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    @Darkloser

    I'll probably take a more thorough read of the thread when I have a few more hours of free time to do so - here I was just noting down some of my thoughts based on what I saw looking a few first, a few last, and a random selection of pages in between.

    ...Lesser brutes have always looked hairy-chested to me. I took a look at the model images side-by-side just to make sure, and I'd still say the "patch" is fairly clear, as opposed to the shadows on the regular and behemoth brutes' armor. Short, messy, but thick curled hair is also a bit harder to depict clearly in low resolutions than longer, clumped hair (find an image of an actual hairy person and save the image in a low resolution for reference). Short of the original artists specifying, though, those things can be a bit up to one's interpretation.

    I am aware of stone titans in game (Dasa cellars and the "Guardian" in the unreal difficulty, going off my memory) - the stone titan is grayer in appearance and I figure might have a (more expansive?) hardened layer on it that looks and feels more like a stone - as opposed the "stone" part referring to just the increased toughness of the beast (though that, again, might be a distinguishing feature from the regular titans). I might have expressed myself a bit unclearly with the "rock-monster"-bit, though ... the rock-bit is all good, especially if we're going with the stone titans' skin being covered in something actually stone-like. I mostly feel the model seems a bit ... frail? So being a bitmore powerful-looking (bulkier) and slight change in posture might benefit it.

    The nali you encountered in-game are definitely peaceful and repressed (with those who fought back in combat having been killed). - Mainly speaking in context of the original Unreal here, where I probably overturned all rocks that could be overturned and then some.
    It's undeniable that the nali are no match for the skaarj (though the usual unarmed human would most likely lose to the usual unarmed nali - they average quite a bit bigger than us, after all). But we're also dealing with a species with hand for masonry and complex mechanical contraptions and some psychic powers running into a highly intelligent aggressive industrial species with complex electronics, explosives, spacecraft, many types of projectiles... In spite of at least some nali valuing personal strength and going through potentially lethal tests, the technology at their disposal was simply so much inferior, and the occasions one managed to, say, ambush a skaarj trooper and take off with a single eightball gun with a set amount of ammunition were few and far between. It also stands to reason that the nali more likely to openly fight back were the fist to be gunned down, whereas the more peaceful and submissive ones were permitted to live and some of them put to work in mines and factories (because it's the skaarj way to get "inferior" species to do the manual work for them). Perhaps it is not a stretch to say that the nali we see are so peaceful in part due to skaarj. I don't think there is any concrete indication in-game (1998 Unreal, and RtNP) of actual warlike nali or nali-on-nali slavery, but there is quite some on putting people through various tests and nali-on-nali punishments. There is also a running theme in some of the logs, of the sky-demons having sent on them because of the deeds of their ancestors, to punish them. It's history by the time of the game yes, but history is part of culture. Especially since some of it might be very recent history - it can be a bit hard to tell in-game how long the skaarj invasion has been going on, or contact with humans for the matter ... long enough to nali co construct some new architecture, long enough for the skaarj to start mining things, but yet not long enough for some nali to remember the time before, and for some of the more personal-testing oriented temples to still have some nali inhabitants, and for some nali to have hopes that not all places have been overrun. There is also quite some persistent religious diversity.
    ((Naturally, fictive universes can be whatever the creators and contributions want them to be - but it's always more interesting to see more complexity and variety in them than the baseline X good, Y bad. Looking at the variation in nali architecture alone, I'm inclined to believe they are a complex people with rich and varied history.))
    - Might be more fitting for the lore section, rather than the art section, though.


    @rapfamily4
    Ooh, that's quite nice. I've always interpreted the mercs as being quite fused to the point it might be hard to tell where the machine ends and biological part begins - so most parts the armor might, in fact, be unremovable without probably killing them (I used to also figure the "boxes" on their backs are some form of life support ... maybe they once came from an environment quite different from ours? A lot of tarydium sludge waste going on on their ship). I'm a bit doubtful on the tubes being as "loose"? Seems like a bit of a snagging hazard. Also note the positioning of the "eyes" on the original model - it would appear they might have have quite a bit wider field of vision than what the drawing suggests. What is the function of the "spikes" reaching upward from his back? The arm cannon looks good; the feet are quite a bit removed from the original models (who looked like they just had human boots, pretty much), but I think it looks good, so why not?

    I might be able to find a pen and some paper in the evening - I'm away from home, so I just have a mouse and one of those light business laptops that aren't all that good for doing graphics at hand...

    Comment


      I see your point on the Nali. However I always asked myself if Nali's building were done with the help of their psychic powers, or if these construction are even older than when they started to acquire their powers.
      Also, since there's very few time indication, we cannot tell when they started making those test, or when they stopped them. They might have stopped before the Skaarj's invasion on Na Pali.
      There's no indication of "warlike" Nali specifically, but it is clearly hinted that some of them rebelled, though they probably weren't fighters originally. They ended slaugthered for the most part, as they weren't as strong as their opressor.

