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    Last edited by InspecktahDeck; 07-25-2019, 09:03 PM.
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    #2
    it's funny that people are discussing the look of the skaarj at this point, because if you just check in the editor, you'll see that it's pretty much almost done. Looks a lot like a more cartoony Gears of war monster imo... I wish Epic were posting their progress on the model in the official skaarj thread, instead of flying under the radar about it, but the Perna and whoever else is working on that side of things don't seem to be particularly interested in interacting with the community any longer.

    What I'd like Epic to communicate is what they expect in terms of quality. Are we in the community supposed to match their work - if so, that's a really tall order for most people who are just doing this as a hobby

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      #3
      I agree with a lot of what's been said here.

      I've been pretty vocal in my opinion that I don't care for the official Necris lore direction & design. I am also not a fan of the official Skaarj concept, which has more in common with a Locust than a Skaarj. Neither of these character directions are awful, they're executed well and there are elements to each that are worthwhile. But they are both missing the essential spirit of these factions, they are lacking in Unreal DNA.

      It makes me very disappointed because I have almost no faith that Epic is willing to engage with their actual fans when reinventing these characters. To me, it doesn't make sense at all to try and reinvent characters in a way that isn't an homage to their original designs. New fans come in with no expectations, but old fans can and do care. The series has 15 years of history to it, and not giving due diligence to that when it involves characters is very disconcerting. If developers simply want to introduce new characters that don't fit into old factions, then make new ones.

      I think Pete (YemYam) has done an incredible job interacting with the community and the concepts that have developed as a result are much better and stronger. I wish other artists at Epic were interactive in that way -- Yes, it takes more time and it's challenging, but I think this game would be far better off if that were the case.

      For reference, the current Skaarj model in the editor:
      This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version
      Attached Files
      Last edited by Wail; 08-01-2015, 08:38 PM.
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        #4
        Wail
        W8, it's... Skaarj? It's Locust from GoW))))
        To be honest I was afraid of the official direction of the characters. Style UT lost definitively (((( A striking example: https://www.unrealtournament.com/blo...d-community-qa
        IMO, but this not Thundercrash. It's merc/terrorists/enemy/ from CoD, not from UT.
        Attached Files

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          #5
          Originally posted by Raixs View Post
          Wail
          W8, it's... Skaarj? It's Locust from GoW))))
          I agree.

          Remember one thing, the screenshot above has no dreadlocks. (Dreadlocks are almost certainly an attachment component). The dreadlocks are a very important piece of the Skaarj design, so the screenshot above is not as bad as it looks. I still would prefer a change in direction on it, though.

          Edit with Skaarj + dreads:

          This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version

          This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version


          Originally posted by Raixs View Post
          To be honest I was afraid of the official direction of the characters. Style UT lost definitively (((( A striking example: https://www.unrealtournament.com/blo...d-community-qa
          IMO, but this not Thundercrash. It's merc/terrorists/enemy/ from CoD, not from UT.
          I love Gooba's concepts here. He really understands Unreal, he doesn't hit the mark perfectly every time (no one does), but I have trust in him.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by Wail; 08-01-2015, 09:23 PM.
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            #6
            This model of the Skaarj leans very much towards the Locust side of GoW. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be the Skaarj hybrid or just a regular Skaarj.

            I agree, Gooba has made some nice pieces and does understand the game very well. In all honesty, I have a lot of confidence in him when it comes to designing characters, maps, etc.

            Comment


              #7
              I don't know how anyone could find nanoblack to be cool or interesting at all. It's seriously one of the worst concepts I've ever seen come out of Epic Games.

              Comment


                #8
                I don't see why tattoo-like designs on characters need any special explanation. Nanoblack was a bad idea when it was introduced in Unreal Championship 2 (It's the cheesiest) and it's remained a bad idea ever since. The fact that Epic continues to harp on this concept shows a real crisis of creativity. The new angle is to try and emphasize the Necris as being a corporate military force -- Something that was never part of their characterization in previous incarnations, and something that in no way distinguishes them from Thundercrash / Iron Guard / whatever team.

                I did some paintovers on the Skaarj in the Skaarj concept thread. It looks much more reasonable once you overcome the desaturation plague. Hopefully the desaturated base coloration is only there to allow easier swapping of skin colors (green, yellow, brown/red). There's still major problems with his overall forms that should be worked out, though.


                @InspecktahDeck: Story/concept should be feeding into visual design. When you look at the Necris in UT99, you can pretty much tell what they are about just by looking at them. They're the freaks, outcasts, exiles, and rebels against society. They can blend in if they want to, but they're ultimately dangerous, unstable, on the edge.

