Obsidian Edge 2 MOD - first monthly update
The Polishing Weevils Mod Team has released a new very big update on their upcoming "Obsidian Edge 2 MOD" for Crysis. Next to a completely new homepage that appears in new design and with new content they also released their first monthly update . Each of these updates will include a feature focus and a media update of selected completed content.
The first feature focus is an introduction of the team itself as well as an overview of the process to create this mod. While some folks have heard of them and seen their first mod, many will be unfamiliar with the team and what they are trying to accomplish. But see yourself and enjoy the new information :)
Read the complete article by clicking on the "read more..." link or at CryMod.com.
- Obsidian Edge 2 homepage So who are these Polishing Weevils, and what is Obsidian Edge?
Who are the Polishing Weevils?
Over two years ago a group of friends that had crossed over from Ghost Recon to Far Cry fell in love with the capabilities of the Cry Engine. However they felt that both GR and FC had something missing in their gameplay. So the Polishing Weevils were formed with the aim of producing a game that took the best elements from past tactical shooters like Operation Flash Point, Ghost Recon, Ravenshield, Call of Duty and others, and then added their own unique twist.
Obsidian Edge? What’s that all about?
Well it’s a realistic squad based tactical First Person Shooter.
When you are looking for a name, you want it to mean something and at the same time be original, punchy and memorable. Suli, one of the team co-leaders, suggested Obsidian Edge as the title of the work. Obsidian is a volcanic glass similar in composition to granite, usually dark but transparent in thin pieces, and having a good conchoidal fracture. An obsidian blade (or edge) can be up to five times sharper than any equivelent steel blade, as it can be sharpened to almost the width of a molecule. A truly unique blade indeed.
So the name was settled on, and Obsidian Edge was developed and released as a Mod for the Cry Engine 1 based Far Cry. Sadly by the time of release, despite achieving the majority of the design goals, there just wasn’t the size of community anymore to give the game the audience it deserved. While still regularly played by dedicated fans, it underachieved in overall player numbers. So what next? Well, the team felt that there was still too many things left unfinished, the consensus was that OE should be the dry run, with Obsidian Edge 2 fulfilling all of our aims.
With that intent we discussed what platform to utilise for the next release. Crytek had been very supportive of the initial release and during the last year a number of the Polishing Weevils had worked with Crytek producing the recently released Patch 1.4. Crytek were keen to ensure that modding for Crysis got off to a flying start, so it was a match made in heaven when they selected Obsidian Edge 2 as one of two mod teams to be given access to the Crysis PRE-SDK.
So how do you mod a game?
Especially one that isn’t released yet…
Our Approach for OE2
A lesson learned from the first release was that the most valuable resource for any game development is the team of people behind it.
Given that there had been some turn over in team membership and the fact that Obsidian Edge 2 was going to be a greater endeavour, Soroc went about recruiting a new team. Obsidian Edge 2 is a ground breaking FPS with the accent on realism. To meet the aim of providing players with the ultimate edge of the seat playing experience, an A list team was assembled from within and outside the existing Crymod community. Currently 22 strong, http://www.obsidianedge.net/team/ we have specialists in Coding, Level design, 2d and 3d modelling/animation, texturing, sound effects, music, documentation, Quality Assurance and PR.
It doesn’t stop there though. Through the profile of our association with Crytek and the innovations of the 1st release, we have been able to establish partnering arrangements with other software companies. These will be providing specific components for the final product, that haven’t yet been seen in an FPS and we are incredibly excited by the tie up (more details soon).
Top level Design Approach
Having a team and a rough goal, to move things forward, various brain storming sessions resulted in a series of features being graded for likely hood of inclusion. Some were identified by the whole team as essential components, others were “nice to have’s”. This list of primary requirements were then taken to the next level by Soroc and Suli, who generated the “Obsidian Edge 2: Design Document”. This document has continued to evolve and is currently almost 50 pages in length. It is likely that this will form the backbone for the support documentation we produce with the launch.
An example of the topics covered is shown below:
1. GAME OVERVIEW
2. FEATURE SET
3. THE GAME WORLD
5. THE WORLD LAYOUT
6. GAME CHARACTERS
7. USER INTERFACE
8. PASSIVE INTERFACE (HUD)
11. MUSICAL SCORES AND SOUND EFFECTS
12. SINGLE-PLAYER GAME
13. MULTIPLAYER GAME
14. EXTRA MISCELLANEOUS STUFF
16. OBJECTS APPENDIX
17. USER INTERFACE APPENDIX
18. STORY APPENDIX
Once the top-level vision was in place we were able to focus on the detailed design.
Detailed Design Approach
As we have said, Obsidian Edge is a realism FPS. It will take place in real world locations with real weaponry.
All weapons, vehicles and buildings are being custom built from the ground up.
Our basic approach is to take real world reference shots and convert them in to formats accepted by the Cry Engine 2.
Here you can see some early work for a building model and below it we have the starting and final versions of the Mk.23 Mod 0 sidearm.
Other tools that we are utilising are DEM height maps for real locations and a tool called World machine, that you can see an example terrain generated below.
We will be providing regular updates on progress as the mod develops, each month we will look to update our Content Gallery as new model images can be released, we will also look to provide detailed features on individual disciplines so that other modders can learn from our approach. These will be supplemented by developers blogs and when OE2 is released we will be producing a lessons learned document.
Test and Integration
Code, models, menus, music… Pretty much everything in the game is being put together in a modular manner. This allows us to isolate and test functionality at lower levels before we integrate various modules and see how they interact. Eventually we will have test build together that we will run internal testing on. As you can see on the forums, we have a bug tracking tool that we will utilise to ensure that all problems are logged and if necessary rectified.
Once the build has developed to a suitably stable standard, we hope to have some public participation in Beta testing, but at this stage its still too early to say how open we can make this or when it will be. While we haven’t ruled it out entirely, there probably wont be a demo version this time around.
We have three levels of marketing that we are employing this time around; Spam, Spam and more Spam :) Okay seriously, our primary tool is this website. Through it we will try and keep the gaming community in touch with our progress.
The next tool is communication and article placement with other gaming sites. While we already have a great relationship with sites like Evogaming and Crysis Online, which we look to take to the next level, we are also already or are soon to be hitting the majority of gaming sites with information about the mod. If you run a site and would like to run a feature on us we would be happy to work something out.
The last and vital form of marketing we have is you, our members. We are looking for you to spread the word, and that cuts both ways; know a site that we aren’t spamming then let us know. Already see us on your site; say hi, both here and there. And if you happen to be a Features Editor for a gaming magazine? Lets talk...