What were your artistic goals going into production on this title? Would you say you've achieved them?
Rudy: I joined the Killzone 2 team when we finished our PSP game, Killzone: Liberation. Jumping from a small handheld development team into a development team as large as Killzone 2’s was quite a culture shock. I had to learn a completely new production pipeline, new solutions and new tools. The character art team was in full production and had already finished some characters. However, since our game engine was still in development we would occasionally have to update the complex shading network and texture maps on all characters.
My first assignment for Killzone 2 was modeling the first-person arms and gloves of Sev, our main character. We used a different sculpt solution, which I’ve since converted into a ZTool. When I look at this sculpt now, I would say it conforms to about 60% of what we expect a Killzone 3 model to look like. In that sense, you might say we have improved the quality quite a bit. We also looked at how to improve the texture workflow. Balance is the key; our goal was to use more sculpted detail and less dirt and splotches. We also added a few nodes to the shading network to add micro-detail, which was especially useful for fabric.
Killzone 3 starts right where we left off in Killzone 2, so we are using the “old” Killzone 2 characters in the first level.
Jan-Bart: Our main objective was to give the player an adventure of really epic proportions. We wanted to truly deliver on the military science-fiction spectacle aspect. To do this we wanted to make sure the experience would be very rich. It should be a constant flow of new fun things, whether a new gameplay mechanic, a new weapon, a fresh new environment or some awesome new enemies.
I think in that regard we have done very well. All the critics are raving about the amount of variety of the game.
As the fourth installment in a popular series, how did you strike a balance between making the visuals fully familiar for the players while also upping the ante?
Jan-Bart: Killzone has a very distinct art style and all our artists are thoroughly trained in that style. This makes it much easier to ensure a very consistent style across several titles, while pushing the quality even further with each new installment. Over the course of creating Killzone 2, the team had also gained a lot of experience in new techniques that allowed for the creation of much higher quality content. So for Killzone 3, we went back to a lot of the content we had created for Killzone 2 and decided to push the envelope a little further in terms of quality.