For the past few months, the art team has been working hard on updating our player models. This hasn’t been just a fresh coat of paint, but a re-imagining of how player customization will work in Due Process. These new characters are an important first step on the journey towards character customization as it adds in both male and female options for Enforcers and Defenders, as well as including multiple skin-tones for players to choose from. This blog post should shed some light on our plans, but as with all things Alpha, nothing is final.
A Model Citizen
We've come a long way from Block Dudes, but when we started to toy around with customization, we knew our models would need to go even further beyond. While our characters already had a robust visual design, they were not flexible enough to allow us to create new customization options and appearances rapidly. We saw this as an opportunity to improve and polish our already established design and bring more simplicity to the overall pipeline.
Our art team started by creating a base model to build off of, standardizing the size and scale of all of our characters. The main focus was to make this initial model as flexible as possible for both the art and animation teams while allowing customization options to be shared between both male and female characters with small adjustments. Much of this was accomplished by building these models with proper edge-loop flow as we knew we would need to make adjustments in the future and wanted to prepare ourselves for when this eventuality came along. This process also allowed us to consolidate both Enforcer and Defender models down to a single rig, which will make creating new assets a much simpler affair.
The silhouette of each team is now more realistic and easier to identify in the heat of battle, so characters will find themselves more at home in our environments. With all of these substantial upgrades now in place, our art and animation teams can make all kinds of different customization options at a much faster rate, for both genders, with minimal adjustments needed for unique pieces of gear. Reactions from our Alpha Testers have been overwhelmingly positive, so we’re excited to move forward! With all the technical details out of the way, let's take a look at what we've got in store for customization.
We’ve had plenty of questions about character customization over the years, and we’re at the point where we can finally begin talking about what we have in mind. We want our characters to remain identifiable at a glance while playing, so there is no question as to if you’re shooting at friend or foe. Colors will stay a strong identifying element of each team, so don’t expect to see an ARGUS Enforcer with a bright pink flack jacket! Defenders will be a bit more on the wild side with lots of bright, neon coloring, whereas Attackers will have a much more cohesive style that brings the overall look of the team together. Enforcer gear should feel like something pulled right out of Judge Dredd, Robocop, or Terminator, whereas Defender’s pull from places like Akira, Blade Runner, Gene Generation, and even Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Let's be real though: if I can’t dress up like Mr. T, why bother?
Customization options are broken down into four areas: Head, Torso, Legs, and Shoes. Head options include as things like hair, glasses, hats, or piercings, which can all be mix-and-matched to give yourself a unique look. Some restrictions, such as sunglass over a digital visor, might be restricted to avoid excessive clipping.
Torso customization comes as a “unified look” as opposed to multiple overlapping options. One outfit might have fingerless gloves and a t-shirt, whereas another might have a ballistic vest with a rolled up track-jacket underneath it. Things like backpacks, shoulder pads, or certain pouches would be equipped separately from the upper torso armor, allowing you to mix-and-match. Another idea we’re testing for Defenders is selectable emblems players that would be displayed somewhere on their armor like a sewn-on patch, allowing you to coordinate looks with your squad. Cobra Crew forever!
Leg gear works the same as the torso: each customization option is a “set” that includes items such as pants, belts, and pouches as opposed to multiple individual pieces that can be toggled on and off or mixed and matched. So while one set might have a leg holster and hotpants, another might be jeans and a utility belt. Shoes are separate from pants, meaning they can be mixed and matched. Some boots may be restricted depending on what pants are selected, such as baggy hammer pants clipping through thick combat boots. All pieces of gear will come with 3 - 4 color variants, so you can be as coordinated or offensively mismatched as desired.
While this covers the basics of character customization, we already have ideas for how we could expand the system. Things such as bionic limbs or other sci-fi implants are things we’re interested in adding but are unsure if they would be separate items or part of an armor set. We’re also experimenting with holsters that your character will slot associated weapons in, such as a chest-mounted pistol holster. While we’re focusing in on our vision of player customization, we’re also super interested to know what our community has in mind! Feel free to throw us ideas, no matter how extravagant or wild.
Oh yea, Alpha 10 also happened! Due to it also being Easter Weekend, Alpha 10 started strong but ended slow. 283 matches were played, and in an unexpected turn of events, Attackers finally came out on top with 161 wins! Attackers gaining an edge may have been due to a change we made that causes explosions to destroy Defender babwire. This was also our first weekend with 0 server crashes, which is a huge step towards our overall stability. Despite this, servers are still overly sensitive when it comes to kicking players for things like missing packets or rough connections. We’re hard at work ironing out these issues as we continue our march through Alpha.
With most of our testers missing for Easter, we’re taking a detour to the slightly smaller GIF Town today.
Zach 1v3’s with help from the Shopping Cart
RedElixer with some shotgun collateral
RedCommissar does a C-Store run.
That’s a Wrap
That’s all for this blog post! Expect more information about our Character Customization system as it makes its way through development as this preview is but the tip of the iceberg. There's more exciting news on the horizon, as well as a long overdue trip to the Armory. Another 100 keys will be going out on Friday, so keep an eye on your inbox!