                Same thing with the Skaarj. The Skaarj are broad-shouldered, bare-chested beasts. They are powerful, proud, and ferocious. Their eyes glow with malice and tell you that, to them, you are prey.


                I don't get anything nearly that evocative from the UT4 concepts. Trying to approach the visual design without a strong sense of the identity of these characters is backwards, which is partly why I'm trying to fill in the gaps by writing unique character backstories.
                Last edited by Wail; 08-02-2015, 03:16 AM.
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                  #9
                  I actually think the very concept of nanoblack is incredibly interesting and allows for a lot of character and story building.

                  Nanoblack, as it has been shown to be used fits with the idea of foglets. Essentially, nanoblack isn't a singular substance, but a suite of nanoscale robotic and AI technologies that can be applied to a variety of applications. The liquid appearance is due to the individual foglets being suspended in an electrolytic medium to better allow movement, communication, and power distribution. The original, or at least most famous, application is that of restoring functionality to an otherwise dead human. This suggests a combination of artificial hemoglobin and nanoscale biological repair bots, including, quite likely, some level of neural interface.
                  This goes hand in hand with the religious fanatic nature of the UT3 Necris faction in that the nanoblack, by virtue of its own internal communication + neural interface, actually "talks" to them and to the rest of the substance on some level. IE they really are connected to something bigger than themselves, and the Necris of that particular world/culture expressed it through a religious like structure.

                  The UC2 Necris seem like an evolution of this. My take on them is they aren't just full of nanoblack, they ARE nanoblack. A collection of nanoscale robots all working in concert, but also able to change form (ie the Wraith adrenaline) to move in ways that flesh and blood cannot.

                  As far as their being a corporate military thing being recent, its not. It goes back to UT99. The Necris were reanimated assassins created by the Phayder corporation. At that point they were some of its only known "products". The tournament competitors were those who got caught. They aren't freaks and outcasts, they're corporate produced undead assassins.

                  The other thing to keep in mind with the Necris faction specifically (as well as the Skaarj) is that they do not have to be, and really cannot be, homogeneous. This is a multi planetary spanning corporation with literally billions of people to draw from. So the groups seen in each UT iteration are not specifically from the same culture group or even the same planet.

                  That said, I also prefer a more cyberpunk/goth feel for the faction to the tube and plug thing that's currently going on. I think the skin level nanoblack can work well, especially if its given some life and motion.

                  The ThunderCrash style works IMO. Its not the be all end all for every team, but they are a team with military connection and presentation. (Though I'm pretty sure the current model has shotgun shells on their body despite there being no shotguns around...) Think about the tournament as one part combat and one part marketing. ThunderCrash still does work in the "off season", so they're going to want to keep an aesthetic (professional soldier) its been their thing.

                  Re: Skaarj. First I've seen of that. It looks way too humanoid. Maybe a hybrid, (which would solve the tail problem) but not a super fan of that look for a full Skaarj warrior.

                  I will say that in all previous games there was a stronger dramatic flair than what we've seen currently.
                  I'd like to see some of that come back. (which likely means I should get to modeling rather than writing)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by InspecktahDeck
                    I can't remember because I haven't played the UT99 ladder in a while where it gives descriptions of some of the characters, did the cult concept start in 99 or was that a UT3 addition? Either way I feel like some Necris should look like re-animated versions of other teams, like they did in 99. We can have some experiemental ones too, that's fine, but something to blend the new and old would be nice.
                    I believe cult backstory came from UT3, I could be wrong though. The whole religous thing behind Nanoblack never made much sense. Why were they so connected to it religously? Phayder never intended that outcome from them so were they just reviving looney individuals? Why not have Phayder just be a company that provides the technology for reviving the most popular of the Tournament competitors. Their technology doesn't have to be exclusive to Liandri, but to anyone that can provide the amount of credits for the revival process.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Vailias View Post
                      I actually think the very concept of nanoblack is incredibly interesting and allows for a lot of character and story building...
                      You're entitled to your opinion, but really this doesn't strike me as anything other than interest in a specific technology (which can be interesting) but is different from characterization.


                      Originally posted by Vailias View Post
                      As far as their being a corporate military thing being recent, its not. It goes back to UT99. The Necris were reanimated assassins created by the Phayder corporation. At that point they were some of its only known "products". The tournament competitors were those who got caught. They aren't freaks and outcasts, they're corporate produced undead assassins.
                      The Necris descriptions from UT99 use the word Phayder, but there it is described as a secret society. This ties in to the occult undertones the characters have, both in visual design and in their bios. There's no indication that this is a corporation or that Necris are dead people reanimated by nanobots.


