A Beautiful PlanetSide 2: Time Lapse Design Video

By Jim Rossignol on February 25th, 2012 at 1:05 pm.


It’s always pleasing when development trailers give us some insight into the sheer amount of work that goes into making things as matter-of-fact as concept art for game weapons and vehicles. The video below shows the preliminary design of Planetside 2′s “Sky Lance”, which was created to shoot down dropships and keep away hot-drops by enemy infantry. (Just thinking about hot-drops is making me do a silent squee.)

Worth a watch. (Via VG247.)

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49 Comments »

  1. d34thm0nk3y says:

    That cannon made me wet myself.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

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  2. Ayam says:

    The lonely scientist figure surveying the might of his new best friend forever is a nice touch.

  3. Unaco says:

    Do we get different videos depending on which side of the Atlantic we’re on?

    • cassus says:

      If people manage to whine themselves into merged servers I will get cranky. Do not want high pingers.. Please PLEASE let europeans play with other europeans. I don’t want immortal warpers from the west coast on the euro servers.. Really do not want that.. As much as I get that people want to play with their friends.. Ruining the game with high ping is NOT the solution.

    • dsi1 says:

      Playing with friends with a bit of lag > playing alone with no lag.

      Every major FPS game today can easily handle players with ~150-200 ping.

    • Midroc says:

      A big incentive against euro only servers are that the servers will probably be ghost towns at night and under the day when people work. Having people from different timezones solves this problem.

  4. Premium User Badge

    tomeoftom says:

    What an awesome job.

  5. Defiant Badger says:

    Hot drops often give me silient squee’s also. There’s nothing to feel embarassed about.

    Edit: Oh that reminds, if you like this sort of stuff then you maight want to check out Wolfire’s youtube channel. It’s full of this sort of thing.

    • Premium User Badge

      tomeoftom says:

      I never got to play PS1 – is it anything like piloting a scout heli onto a rooftop for troops to get out in ARMA or BF3?

    • Ovno says:

      A bit except everyone jumps out and grav chutes down, which is of course much cooler…

    • Gurrah says:

      And also it’s nothing like a helicopter that drops you, it’s a sort of jumbo jet that can hover with room for 6/8 regular armoured troops and I think 1/2 in heavy armour suits (don’t remember the numbers correctly, please do correct me if I’m wrong). But yes, SQUEEEEEEEEEE is the exact word that comes to mind when I’m thinking of hot-dropping on an enemy base.

    • Premium User Badge

      Crimsoneer says:

      This scene always reminded me of PS drops
      http://youtu.be/IWxo5f0e2Eo?t=31s
      except with more explosions

    • Eskatos says:

      Phantasm drops were where it was at. Imagine having fun shooting at some distant target in your giant robot suit when suddenly 4 soldiers drop out of thin air and and evaporate your shields in seconds. Nothing like exclusively cruising around targeting the indignity that is BFRs.

    • Bhazor says:

      @ Crimsoneer

      Hey would you look at that. They’re making crap anime with computers now. Theres progress.

    • aircool says:

      Don’t forget the Lightning in the cargo bay for light armoured support.

  6. Arcalane says:

    Sounds like it might just be a decor/background item, but being able to use it for defense (and thus needing to disable it) could get kind of interesting.

  7. LuNatic says:

    A trailer without dubstep! What is Sony thinking?

  8. Walsh says:

    Sony can go fuck themselves hard. I’ve spent the past 4 days trying to change my password so I can login to my station account. My account is stuck in a loop always prompting to change my password and then it locks out and I have to wait 24 hours to try again. Their phone support might as well not exist because they won’t help over the phone with password issues and for whatever moronic reason I can’t logon to their support site without signing in. All this so I can sign up for the stupid Planetside 2 beta.

    • skinlo says:

      SOOO ANGRY!!

    • hinq says:

      I recall having the same problem Walsh. If I remember correctly, the trick was to do a forgotten password request and let the system choose you a new temporary one. That gets it out of the loop it’s stuck in.

    • mondomau says:

      I had a similar problem with DCUO after the stolen credit card fiasco. Worse, every time I requested a password reset, it said I’d already requested one in the past 24 hrs (I hadn’t) and had to wait. After submitting a ticket to customer support, I waited 3 days to be told they had resolve my problem (they hadn’t) and they closed the ticket without actually talking to me. In the end, I had to ring my bank and get them to cancel the payment and took back the previous months charge. SOE can eat a whole bag of dicks.

  9. Inverselaw says:

    I wonder when its going to be available as a desktop image?

  10. noom says:

    Pretty interesting stuff. Watching these kind of things always makes me insanely jealous of people who can dream these things up from nowhere with such apparant ease. Me and the creative process just don’t get on that well :(

  11. Auru says:

    SO much talent.. blew me away watching that come to life, thanks for the vid

  12. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Has anyone said this yet? No? In that case …

    BIG
    F***ING
    GUN

  13. Doomsayer says:

    How does this point up?

    • RogB says:

      ‘working with concept artists’ , volume 1, chapter 1 : Make a jolly nice portfolio piece , dont worry about silly little details like how will it actually work, thats somebody else’s problem.

      (i get this a lot..)

