs on your own (and don't hesitate to share what you've been up to with us, we're always curious to see how far you can be inspired by this project !)


Q : Can I stream on the demo ?

A : Yep. Spread the word and enjoy the ride !


Q : Can I ripp the assets and make mods or any kind of content with them ?

A : If you were right there with me, you'll get a free solid slap in your face. Well, internet prevents me to do this, but this doesn't makes me happy when I see random peoples doing this. It's disrespectful, discouraging, not to mention it's completely wrong with the EULA you've accepted when getting this demo. Because it's free does not grant you rights to do any kind of rip. It just grants you the right to play a demo that involved years of personnal hard work for free, its value usually forces users to be respectful


That's all folks ! Hope this answers most of your askings. Don't hesitate to tell me down below in the comment section if you have more questions =)

Des Bisous ♥

Star Wars - Redemption | 1st week update

News / 05 August 2021

Hi everyone !

As mentionned before, I'm on holidays. That does not mean I'm not taking a look at how the demo is accessible and, unfortunately, we run through several issues. This started with Dropbox, which I paid for several years, when they suspended the link just cause there were a high traffic. Then, Google drive reached a share quota rapidly, so I ask you to calm down a little on using the google drive link. Then Mega link, which I simply shared badly (link was correct, but not easy to understand with "decryption" key). And recently, artstation simply suppressed the product from their marketplace due to a crash that happened on one user's PC (and I don't know how this can happen, I mean, I never ever had a crash with the demo nor with any app that can "destroy" my computer...but things happen and I understand Artstation had to take measures against it, please don't blame them)


So, first of all my apologies for all these troubles, I didn't thought sharing a link to a simple game demo would be this difficult. Then, as stated in the EULA.txt file "The artist is not responsible of any damage encountered by the User", so, if you don't have a decent PC rig, don't run the demo. It's as simple as that. And even if you have a good PC, you have to understand that running any kind of app can be tricky (while 99,99% of you had no issue, some can still encounter it so be careful, you launch & play it at your own risks) All that happens to your computer is under your own responsibility, I do not force you to get it and run it.


So, I decided to change all the steps needed to get the demo, here are the links for those who still wants to get it : https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1eS6btMa3auCl6K0WnNIphKCG8S4oOYZ2?usp=sharing (Google drive's quota is reached regularly, so please refrain from using it, and instead go for Mega link) Just in case Google drive fails (I hope not but who knows), here's a MEGA link : https://mega.nz/folder/oZhiBIYC (Decryption Key : "Z7-yduK3c63H5i1LjBFBSg" , don't copy the "" ;))  If you see someone asking for the product somewhere, please redirect him/her to these links since I can't watch the whole internet


Thank you for your time, sorry (once again) for inconvenience, we're really really impressed by how much the project is well received by the community while it's still a super small project if we look at what it has to humbly offer, and in the name of our little team, I want to thank you a lot for trying this out and being so kind with us. We try to read all the messages you post everywhere on the internet (with a focus on issues of course), we try to answer when we can, and be sure your love is really well received ♥  

A lot of you gave us tips for the demo, while we never asked for it (as it's fully free), we really thank you for that kindness of heart

Des Bisous ♥

Star Wars - Redemption | Demo Release v1.0

News / 01 August 2021

So, here we are. The demo is finally available in its very first public version !

Please take the time to read the following lines :

- The demo is given for free, all you need to do is to register here on artstation, go to my store here : https://artstn.co/m/y138n and pick the demo. If you want to share the demo to a friend, please share the link to the free product instead of copying files on a USB key, it helps me having an idea of how many players tested it (it should also help reporting bugs later on, tracking who gets what...etc. Thanks in advance)

I wish you will enjoy exploring this little project !

- Since it's "inspired by" star wars (but not only), you may reckognize environments, starfighters, destroyers...etc. Yet I didn't want to stick to existing designs at a "fanatic"-precision, so you may notice differences between official designs and those from Redemption

- The demo comes in a v1.0, meaning we plan to add some more stuff to it in the near future. Yet a demo is a demo, not a AAA game. We will polish unfinished things, fix as many bugs as we can, add what's missing today regarding our ToDo-List, but it will stop there. Please refrain from making feature requests, we won't add them. Bugs can be reported here and we will see how many we could fix for a last version.

- The game should run fine on most configs, if you experience any lag, please go in options, set a different game quality ("screenpercentage" doesn't work yet) and launch a level (this will apply new settings). The game runs smoothly on a 2080 RTX with a i7 9th Gen & 8GB of RAM so if you've got this (or better) it's good ! By default game quality is set to Epic, the "Ultra" mode is here for "Cinematic" quality, but is visually not this better, only sharp trained eyes will seea difference.

- At the moment, the game only offers to explore levels & collect little flying creatures called "ForceGhosts". To finish a level, you need to find them all and reach the end trigger box.

-Trigger boxes aren't always placed at the end of a level, since some levels have a "loop" flow, but every time the box is on the biggest "Exit door" of the level (not necessary a door visually...but I guess you've got it ;))


This first public release is here to thank all of the fans of the project who have been waiting patiently for this, as well as a simple tribute to the fantastic & inspiring StarWars universe.

I don't know what I would be today if this Far far away Galaxy didn't exist. It's something that is part of me, of a lot of people, and I wish this addition will serve at its best the most of us !

Here is the game cover, you have the file amongst some more in the final folder if you want to change for fresh wallpapers =)


  Also it's funny but here's the Cover in akeytsu ^^ Yep. It's a great tool to do a lot of things +D



Also, what a better opportunity than this one to refresh some old artworks?

 








With the release of this demo, we've made a Trailer. And it's almost as heavy as making the game, it involves especially a different approach of animation, since you're making shots and not realtime game cycles, it's okay to have a bad pose when you turn around, the superior rule  is to take care or arcs, posings, motion through frames. Bend your characters if you need to make them follow strong arcs, don't be affraid of breaking their arms & legs. Well. Here's that trailer:



That's all for today, now I'll go take some sleep before well deserved holidays

Des Bisous ♥