NS2 Mapper Pack - An Appeal to the NS2 Community

matt1558matt1558 Join Date: 2012-02-27 Member: 147603Posts: 12Members
Crowdfunding NS2 Art
If I am correct, Unknown Worlds intends to rely on community-made maps rather than including a large number of 'Official' maps with the game. Looking at this forum, the NS2 community has the will to deliver, as there are a number of unofficial maps in production. But the topic often comes up - mappers wishing for a wider variety of art assets to use in their levels. UW does intend to release new art assets for mappers/modders, but on a gradual timeframe that may not happen until after NS 2.0 hits the proverbial shelves.

That being said, I would like to pitch an idea to you all. I am an unemployed CG artist, and I would like to gauge the interest of the NS2 community in "hiring" me to produce an unofficial set of textures and props that will be released for free to mappers. My initial idea is an 'NStalgia" theme, that is textures and props that are modern re-imaginings of artwork from NS1. But I am more than open to community suggestions, and I will get into that in a moment. The idea, put simply, is that if their is sufficient interest, we can 'crowd-fund' this project on Kickstarter.com. In exchange for your donation you will get a reward, for example small donations could get a custom texture included in the pack such as a locker with your name on it, larger donations could get a custom 3d prop of your own design. If enough people pledge donations, then Kickstarter will finance the project (whereas if funding is insufficient, your money never leaves your hands).

My goal is to raise $1000 so that I can take 1 month to develop this texture/model pack full time, 40 hours a week, with creative input from the community. I am imagining something like 75 textures and 25 props. This would be allow mappers to create areas and even entire levels that are totally different from the level sets that will ship with NS2. If 100 people pledge $10 we can make this happen - so my question to you all is, is there enough demand for this?

Please post your thoughts, questions, and suggestions in this thread. What kind of rewards would encourage people to donate? What kind of themes and props would you like to see?

Here is a texture I made tonight as a proof of concept - kinda rushed to be honest but it looks ok. This is a screenshot being lit in realtime in Blender:

image


Comments

  • fmponefmpone Join Date: 2011-07-05 Member: 108086Posts: 928Members, Squad Five Blue
    Give, and only then might thy receive.
  • ObraxisObraxis Subnautica Animator, Co-Lead NS2 CDT Join Date: 2004-07-24 Member: 30071Posts: 1,746Super Administrators, Forum Admins, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Silver, WC 2013 - Supporter, Subnautica Developer admin
    Can we see other examples of you work? If you want people to part with their money, seems only fair. For reference I'm a CG Artist currently working in the industry.

    If NS2 fails, follow my Nuke From Orbit Guide.

  • HemiHemi Join Date: 2012-02-13 Member: 145362Posts: 25Members
    Thinking about doing the same thing, since I retired from Killing floor modding. Though im not gonna raise money to do this stuff. Just the kick of having the props ingame and used in community maps is good enough for me.

    3DS max ftw lol
  • matt1558matt1558 Join Date: 2012-02-27 Member: 147603Posts: 12Members
    edited March 2012
    QUOTE (Obraxis @ Mar 1 2012, 12:35 AM) »
    Can we see other examples of you work? If you want people to part with their money, seems only fair. For reference I'm a CG Artist currently working in the industry.


    I worked in the handheld game industry for 5 years (GBA, DS, DSi, 3DS) - due to hardware constraints, my body of work that includes things like normal mapped textures is basically nonexistent. Over the next few days I'll continue to create and post more examples like the previous one, including the source files if requested.

    About these examples, I'll take requests - if there's a particular texture from NS1, or another source, which someone wants to see in this style, I'd be glad to take a look at it.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • matt1558matt1558 Join Date: 2012-02-27 Member: 147603Posts: 12Members
    QUOTE (Hemi @ Mar 1 2012, 12:36 AM) »
    Thinking about doing the same thing, since I retired from Killing floor modding. Though im not gonna raise money to do this stuff.


    I'm sure there are a few artists who will release textures and props to the community on their own initiative, and this is awesome. But relying solely on this approach has some significant drawbacks, given the heavy emphasis UW is putting on community maps. First, timing. NS2.0 will presumably be released in several months. Without a concerted push for art, it is extremely unlikely that the number and quality of community art assets will be significant on release day, let alone completed maps using these custom assets.
    Second, thematic consistency. The current theme of NS2 is mines/caves, and although I'm not sure what UW's plans are, it seems likely that the initial release will be a game about fighting aliens in mines/caves. Do we want an orbital spaceship environment? An inhabited colony/living quarters? Research Laboratory? The point is, a few artists working independently will not deliver thematically consistent assets that can be used to build specific environments. Of course skilled mappers can use whatever assets are available to give the impression of different locations, but a large-scale set of specifically themed artwork will make their lives much easier - the end result being a greater variety of environments available to play, sooner.

