Cold steel

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation | Artist Q & A -

Lead weapons artist Gre­gor Kopka tells us how he cre­ated weapons like the Hell­shot

“It was clear to me,” Gre­gor Kopka says, “that Doom is about cold steal. Ev­ery gun had to have its own char­ac­ter with defin­ing shapes and me­chan­ics. So for my­self, the first break­through was when I fi­nally man­aged to de­sign and im­ple­ment my first weapon, Hell­shot. From then on, I had a feel­ing that the game was go­ing to be fun.” The lead weapons artists says that, with so many years of ex­pe­ri­ence, he can im­me­di­ately feel whether or not a game is do­ing some­thing spe­cial. He knew Doom was spe­cial. “The weapon pipe­line was very stream­lined and in­cluded test­ing white box weapons, from a game me­chan­ics per­spec­tive, through to the fi­nal art as­set. Every­one who is in­cluded in the gun devel­op­ment process is in­vited to the game tests and con­trib­utes feed­back and ideas. Then we do quick 3D thumb­nail-type de­signs, which can also in­clude an­i­mated me­chan­i­cal ideas. As soon as we nail down one di­rec­tion, we con­tinue elab­o­rat­ing un­til we make a fi­nal paint over.” Gre­gor’s rea­son for us­ing 3D art from the be­gin­ning was so he could test it in-game. “I think it’s a ben­e­fit to start in 3D be­cause you can come up with much bet­ter me­chan­i­cal ideas than you can in 2D, and at the end you can still stream­line the de­sign, but on an al­ready proven me­chan­i­cal con­cept.” Weapons cre­ator Gre­gor Kopka de­signed ev­ery gun with its own spe­cific shape and mech­a­nisms.

right mo­ment, ex­actly when a player’s in­ter­est was wan­ing.

“Play­ing the game ev­ery­day is crit­i­cal,” Hugo says. “You have to have a real un­der­stand­ing of the prod­uct you are mak­ing. Of­ten times, once you get into the meat of devel­op­ment, the game is ‘all there’, so to speak, and it’s about build­ing on what “What we were striv­ing for,” says Hugo, “was that sort of ju­ve­nile spirit of all things bad-ass.” Gre­gor’s weapon de­signs are now part of video games’ most in­fa­mous arse­nal – led by the most in­fa­mous of them all, the BFG.

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