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July 29, 2012
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PLANETSIDE 2 Pre-Viz: SMG by ukitakumuki PLANETSIDE 2 Pre-Viz: SMG by ukitakumuki
Concept art © 2012 Sony Online Entertainment LLC. SOE. All Rights Reserved.

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Planetside 2 is out soon! Watch the trailer here: [link]
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Current Planetside 2 design, and Planetside 1 design.
[link]
[link] <<< Assumed replacement??
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So, with the new trailer out, and the tonnes of beta footage, concept art and media floating about I think its safe to release some of my pre-viz work I did for SOE from 2009-2010. I will be releasing in the order of what is only out already in the media, and then finally once the game is 'gold' then the rest will follow in updates to come.

Planetside ([link]) was, and is, an unimaginably amazing true-MMOFPS franchise that should have taken the world by storm 9 years ago. It was the only game back then that could hold my attention for more than 7 minutes. Defending a hard-earned facility, Mass Gal drops, MAX Raids had me rushing home from school and logging on and doing my part for the TR/Vanu. Most of the defining moments of my life's gaming experience is credited to Planetside and its open-world 'sandbox' nature, allowing hundreds of players to wage epic freaking war in a 24-hour long persistent world server. The network connectively was surprisingly sharp, and the frenetic gameplay, camaraderie and immersion to be had was nothing short of exhilarating.

I eventually left the game due to the introduction of BFRs (Don't get me wrong it was fun as a Collosus killing shit and acting out my Mechwarrior fantasies on live human opponents, being a troll even before it became a popular meme, but the entire battlefield dynamic just changed too drastically for comfort. I mainly enjoyed the combat with 50% infantry, 30% armour, 20% air vehicle mix...)

Fast forward 6 years, and right after finishing up my Space Vagabonds commission and wanting to take a holiday, a phonecall came in from SOGA Taiwan. It was for a project titled Planetside Next. I think I screamed a bit. A combination of self-doubt, horror, and eventually facemelting joy followed by a frantic followup email and a test and the job was awarded to us at IFS! :) (Helped to be a fan and swearing on my life that I'd do my best to homage Planetside and update it respectfully, too.) It was then supposed to be just a revamp of Planetside, a sort of Planetside reimagined. Explains why you don't see glass cockpits on my vehicle concepts, that was an early creative decision when they weren't sure they wanted to show off the characters or not due to engine limitations (IIRC they wanted to vastly increase the player count with the same engine or something, so something had to give). I also chimed in saying it was fantastic idea, because we'd be able to create a truly hard-sci fi futuristic look where high end optics were commonplace, removing the need for fragile transparent components. A cold, hardened look that is reminiscent of drones. I still think its a great meaningful look, and I always feel kinda broken-hearted when I see how in the current iterations the cockpit areas of my designs got carved up into glass, because it was a real labour of love for myself, and the early team members (GM John Laurence, Programmer/PM Steve Wang, AD William B. Yeatts) that went into designing all that stuff.

While I may not agree aesthetically with those changes, I can definitely appreciate and understand why they went the direction of showing off glass cockpits and crew especially now that the project has the brilliant Forgelight engine to bring that world to life. (Don't get me wrong, if its an open canopied jeep or ATV by all means uncover it all, show the crew, the rawness and exposure has beauty too... just that my design approach at the time was simply based around the original principle of being a hardened cockpit coffin and the pilot buried behind layers of protection. To my mind, it is very hard to just swap a part out and change the context and expect the design to carry the same meaning anymore. Players might not ever care, but I just felt the need to say my peace on that tiny matter. :) )

So anyways, I spent almost an entire year (2009-2010) on the project. It was one of the most transformational periods of my life professionally and testing in my personal life as well; the relationships forged and artistic growth, the incredible brain drain endured along with the soaring creative highs, no money can buy any of that. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to have experienced it all and especially to have worked on the project of my dreams alongside some amazing people (credited above!), the game that made me a gamer. Can't wait to show more when I can and I sincerely hope my efforts have added to the joy of fans worldwide! Long live Planetside! :)

More on this piece:
-My favourite of the lot, I referenced the H&K feel of the original Suppressor from Planetside 1, except converted it to a more compact, bullpup configuration reminiscent of the brilliant P90, FAMAS, and other PDWs. Shirow's Seburo, anyone? I took it as an opportunity to homage all my favourites while providing what would hopefully be the a standout amongst the other non-bullpup designs.
-Again like the thumper, the SMG had integrated strapwells to suggest being able to clip to the chest of the player model. The idea was that inventory space could be sacrificed in favour of quick access to the weapon. As demonstrated here: [link]
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:iconkyitsu:
Kyitsu Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
I would've gone with your style of design in everything, looks so much better than the already sweet PS2 :x
Terrific work.
Reply
:iconukitakumuki:
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
honoured!
Reply
:iconelliottc2003:
elliottc2003 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012
Very nice. I'm a bit annoyed at how most PS2 weapons are traditional. (perhaps to appeal to what north american audiences are used to?)

Hopefully we see something more bullpup designs in Planetside 2. It [i]is[/i] the future after all...
Reply
:iconukitakumuki:
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
:( Sad to say my friend not even a single alien weapon seems bullpup to me, whatwith their hockey puck ammo canisters loaded into the side and all. I always thought if there was a race that would work with the bullpup look it would definitely be the Vanu! If PS2 does well who knows, the ingame shop has got so much potential :)
Reply
:iconchiselbottom:
Chiselbottom Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012
idiot.
Reply
:iconukitakumuki:
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
State the reason for your offence? :p
Reply
:iconhekatoncheir:
hekatoncheir Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Really cool design! May I ask what kind of program you used for the 3D?
Reply
:iconukitakumuki:
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Google Sketchup. Thanks kindly! :)
Reply
:iconhekatoncheir:
hekatoncheir Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
very cool! Have you ever thought about doing a tutorial for making vehicle/props in sketchup? 'Cause that would be cool too lol.
Reply
:iconukitakumuki:
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I think if you checked out :iconsketchup-overdrive: you would find more usefulness there :D
Reply
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