"I will begin our Great Journey[...] Those who come after will know what we bought with this false transcendence -what you bought, and the price you paid."
Being a big fan and lover of Halo's Forerunner architecture and due to the current work I've been doing for HammerFall Contest, this time I tried to join both knowledge, technique and talent to create an epic Grifball Court for the commnunity with the word Forerunner all over it. With that preface in mind, I gave birth to Inheritor.
Inspired by the work of 343's concept artists such as Sparth and Robogabo, and my personal research on Forerunners' architecture, Inheritor is a brand-new Grifball Court were players will be immersed into a beautiful Forerunner scenario, trying to bring to life all those magnificent aesthetics and ambiences that this architecture provides.
Almost every player in the community describes a Grifball Court as a shoe-box with just some paint work, well... I wanted to change that. Taking advantage of Parallax's skybox I decided to create a Court larger than it usually would be by expanding the player's experience outside the court. Cinematics and running starts take place far away of the Court, giving a glimpse of what is about to come.
An open Court gives place to a more dramatic use of the skybox and also a more challenging process since I would have to consider the design of both interiors and exteriors. To achieve this I expanded the Court's walls with a more dynamic purpose, blending the technical and standard requirements for Grifball with the aesthetics and shapes of Forerunners' structures around the terrain. The map features the main big structure as the Court with other minor island-type structures levitating around it, pulled by some antigravity force. To help the immersive experience I managed to use a certain amount of FXs, sounds and other assets that scripted give a dynamic and realistic environment to the game. You would be able to see your score on your team's tower, watch some Phaetons patroling the sky, or just keep playing to be surprised by the map -especially by some easter eggs I traditionally put for all of you-.
As an architect I know the fact that there are some requirements to be fullfiled, but also he or she has to provide a way to merge both the technical and artistic sides to achieve a special identity with both. The Court fulfills every aspect that the contest's standards dictates but also gives an immersive space where players can relate and experience their favorite sport in a new way.
To properly start this project I first skecthed out the ideas on paper to preselect the orientation, shape and signs of the Court -I always try to take advantage of the environent to select team's sides-. Then figuring out the dimensions and prefabs provided by @NOKYARD , I tweaked them to favor the concept of the map.
The skybox was hard to achieve. Because of the lighting and rendering limitations I had to test every single island-structure in order to get a flawless lighting and get a good visual of them from inside the Court. In fact, the way I located them really gives the map a sense of hugeness as I visioned.
Days of drafting and countless hours of inspecting every detail of the map to match my vision, I must say I'm very proud of what this project became. I had a lot of fun building this map and I'm very happy of how it ended.
I want to thank my crew at Achievement Hunters, all my followers that joined my lobbies and the following special guys who shared their time to help me testing gameplay and scripting to get this map ready:
-SpineCrush3r (Sentinel prefab)
Hope everyone enjoys it and don't forget to bookmark it!
Any feedback will be appreciated. AB out.