June 4, 2014
Pillars of Eternity developer Obsidian have a soft spot for Star Wars, or at least some of their artists do, who - reportedly in their spare time - put their skills and the power of the Unreal 4 engine to use, creating some superb Star Wars environments, which aren't matched details-wise by any of the movies or games of the Star Wars universe. Considering the level of detail and image quality achieved by some of Star Wars: Battlefront's incarnations, that is quite a statement to make, but it holds true nonetheless. The said environments are rendered in real time and they can actually be downloaded and explored. Obviously though, one does need a powerful computer to do that.
Also involved in the project - besides other members of the Obsidian development team - was senior environment artist Jason Lewis, who did not shy away from going into all sorts of details regarding the production process. According to Lewis, the effort was a sort of experiment, meant to find out just how much detail one could run on a modern PC, while keeping the frame-size at an acceptable level.
Some screenshots from the said environments have been made public, among them a shot of the Millenium Falcon, which - according to Lewis - took some 700,000 polygons to create. While there is some macro-level modularity in the creations, at the micro level (that of floor/wall/stairs tile-sets), there is none: everything is unique.
Everything considered, the environments may indeed offer a clue to how a future Star Wars game might look (although as stated above, Star Wars: Battlefront already does a rather impressive job in the graphics department). Through these creations, Obsidian may also be angling to pick up another Star Wars game, after all, they already have history with the IP in the shape of Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2...
Interestingly, the power and appeal of the Star Wars brand extends further afield too, with casino software providers licensing the franchise for use in their online and mobile slots games offerings to players. This means that players who are fans of the franchise can play the Star Wars themed games, complete with characters and often scenes from the movies for free or for real money from anywhere in the world.
Philip Thalberg has been tasked with Dota 2 coverage at the world's top competitive gaming destination.
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