      I'm not certain the temples were actually built FOR the Nali. At least the traps and test section. Especially considering the whole prophecy, and that the Nali seems easily influenced by offworlder (as seen with the Skaarj Warlod called "the winged demon" and the player himself, seen as their messiah). Vandora is also an exemple, as the description and her quote seems to hint that she was an offworlder coming with advanced technology (notably the eightball). I highly believe all these temple were both influenced and built for offworlder rather than for them.

      They were probably more inclined to hostiliy at one point, as the Dark arena show both in it's description ("Within a barren valley looms an ancient Nali structure with an air of grim foreboding. As the player explores the perimeter of this remnant of some darker chapter in Nali history, the distant growl of a terrible beast suggests that a tough fight lies ahead.") and what you see in game. There's crucifix specifically built around Nali anatomy (four arms, same height). However the description hint that it was in the past, so they moved on to another ideal and culture. Only the "when" is unknown.

      And Nalis aren't always depicted as totally "good guy you want to protect". It's often showed how naive they are, in a world where violence and cruelty is often the norm. In fact in UC2 there's even a mode where the point is just to butcher as many Nalis as possible. So the Skaarj are often showed as savage and brutal invader and oppressor, but with a strong sense of honor and duty, and the Nali as a more peacefull and sometimes helping race, but also ignorant and influenced to the point of stupidity. I don't see them strictly as "good VS bad".

      Comment


        Just thinking out loud... Original game was using same mesh for all three types of Brutes, and I'm just wonder if they were supposed to use same weapon (afaik brutes shooting same projectile regardless of their breed/type/class): Click image for larger version  Name:	brute_lineup_ScreenShot00000.jpg Views:	1 Size:	337.7 KB ID:	386312
        Click image for larger version  Name:	brute_lineup_ScreenShot00001.jpg Views:	1 Size:	337.3 KB ID:	386313


        ...and it seems to me, for remake purposes meshes would differ as well (I mean, back then you could just draw different skin texture, but now, if you're going to make their outfit in 3d, you have to change basic mesh for every type of monster)
        - got sig? -

        Comment


          On a lore point of view, I believe it could make sense that they use the same weapons and are mostly the same general shape, as it easier to quickly mass produce the same proven schematic than try to create a new succesful one. The Brutes provide the Skaarjs with an easy supply of ready and obedient soldiers/enforcers, mainly as shock infantry. They're not the brightest nor the more subtiles, but they already have other caste to fullfil the other roles (Skaarj as the specialized troops and command, Krall as a kind of sergeant and more cunning soldier, etc...). I suppose these different variations is simply an upgrade on what the Brutes are the most usefull at : being bullet sponges that strike as hard as they receive.
          The latest shows this direction, firstly with the sheer size (bigger generally=stronger), the amount of armor (almost completely covered compared to the first brute), and possibly the green skin hint that he possess scales instead of flesh like the two previous brutes (they're genetically engineered, so it wouldn't be surprising if the 3rd brute was breed with a higher amount of Skaarj genes or other species than the first one).

          So to put it simply, they probably just are different mark of the same monster (MI, MII, MIII), so they're better at their job, without drastic changes.

          On a gameplay point of view, I suppose it could translate somewhat in the same way. The first brute you encounter are the little one, dangerous enough but most player should be able to deal with it without too much trouble, but as the game/waves advance they "evolve" (as in, your enemies send their strongest assets) until you only encounter the toughest ones, the biggest one.
          So it's more in the idea of "they're getting stronger" rather than real variations, which would be more in the line of Fire/Ice/Poison etc... for exemple (tho I'm sure we can find better in terms of thematic for that).

          Comment


            A genetically engineered Behemoth with Skaarj skin would be amazing! But it would require a different model for that...

            Anyway, I'm re-doing the Krall's spear. Here you are a fresh render! Tell me what you think about it!

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

            Oh, regarding the rocket, it's not finished yet: I have to add details to both diffuse and normal maps.
            Last edited by rapfamily4; 05-07-2017, 12:17 PM.

            -Luigi Rapetta
            (rapfamily4)

            My projects list:
            Unreal Monsters | Armor Pickups | Dispersion Pistol for Invasion | Fusion Cannon - a Flak Cannon variant

            Comment


              Probably not skaarj skin, but perhaps something akin to the stone titan's skin, as opposed to the more "humanlike" skin on the lessers... Skaarj had different scales, too, though -- the "naked" scouts had textures with far less pronounced scaling, and more apparent veins, than the warriors and up...

              I do imagine brutes would just have robust mass-produced stuff, even if at different calibers (the damage difference was there). Can't imagine they'd take good care of their weapons (I also recall some of the krall complaining about their tendency to break things)...

              The spear isn't showing on my computer, for some reason? I just see a link that gives me a blank black page, nothing loading even after waiting a few minutes.

