Games created using 3dsMax

12 of September, 2020

I might not have talked extensively on what the applications for 3D environment modelling can be during the tutorials, but let's have a look at video-games in this first article :).

I personally do not play video games. Actually, I do have moments in which I fall in love with a game like Paladins, Overwatch or Ori and the Blind Forest, play it everyday for a few weeks and then never touch it again. Why? I think it's mostly because I am more interested in what is going on behind the gamplay experience, especially how the environment is created, textures used, polygon count, the general feel of the map. And I am quite critical about it. Basically, I am looking for inspiration, what the industry does and what 3D environment modeling is all about. And for that, yes, I do play video games once in a while.

Let's talk about games that were made in 3dsMax. Just to be clear, the full production of a game consists of multiple software, not just 3dsMax. Like Substance Designer for creating materials from scratch. But we'll be looking just at the modeling parts, at how the game map looks like.

Have you played Mirror's Edge Catalyst? The first-person adventure platformer developed by Electronic Arts? If not, have a look at the trailer and pay attention to the game's map.

Basically, a full city of surfaces: rooftops, alleways, indoor and outdoor life, crawlspaces and stunning views. The artists working on the game wanted to build a clean, elegant futuristic city that is realistic. "We don't want the player to run around and start questioning, why does this look this way, or why does that building look so strange" - Jhony Ljungstedt, art director.

Environment from Mirror's Edge Catalyst Image

Source: Fabien Christin - Artstation

When building a video-game, the pre-production part is crucial. Looking for inspiration, drawing, drawing again, burning everything down and starting over is a must. That's what the artists did for Mirror's Edge Catalyst. They looked at cities such as Singapore, Tokyo and Shanghai that kinda do feel futuristic. Everything is connected, so the main thing to get done in the early stages of development is figuring out how the map is layed out and build detail on top of that. This makes the game a functional one.

Environment from Mirror's Edge Catalyst Image

Source: Fabien Christin - Artstation

But even more important, in my view, is making sure the environment fits the game's mechanics. Since it's an open space, dynamic game in which you can run (even up a wall), jump while hitting your enemy in the face, the environment needs to allow that to happen. Also, being an open world structure, it involves a lot of travelling around, so this needs to be taken into consideration as well when building a map like this.

So how many polygons does the whole environment have? I can't possibly know that, but the game's first prototype was built in 2011 and the game was realeased in 2016 (productions were stopped for a while, but still). I hope this gives you an idea of how much work goes into these types of games (or any game for that matter), not only on the 3D modelling part.

So, what do you think of the environment or of the game itself? If you want to give it a try, it's avaiable on Amazon for PC, Xbox or PS4:

Any other games with amazing visuals you know? Leave a comment on @BoundVertex Instagram account at any post and let's talk!

Other blog posts

Video-game environments created with 3dsMax