AREA 51: BLACKSITE

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Description of my work on Blacksite

Prior to working on Blacksite: Area 51, I was wrapping up Stranglehold in Chicago. When I came into this project, it was toward the tail end of production, when most of the content was already made.

Instead of creating content, my work was focused on level polish, prop placement, lighting, level layout, fog/atmospheric effects, material improvements, optimization, and scripting in game events for the final level/map of the game.

In these screenshots, I did little to no modeling. These screenshots are meant to showcase my set dressing and lighting efforts. I was responsible for the majority of the lighting; bring the scenes from default lighting, to the dramatic contrast in the final version, which ultimately set the mood for the entire level. I also spent a considerable amount of time placing meshes and "propping out" the level, giving it the visual density we wanted, and giving it a more recently destroyed look, that our concepts portrayed.

In addition to these major tasks, I also did a fair amount of scripting (in Kismet) for the final stage of the end level of the game. I was working on the lighting and mesh placement of this area, and the scripters were swamped with other tasks; so I took it upon myself to set up the scripting for a large portion of the objectives in that area. This required swapping damage states of static meshes, playing proper fx at key moments, activating and deactivating collisions to control player movement between sections, and scripting dynamic lighting changes during explosions and other moments of impact. So instead of waiting for weeks for these implementations, I was able to take on this task within a day or two.

Soon after that, I became the "go to guy" for artists wanting to have art-driven scripted events for their levels. I helped other artists and even my supervisors set up their maps to allow dynamic lighting changes, dynamic fog changes per area, material swaps, and mesh replacements all triggered in-game.

Even though the majority of my work was centered around the final level of the game, I also had a hand in polishing and optimizing many of the other levels of the game. At a time when other artists were rolling off onto other projects, I was one of three senior artists asked to remain on until the end- to see it through submission for both xbox 360 and the playstation 3.

During this time we hit every level looking for optimizations to improve performance without compromising the visual quality of the game. We became bug-crushers for fixing game play bugs and problems, such as lighting glitches, collision issues, and other situations that stood in the way of completion. I take great pride in being one of the few chosen to add the finishing touches before our ship date. Due to my recent experience wrapping up Stranglehold, I was trusted to see this project through and make the necessary changes for completion.

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