              Comment


                I uploaded it again. You can see it in the attachments.
                Attached Files

                -Luigi Rapetta
                (rapfamily4)

                My projects list:
                Unreal Monsters | Armor Pickups | Dispersion Pistol for Invasion | Fusion Cannon - a Flak Cannon variant

                Comment


                  Originally posted by rapfamily4 View Post
                  A genetically engineered Behemoth with Skaarj skin would be amazing! But it would require a different model for that...
                  Originally posted by Rheia Ionan View Post
                  Probably not skaarj skin, but perhaps something akin to the stone titan's skin, as opposed to the more "humanlike" skin on the lessers... Skaarj had different scales, too, though -- the "naked" scouts had textures with far less pronounced scaling, and more apparent veins, than the warriors and up...
                  I think the Behemoth doesn't need that much change in his model. Mainly a bigger brute with more armor and blue/green scaly skin. That will make them stand appart from the other variant while letting them be easily recognisable as brutes.
                  Also it's probably more Skaarj skin than Titan skin. They already have a lot hinting at the Skaarj DNA included in their body : The tusks are somewhat similar, the eyes are glowing in the same tone, the feet are similar in shape (the Brutes have 3 toes instead of the 4 on the Skaarj), and if you take the Behemoth color scheme, he uses similar tones to the Skaarj (blue/green colors mainly).
                  They're probably not as scaly as the Skaarj, certainly due to some issue in the process (Flesh like skin gene is more dominant than Skaarj scale gene ?), but they still managed to include a great deal of it. Or the green and scaly skin might also be a side effect when they boosted the performances of the Brutes by included a higher dose of their genes.

                  Comment


                    Notice that the intermediate variant has skin that's kind of somewhere in between, too... Scales tended to be quite distinctly depicted elsewhere. I don't think there were yellow-eyed skaarj in the original game, only bright red and green (excluding the glowy ones, who just had no distinguished eye color). Not sure about the similarity in tusks -- the brutes' just look like regular teeth (I also interpreted the longer teeth - not tusks - in skaarj being the upper ones on the original models, even if they were made to have the more common lower canines in later games). Tusks are shared with slith, who are probably something like a cousin species... The original tusks were probably also more bone-like than horn-like.

                    I do wonder whether there are any missing links in the skaarj development ... we see the queen/warlord, two castes, pupae, and that's it. Do they lay eggs? Is there something before the pupa-stage (as the name might imply)? Do pupae molt to become adult skaarj? How do troopers come to be (why are there two so different castes?), and are they engineered? I've kind of assumed the warriors were the "original" skaarj ... who were also more yellow-green, than blue, excluding the rare ice skaarj (who might also be an experiment of sorts).

                    Comment


                      Thanks, Darkloser ... I just think this is where Invasion and SP might split up. I mean, Invasion is quite flexible about monster style/meshes (i.e. anything would work just fine - like bigger version of exact same monster for being stronger, differently tinted meshes for "fire/ice" types of monsters etc), while SP is more demanding in that regard (imo). Anyway, I agree that Brutes in particular (at least for SP) shouldn't be too different from type to type - more like aging effects on them (i.e. low weight, pinky skin, no armor and freshy-looking guns at first, and heavy weight, full armor and worn guns closer to service life's end).

                      ---

                      rapfamily4, details on the staff look really nice! I mean it's actually captures attention, and makes great composition overall.

                      ---

                      I just realized some anims could actually work even without skeleton (I think you could make some pun about *breathing* life into static mesh here lol):

                      - got sig? -

                      Comment


                        Thanks!

                        Here you are a more updated version. The blade is now splitted in two parts joined with screws, like in the Sly. concept art.

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

                        -Luigi Rapetta
                        (rapfamily4)

                        My projects list:
                        Unreal Monsters | Armor Pickups | Dispersion Pistol for Invasion | Fusion Cannon - a Flak Cannon variant

                        Comment


                          I can't see the screenshot.
                          The new UT is coming along nicely...
                          Maybe a new Unreal would be a good idea for Epic's next project? It's certainly somewhat overdue...

                          Comment


                            Try now! It happened twice :'(

                            Click image for larger version

Name:	05-08-17.png
Views:	37
Size:	561.8 KB
ID:	386430

                            -Luigi Rapetta
                            (rapfamily4)

                            My projects list:
                            Unreal Monsters | Armor Pickups | Dispersion Pistol for Invasion | Fusion Cannon - a Flak Cannon variant

                            Comment


                              Hello! I worked on the spear yesterday. I sculpted on it more detail than before, but I can't show you the result at the moment. I also made the lowpoly and some tests with normal maps. I still have to optimize UVs, to put as much detail as possible in a 4096x4096 map. The lowpoly has more or less 3400 verts.

                              -Luigi Rapetta
                              (rapfamily4)

                              My projects list:
                              Unreal Monsters | Armor Pickups | Dispersion Pistol for Invasion | Fusion Cannon - a Flak Cannon variant

                              Comment


                                Hello! I'm working on the normal maps and the materials.

                                Here you are a quick screenshot from the editor!

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

                                -Luigi Rapetta
                                (rapfamily4)

                                My projects list:
                                Unreal Monsters | Armor Pickups | Dispersion Pistol for Invasion | Fusion Cannon - a Flak Cannon variant

                                Comment

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