3D Props For Control: Co-creative Experience With Remedy

  1. Collaboration and partnership with Remedy
  2. Art Production Pipeline & Processes
  3. Building synergy between teams
  4. Bottom line

In this article, we asked Room 8 Studio Lead 3D Environment Artist Stanislav Bidiuk, who had spent seven productive months in a partner’s office in Finland, about his participation in Remedy Entertainment’s award-winning project, Control. You will learn how the photorealistic AAA art for this game was created and what it takes to build synergy between an external art team and a partner.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Stanislav has 6+ years of experience as a 3D Artist in game development. During the last three years, Stanislav worked with Room 8 Studio as Lead 3D Environment Artist, participating in the most significant AAA projects. Stanislav is focused on the continuous development of his skills, raising the bar in creating photorealistic 3D art and sharing gained expertise with the team.

Collaboration and partnership with Remedy

How did the parties come up with the decision that you would be working at Remedy Games’ office in Finland?

The participation of Room 8 Studio in this project was discussed in early 2017 at the initial stage of its planning. After the successful test work, we started to collaborate with Remedy Entertainment on creating the 3D environment props for Control. Sometime later, our partners came up with the idea that it would be good if one of the artists from the dedicated project team at Room 8 Studio went to Finland to facilitate the creative process inside the internal Remedy team.

Was it difficult to integrate into the partner team? How was the atmosphere at the Remedy Entertainment office?

Without exaggeration, I can say that the atmosphere in their office is fantastic. It’s a great combination of true professionalism and a friendly, creative community. It was not easy to move to another country for a long time, but, fortunately, I was strongly supported by both teams — my team at Room 8 Studio and the Remedy team.

What did the creative process at the partner’s office look like?

I worked closely with Remedy’s lead artist and the project manager. We had a structured plan of work and a meeting each week to discuss the project’s overall progress, possible difficulties, and new ideas that come into mind, as well as the plan for the next week.
As for the creative part, the artists were provided with lots of different references and inspirational materials. Of course, there were also clear guidelines, but at the same time, I had almost complete creative freedom in my artistic decisions. When a partner trusts your expertise and does not try to push you into a rigid framework, this is the best environment for an artist.

What new expertise did you get during your stay at the partner’s office?

I got experience with Northlight. It’s a proprietary storytelling game engine created by Remedy. It is used in Control and some of their previous games. Northlight has many great features, such as the next-generation physics-based renderer. Working with this engine was a valuable experience for me as an artist.

Art Production Pipeline & Processes 

How would you describe the art style of the game? Do you personally like it?

The general direction of the game’s art style is photorealism. I like this combination of architectural styles in New York, where the game’s events take place, used as inspiration. A vivid example is the Oldest House, a skyscraper that seems dull at first glance but is, in reality, a great example of an architectural style called brutalism, both outside and inside. The style of the 3D environment, in my opinion, perfectly complements the gameplay and story details, as well as the overall mood of Control.

Please share some interesting details of the pipeline for AAA-quality projects like Control

First off, when you are working on any game art project, especially such a cool one as Control, it is essential to achieve complete integration with the game’s identity — style, mood, and unique DNA. Our partners helped a lot here. I received full descriptions of objects invented specifically for the game and did not exist in the real world. It helped me to understand how each prop works in the gameplay and what it is used for.

We used the industry’s standard production pipeline for AAA-quality 3D art. Some assets were unique; some were created using tiles and trims. For the most complex assets, we had the block out previously approved as an additional stage to achieve the highest possible quality of the result. We also separately planned complex groups of assets — we approved a specific pipeline to be used for them, agreed on the number of textures, etc.

Building synergy between teams

Given the experience gained in this project, how can you describe the main principles of building synergy between our team and a partner’s team?

Synergy can only be achieved when both parties are interested in the cooperation, see its benefits, and are ready for a dialogue. In this project, we developed an excellent mutual understanding with our partners from Remedy pretty fast. We were amazed by the game concept and style. We wanted to participate in its creation, and the partner appreciated our creative expertise that fitted the project requirements.

Also, the developers and the external art teams must have a clear and, even more importantly, the same understanding of the process, from the stages of production to the final result they want to achieve.

How did work in the partner’s office influence the overall communication on the project?

During my stay in Finland, I became close to the fantastic Remedy team, and I think it also contributed to the development of cooperation between the studios in general. It is enjoyable to communicate and work with people you know in person!

Bottom line

Creating hero props and large objects that directly affect the gameplay and play an essential role in the story is the most exciting and challenging work for every environment artist. I got such experience in this project.
Participating in creating the 3D environment props for Control has become a valuable and exciting experience for me. I was impressed by the Remedy Entertainment team, the inspiring atmosphere in their office, and their willingness to collaborate and create a great game. I would be happy to work with Remedy on other projects in the future!

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Vadim Krayevoy
Head of art division
Vadim Krayevoy