                      Originally posted by InspecktahDeck
                      I can't remember because I haven't played the UT99 ladder in a while where it gives descriptions of some of the characters, did the cult concept start in 99 or was that a UT3 addition? Either way I feel like some Necris should look like re-animated versions of other teams, like they did in 99.
                      The original Necris concept alludes to some sort of religious group but it's not clearly defined and the way that it is spoken of implies a loose organization:

                      E.g. "Also of the Necris, Kragoth is a known member of the 'Phayder' secret society. A brood of assassins and doomsday cultists, the Phayder have declared a sort of guerilla war against Earth."

                      I actually liked that element coming up in UT3's characterization, but the visual design of the UT3 Necris was comical and the story was atrociously written.


                      Originally posted by Vailias View Post
                      The other thing to keep in mind with the Necris faction specifically (as well as the Skaarj) is that they do not have to be, and really cannot be, homogeneous. This is a multi planetary spanning corporation with literally billions of people to draw from. So the groups seen in each UT iteration are not specifically from the same culture group or even the same planet.
                      This goes with the pet peeve of reusing the same name identities over and over again. As long as the game continues to use the same character names, it's absolutely justified in being harshly critical of the way the characters morph appearances from one game to the next with little regard for consistency.

                      The point you're making about there being literally billions of people to draw from is precisely why new ideas should be explored with new factions. Yes, there can be different subgroups within a given group, yet there ultimately needs to be a vision for what that grouping of characters represents that is immediately identifiable. The massive levels of retconning to try and hamfist incongruous lore and visual direction into an existing faction is totally unjustifiable.
                      Last edited by Wail; 08-02-2015, 06:28 AM.
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                        #12
                        Honestly, this Skaarj causes no fear. I do not see in it a dangerous predator, or a cold-blooded killer. In any case, I hope that someday the market will be this handsomes, once they had no place in the official release. I think it's most awesome concepts in Scaarj thread
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                          #13
                          Yeah unfortunately, the artistic direction on this game has changed so much that it's completely unrecognizable. It doesn't feel UT anymore.

                          Look at the new Jakob concept and compare it with the original one:



                          As you can see it has nothing in common with the original Jakob character. No glasses, no short rastas, no shoulder pads on armor, no golden eagle decos on green armor... it looks just like a generic Call of Duty character. Generic and instantly forgettable.
                          I remember a lot of people using the Jakob character to play online in UT2k4, in fact it was one of the most popular characters back then.
                          I don't think many people will want to play with this new Jakob, though.

                          So at the end of the day, the Thundercrash have been replaced with CoD soldiers, the Necris have been replaced by Borgs, the Skaarj have been replaced by Locust... i'm afraid UT4 is not an UT game anymore.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by hi-ban View Post
                            I remember a lot of people using the Jakob character to play online in UT2k4, in fact it was one of the most popular characters back then.
                            Jacob was a default character in 2k4 and served as a replacement for custom characters for those who didn't have them, which is why you saw him so often. Other than that I really doubt people used him on purpose - he was just as generic back then as he is on these concepts.
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                              #15
                              Jakob being a replacement character in UT2k4 does not negate the fact that the "new jakob" (and the new thundercrash faction) looks and feels the same as any COD/Battlefield/Generic tactical soldier guy. It's boring and has no character.
                              The Thundercrash in ut2k4 could be anything, but they were not generic soldiers. They had their own character, same as with the other UT factions.

                              Unreal Tournament is supposed to be a televised show from the future, in the same way as the WWE nowadays.
                              The factions in UT2k4 all had their own distinctive clothing, which made them stand out from the other factions. Remember it is a TV show and as such, the warriors had a lot of visual elements on their clothes which were done in purpose for the show.

                              If we want to play guys wearing tactical uniforms, we already have hundreds of generic shooters in which the characters use the same kind of generic tactical uniforms. Unreal Tournament was special because it didn't follow the generic realistic shooter trend. It was a futuristic/sci-fi/fantasy shooter which created its own style, and that style was reinforced in ut2k3/4. We had medieval-styled vampiric guys fighting against robots, armored mad-max-styled punks fighting against horror-clown-painted mutants... Every faction style was unique, and not seen in any other shooter.

                              UT3 trashed all that and replaced it all with GOW styled characters. Now UT4 is going to replace it with COD styled characters. Seems that with every new iteration, UT is losing more of what made it stand out from other shooter games.

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