    This is just an idea - I'm not asking for anyone's money at this point. I would not go ahead with this concept without a green light from the NS2 gaming community itself, which is the reason for this appeal.
  • TigTig Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71674Posts: 977Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver
  • ArkantiArkanti pub baddie Join Date: 2011-07-22 Member: 111781Posts: 694Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow
    I don't like the idea of the community paying for mod assets. If you want to help out with modding, do just that. Don't try and make some weird business proposition out of it.

    And not trying to be harsh here but your example doesn't really stand up to the quality of the other game assets, you might want to put a bit more time in and show off a textured prop up to the standard of the stock content, especially if you're asking for money.
    Mr. Arkanti
    noGG Arkanti
    nova | Arkanti
    Pub Baddie

    Co_Summit - A remix of Summit's unique areas to mould it into a better Combat mod experience. I also broke all the textures. Mad skills yo.
    WildGrass Games - I make video games.
  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Posts: 4,983Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow mod
    Got an example of some of your models/props?

    Also, here are some threads of people talking/thinking about certain textures/model needs:
    Textures:
    http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/index....524&hl=prop

    Props:
    http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/index....456&hl=prop
    http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/index....&hl=texture
  • matt1558matt1558 Join Date: 2012-02-27 Member: 147603Posts: 12Members
    edited March 2012
    @Arkanti

    I'll work on some more assets to show off, for sure. Like I said, the original example is just a proof of concept that I did in a hurry. If nothing else, this thread will provide mappers with a few new random textures to use.

    As for the question, why am I not just helping out with modding instead of inquiring about crowdfunding? Because I don't feel a texture here, a random prop there, will ever result in a coherent final product when all is said and done. Creating a consistent, high quality theme for mapping requires a significant investment in time and effort, which in turn requires funding. I believe I spelled out pretty clearly why I see a 'need,' in a perfect world, for increasing the assets available to mappers pre-release.

    That being said, I have been following NS2 for some time because I'm interested in getting involved with mods or custom maps when the game is released. But that's a separate issue aside from supporting UW's goal of supplementing their limited initial release art content with community assets.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • matt1558matt1558 Join Date: 2012-02-27 Member: 147603Posts: 12Members
    QUOTE (ScardyBob @ Mar 1 2012, 04:32 PM) »
    Got an example of some of your models/props?


    As of right now, I'm not going to be doing anything with props since I would need to work out specifics of scaling/modularity in-engine. But just for fun here's a model I did a while back, it's a boss from the Metal Slug arcade game.

    image
  • matt1558matt1558 Join Date: 2012-02-27 Member: 147603Posts: 12Members
    It seems as if there's no desire for this project to happen, so consider the idea deep-sixed.
  • Classic319Classic319 Join Date: 2010-11-06 Member: 74789Posts: 196Members

    Good idea, but i think it is much better idea, if you contact with Unknown World as a part-time job, not with us.

    They will definately need some prop-modellers and texture-designers like you, so i hope you good luck.
    Anyway i like your 3D job above.
  • fmponefmpone Join Date: 2011-07-05 Member: 108086Posts: 928Members, Squad Five Blue
    I think the better idea is, support the community, make some stuff. Doesn't have to be a million things, one or two cool things. Then see where things go from there.
  • PlasmaPlasma Join Date: 2003-04-26 Member: 15855Posts: 605Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    You may want to investigate things like http://www.pozible.com.au/ to help funding.

    Personally, you may be better off trying to raise $100 for example to get one prop done instead of an up-front big payment etc.
  • DaphistoDaphisto Hive Janitor Join Date: 2002-11-16 Member: 8917Posts: 565Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    Does UWE allow custom alien or marine models?

    I wouldn't mind commissioning someone with decent CG skills to create some model replacements. It's not that I don't like the current models, in fact I think they're great. I just love variety.
  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Posts: 3,177Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    edited March 2012
    To be honest the biggest need for mappers at the moment is more textures.

    Rather than asking for people to pay for something, the best thing to do is start making models for the community, if people like what you do, they may ask you to commision specific models or sets for them. Asking upfront for money generally raises people suspicions. Just become part of the community and share with it, you'll be amazed at the offers you get when you share with the community :)
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • zombiehellmonkeyzombiehellmonkey Join Date: 2007-08-31 Member: 62093Posts: 304Members, Squad Five Blue
    edited March 2012
    You're probably asking the wrong crowd. I don't know about anyone else, but the only reason that I have so much time in the first place to build a community map is because paid jobs in real life are in short supply at the moment. Those who have the time to care about their maps, are most likely to be the most cash strapped. Perhaps I'm wrong, but why should I pay someone to make textures and props, when I've already put hundreds of hours into my map already for free?