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      Seems obvious enough to me. The joint for elevating the gun would be hidden in the back of the main body, and the top barrel would elevate while the base would stay put. I.e. this: https://img.skitch.com/20120225-f4113kgbqn4ms1e6swuakx54fr.jpg

      May or may not be particularly physically sturdy by today’s standards, but hey, this is the future.

    • Stevostin says:

      IMO the basic of everything that’s really beautiful in design is the real use of the item that can be felt through the apparence. It’s both true for design and aging mark. That lesson is rarely taught in design schools and that’s why we end up with to much things that rely on abstract “beauty” of a shape. Well, S.T.A.L.K.E.R just never relies on such logic and it’s a world that is far more striking than nearly any other. IMO that’s because it carries the real use of what it shows.

      So… Starwars space ships are still memorable. They were designed by someone coming… from the aircraft industry. Such a profile always make sure you can raise the gun.

    • Bhazor says:

      @ Steveostin

      I agree but I’d say Stalker isn’t a great example. It’s basically modern day with no real sci fi tech. For me a better example would be Mechwarrior or the Wing Commander games. There everything is designed with functionality in the front of their mind and it feels much more cohesive as a result.

      Apart from not being able to aim up those thick cables swinging about are just asking for trouble. I imagine when this reaches animation stage the “fixed” version will be nearly unrecognisable.

    • Stevostin says:

      The point of STALKER as an exemple was to illustrate in the extreme the virtue of “real usage” of what you put in your world. In STALKER everything is coming from real stuff really existing and really used, but just unknown (think of the Brain Scortcher). Now of course when you do an project like PS you can’t use such a strong back up anchored in reality – I agree that’s the limit of the example. That’s why I added the one from Starwars. The design for the ships is still so great and probably will forever be. I am convinced it has to do with the fact the guy who created it created real stuff that were really build and really used. And I am an art guy so I am basically playing against my league here. But think of how all of those really charming object made for private houses out of antics of stuff used for real. They have a quality no intersting shape will ever has and that clearly outweight it by far for mostly anyone. I find it comforting to see how pure aesthetic is of nearly no importance compared to evocative aesthetic, ie aesthetic that put your mind to use and make you imagine in a background process the “story” around what you’re actually seing.

      While I have fond memories of WC, I can’t tell I remember this game as a shinning exemple of good design (it certainly was ok thus). But my favourite game for design is Morrowind, and Morrowind was certainly a design that also worked with explanation, not just shapes (still shapes were brilliant, too).

    • MrUnimport says:

      I do see what you mean. A lot of things in Star Wars have a stark, utilitarian feel to them, even though they’re credited with inventing the greeble. This gun has a bit too much of the Mass Effect about it for my liking: big bland SHAPES which are filled out with technical detail as an afterthought, giving it the feel of an art installation rather than a believable weapon.

  14. JBantha says:

    I was expecting a lot of the 3D modeling, but I loved the video anyway. <3

  15. Stevostin says:

    Pretty sad to see so much craft for such a bland design. It’s terrible to compare Planetside design to the D.U.S.T stuff. Planetside late stuff is getting slightly better, but… way to go. The AD who put that color set for the faction and thought it could be good anyhow is just making the wrong decision by such a long shot. You can do pretentious aesthetic mud gray color that bores some but looks nice in an art book. You can do flashy kid friendly palette explosion that would make basic forum goon happy with at least some variety. You can’t do the sad mudychromatic thing that would bore most yet still look tasteless in an art book.

    Whatever price you choose to pay, get something for it.

    • hinq says:

      But…this is a Nanite Systems weapon. The generic ‘faction’ which TR/NC/VS all make use of. I’d say the generic palette makes more sense in this context.

  16. steviesteveo says:

    And that’s what Photoshop can do if you learn how to use it properly.

  17. Synesthesia says:

    the faux texturing in photoshop is amazing. Im applying those techniques inmediatly. More of this, please!

    • cassus says:

      You’ve probably already seen this, but Feng Zhu has a Youtube channel where he shows LOTS of videos of concept art. He sometimes uses a technique similar to this, and he often uses images for just plotting out the colour palette of his paintings. Just search for Feng Zhu on youtube. Think his channel is FZDesign or something like that. Well worth watching :)

  18. lordhughes says:

    When I first watched this I was like
    http://www.myfacewhen.net/uploads/300-rainbow-puke.jpg

  19. DOLBYdigital says:

    Great video! I always love seeing this stuff. I agree with others above that Wolfire’s blog is another spot to check for nice time-lapsed videos on prototyping and design along with great info about programming that gives a good sense of how much work goes into games. Good article

    • MattCarr says:

      I love a good time lapse video. I agree with the Wolfire comment, anyone interested in how games are made should definitely be checking out their weekly videos.

      I’ve also started doing something crazy with our new game project, I’m recording the entire process and putting it on YouTube as “Every Semicolon” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaGnrQPWOss&list=PLEE25C0EF8F65F406&index=1. It’s scary stuff because although I’m confident in my abilities as a programmer, nobody is perfect or likes to make mistakes publicly. Be that as it may I’m throwing them up warts and all for anyone interested.

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  21. JayeRandom says:

    I hope that they’re putting just as much design effort into actual in-game shapes, textures, and lighting as they did for this piece of 2-D marketing art.