Prey is a first person shooter action-adventure video game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game was released on 5 May 2017, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
This was my assigned level throughout a majority of the development of Prey so I modeled, textured, and composed many elements of Arboretum. I focused a lot on the terrain and ground materials used. Eric Beyhl was the Lead Environment Artist, Karen Segars was the Lead Architect, Fredrick Nolting was the Outsourcing Manager but made a large amount of content and even took over towards the end of the project so I could focus on the end game cinematics. Chris Douglas also helped out with this level, in particular he designed the Alex's Penthouse and made the scaffolding seen throughout the level. For more close-up shots of some of the props I made in this level click the link below:
The Arboretum After The Apex Arrives
At a certain point in the game an alien known as the Apex arrives and causes significant damage to the station, this is visually seen most in Arboretum. I created the variation which included lighting as well. I go into more of the changes I made in the cinematic section of my Prey portfolio. Click below to find out more:
I created the industrial wall set which was used in numerous locations throughout this level and prop variants which were created based on my design. Bryan Cross was the Environment Artist, Larry Vallely was the Architect, Steve Powers was the Level Designer.
I created the actual blowout at the Hardware Lab section which ended up getting adapted and used in other sections of the exterior. This was done by building out the station structure and then doing a simulation which I then baked and optimized for the game. I also made the industrial wall set which ended up getting used in sections of the cargo bay blowout. William Hewitt was the primary Environment Artist that produced a majority of the textures seen here, Nate Blaisdell was the Level Designer, Francisco Cruz was the Architect, Jim Magill did the lighting.
I made several rooms in this level, created some wall panels, texture sets and prop variants as well. William Hewitt was the Environment Artist, Jim Magill did the lighting and was also the Architect and Jeremy Catlin was the Level Designer.
I made the industrial wall set which was used in numerous locations in this level. I also created the coral (the orange fibrous looking substance) which was particularly important because it is considered the "heart" of the growth from which it expanded and grew throughout the entire station. Jim Magill lit this level. Jennica Derksen was the Environment Artist, Larry Vallely was the Architect and Shawn Elliot was the Level Designer.
I made the composition for the simulation area. This included the apartment, hallway and testing area and also did some work (largely texture and material work) on the simulated city. Phi Nguyen and WIlliam Hewitt did a final pass on the area later on. Eric Behyl and Bryan Lian were the Environment Artists, Larry Vallely was the Architect, Albert Meranda was the Level Designer.
Because of the sheer size of this object and initially this prop had gameplay value so the detail was important, not to mention the fact that it is a large capsule with pipes going into it which the player could see from any angle (these are found in space.)
Here is a collection of floor decorations that were used throughout the game. They are essentially just decals but they were very large so for the sake of performance it was cheaper to just make them out of polygons not to mention the amount of detail that was necessary as well.
Things That Didn't Make It
These are props that were in Prey at one point but because of various reasons (design changes, etc.) they ended up not making it in the final release of Prey.
Phantom Material Development
The Phantom was a result of collaborative effort between Me and Adam Pitts trying to come up with a performant way of making the aliens appear mysterious and otherworldly. A majority of the aliens detail comes from textures scrolling at different rates across meshes with some vertex deformation. Then some accent particle effects to add to the silhouette which Jason Timmons created.
These are appendages of the Apex that spawned out of certain areas designated as Apex "Walls" which were more or less a chunk of the apex bleeding into the station. I modeled and textured this character.
There were technically two different models of the Apex, what is seen in the Arboretum and what is in the Bridge and end game cinematics. I modeled and textured both.
Bridge Apex Model
Arboretum Apex Model
Coral was a monumental task because it had to permeate most levels and it also had to progressively "grow" throughout the game. To make matter worse is that it also had to be cheap as possible which proved rather difficult given that the design itself was transparent.
Whats going on Here
My solution ended up being very basic and relying on texture work and vertex colors. The material is two textures blending together scrolling at different rates. with a bit of vertex deformation added in to give it slight movement. Very basic but was effective.
3 Stages +1
The Coral technically had 3 stages of progression throughout the game progressively growing then a last phase which activates once the player activates a certain device alters the state of the coral.
Healing Glass was broken up into two elements: the persistent effect which tells the player what kind of glass they are dealing with and an impact effect which appears when the player provides some force to the glass.
This ended up being very basic; I made a mesh that followed the shaped of where I wanted the effect to flow. added vertex color to the spots I wanted then made two textures flowing at different rates across the mesh.
This was several effects, Jason Timmons helped on this with the final pass but I had to create a decal that gave the impression glass was shattering then healing so what I did is I shattered a plane in Maya and did a physics simulation of an object hitting it then rendered out the Z pass of the frame that worked and based the rest of what is seen off of that.
These objects were more or less extensions of the Apex itself and existed as portals which the Apex Tentacles could spawn out of. These had to be made custom in just about every level. For for more information on the Apex Tentacles click the button below:
The fundamental desire here was to have a helmet that covered the screen to telegraph to the player that they are in a hostile environment. I ended up creating a very basic mesh that wrapped around the player screen and Billy Lord created the lower element. I needed three materials; one for the black frames which were subtle enough to not distract the player and the detail itself from the inside. Then the last one was used for cracked glass that transitioned to progressively worse states as the players suit degraded.
FYI: I have captured footage of these cinematics, I am just waiting for final approval from Zenimax in the manner in which it is shown.
I created the Apex arrival cinematic seen here. This included animation, scripting, lighting, then some modeling and FX work to get what is seen here. This was very difficult because there was a lot happening which needed to be telegraphed to the player but it also had to be in-game as well so performance was a serious issue that I had to continuously be aware of.
The animations seen were all geo cached so I was able to use simple things in Maya like lattices to deform the dome as tentacles wrapped around it.
The End Game
I created all the possible outcomes for the end game cinematics which were intended to wrap up the story. I created the composition, animation, lighting, some FX, texture work on the Earth and Moon to give them a more cinematic quality (they were based on the in-game assets.) I also made the Apex Alien character with its respective effects.
Nick Silveira Rigged the Tentacles which I modeled and animated, as seen when the player escapes by either shuttle or excape pod. They are also visible when no one escapes and the station blows up.
Each cinematic was rendered in-engine.