    I don't know about your history, maybe this is your first time foray into the modding community. Many of the people in these forums I've known since 2004, and if it wasn't for their contributions to NS1, there wouldn't have been a NS2. I don't mean any offence, but it is quite mercenary to make a proposal like that in these forums when you've barely joined, I can see how people can be offended by your offer (there are many long time fans who do the things they do for the love of the game)
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    NS2_Kleos
    Subscribe now on NS2 Steam Workshop!
    image
    Kleos (Greek: κλέος) is the Greek word often translated to "renown", or "glory".
  • fmponefmpone Join Date: 2011-07-05 Member: 108086Posts: 928Members, Squad Five Blue
    QUOTE (zombiehellmonkey @ Mar 2 2012, 12:27 AM) »
    You're probably asking the wrong crowd. I don't know about anyone else, but the only reason that I have so much time in the first place to build a community map is because paid jobs in real life are in short supply at the moment. Those who have the time to care about their maps, are most likely to be the most cash strapped. Perhaps I'm wrong, but why should I pay someone to make textures and props, when I've already put hundreds of hours into my map already for free?

    I don't know about your history, maybe this is your first time foray into the modding community. Many of the people in these forums I've known since 2004, and if it wasn't for their contributions to NS1, there wouldn't have been a NS2. I don't mean any offence, but it is quite mercenary to make a proposal like that in these forums when you've barely joined, I can see how people can be offended by your offer (there are many long time fans who do the things they do for the love of the game)


    Wow. Eloquent
  • matt1558matt1558 Join Date: 2012-02-27 Member: 147603Posts: 12Members
    edited March 2012
    QUOTE (zombiehellmonkey @ Mar 1 2012, 09:27 PM) »
    Perhaps I'm wrong, but why should I pay someone to make textures and props, when I've already put hundreds of hours into my map already for free?


    The question is, why have you put hundreds of hours into a map for free? I'm assuming it's because you want to support NS2 in any way you can, for example by increasing the variety of available content and therefore replay-ability. Other people might have the same goals, but don't have the time or skillset to support these goals by making their own maps or artwork. But they may have financial resources that can support the same goals in a different way. Does that strike you as accurate? I don't think it's offensive to ask those people if they would like an avenue to support the overall mapping/mod-ing effort financially rather than artistically. That's why the goal was not to create props and textures to *sell,* but rather to increase the amount of content freely available to strengthen the overall mapping/modding scene.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • JanosJanos Join Date: 2002-08-02 Member: 1050Posts: 389Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester
    I can understand where you are coming from, I've been clamoring for a clean-lab style texture/prop set for a long time and it seems that the developers are not all that keen to get that theme pack off the ground, so for the most part I'm stuck with attempting to get by with grungy refinery textures and mineshaft props.
    But it's a hard sell to these boys who have worked with nothing but free assets from outset, most of them have been level designing since NS 1.0 days, working with high quality textures and models. There is a market for it but you came onto the forums like a cowboy, slinging your idea around without any evidence that you can deliver the kind of goods that they are used to, build trust first by releasing perhaps one or two re-imagined NS 1 textures, then pitch them that idea and I'm sure they would be more receptive to it.

    Though I am intrigued by the idea of having the original NS textures re-imagined for NS 2, I was honestly thinking about that whole concept the other day.
  • matt1558matt1558 Join Date: 2012-02-27 Member: 147603Posts: 12Members
    QUOTE (Janos @ Mar 1 2012, 10:46 PM) »
    build trust first by releasing perhaps one or two re-imagined NS 1 textures, then pitch them that idea and I'm sure they would be more receptive to it.


    Point taken. I'm on it, and as I said if anyone has texture requests just post some reference images. In fact I may start a new thread for my textures so it doesn't get confusing.
  • hookeyedhookeyed Join Date: 2007-08-26 Member: 62011Posts: 201Members, Squad Five Blue
    QUOTE (matt1558 @ Mar 2 2012, 03:30 AM) »
    Point taken. I'm on it, and as I said if anyone has texture requests just post some reference images. In fact I may start a new thread for my textures so it doesn't get confusing.


    Alright, I got a decent job for you if you're up to it. I need two portrait shaped screens. They would go here, in Personnel Docking:
    image

    One would be a general tech and gadget display, maybe an error message. The other would be a greeting message for ns2_tengu. Thanks in advance if you do decide to give it a try.
    new ns2 map in progress - ns2_tengu
    check out my portfolio - www.danielhookey.ca
  • matt1558matt1558 Join Date: 2012-02-27 Member: 147603Posts: 12Members
    sure thing Hookeye, check my thread here
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