The Beautiful Creation of Fondor
EA talks about the creation of the Fondor Dockyard for Space Battles. Art Director Steve Uphill, Producer Robert Wyle, and Designer John Stanley all from Criterion Games each chime in on their experience through this process. It’s definitely nice to see someone explain how they came up with the design of this level. I personally really love the Fondor space map, because it is truly beautifully done.
What stood out in this conversation to me was the tunnel creation. They really looked at the geometry of it, and directed the player towards a rush. The close quarters with the lighting purposefully gives that rush of excitement once the player exits the tunnel. I know from personal experience that it is very hectic being chased down that hell hole. They discuss how they wanted to make the player decide what is most important to focus on while navigating it. There are three phases to this map that Robert Wyle discussed like the tunnel of phase two when he said, “Phase two, the tunnel moment, which was key to having a Death Star styled trench run – a classic Star Wars moment” (3). They nailed the feel with this, because it damn sure feels like a trench run.
They go on to say that instead of traditional concept art, they used 3D based concept art. Traditional concept art would’ve taken a lot longer, because they have to paint, build it, and test it. Using 3D concept art allowed them to move through the process in double the time with easy communication. We see that this paid off, because the map looks stunning. They got the desired affect as players can feel awed when they fly around the Dockyard as John Stanley stated, “For us, the Fondor Dock is a crowning moment” (9). Every inch of this map is done to perfection. You can see the team gave great care to the look of this map.
The actual design of the dockyard was based off of the Scarif Shield gate from Rogue One with elements from Aircraft Carriers. This is a nice touch and really gives it the feel of a true dockyard. They were really looking deep into Star Wars structures with the help of LucasFilm. All in all, this is a great look into what these guys do every day to bring us the games we love. You can see the whole interview here. https://www.ea.com/news/creating-fondor-dock
“CONCEPT TO COMPLETION: CREATING FONDOR DOCK.” EA, 22 Jan 2018, www.ea.com/news/creating-fondor-dock.
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