CCP’s senior 3D artist, Willem van Biljon on EVE Online’s fantastic battles.
An eye for detail
1 EVE uses an LOD (level of detail) system which reduces the amount of detail rendered on an object that’s further away. When you get close enough—LOD 0— you can see everything from weapons to the name of the ship.
3 This web is made by ships doing something called spider-tanking. The beams going from green to orange show armor/hull repair. Pink to yellow is energy transfer, which is what enables the repair ships to keep repairing.
5 Nowadays the entire engine trail is mathematically constructed but van Biljon notes, “We used to have a texture that got loaded in which would then become the trail and then be stretched depending on how fast or slow the ship was going.”
2 These are Warp Disruption Fields. When enough of them overlap, you start to lose detail. CCP uses a system to switch off visual overlapping if lots of bubbles are close together so players can still see what’s going on.
A celestial canvas
4 Background affects legibility of battles. Adding more black space made EVE much darker for a while, so the team implemented new lighting solutions. In battle the background is less important than players being able to read combat effects.
Outlining a batt le
6 Silhouettes are a vital part of ship design, as you need to be able to recognize any game asset from a distance. This is the shape of a Scorpion; a ship designed for electronic warfare, scrambling sensors and draining capacitors.
RIGHT: These three images were all taken by a player called Lord Maldoror and show a conflict called World War Bee: The Battle of M-OEE8.
ABOVE: The Battle of M-OEE8 saw the Moneybadger Coalition fight back against a dominant military force known as The Imperium.