Rend’s fifth Alpha roadmap feature explores the full character redesign which goes far beyond nicer-looking models (though they certainly are). The all-new expandable character rig they're built around allows for a world of fresh customization and animation options, opening options for our designers and artists to add to Rend in exciting new ways just as the game enters Early Access.
Here’s an overview of the vision and changes made to the player character models:
The original player character design was built to be simple yet playable for our rapidly-approaching Friends & Family test.
- Back when Frostkeep was a studio of four developers, resources were limited and time was of the essence.
- The male and female models were made with the intent of improving upon them and replacing them when more developer bandwdith was available.
- These rudimentary player characters allowed the team to focus on producing key gameplay features and content.
Original (Left) and New (Right) Male and Female Models
The new player character models are much more detailed and polished.
- When we scaled the scope of the game and size of the development team, we applied a much more detailed design eye in building new models that are up to par with the previous titles we've worked on (more AAA or in our case "triple-I").
- The redesign was focused on making the characters look generally tougher and more rugged than our original models. The female in particular was made to match the male in terms of looking stronger instead of curvy.
- Overall, the new models stylistically appear much more in line with the look and feel of Rend as a whole. Their textures are more skin-like and have small details such as pigment imperfections and better ambient occlusion (shadows).
New Male and Female Model Samples
This redesign is more than just better-looking characters: it prepares Rend for what's coming to the game in the near future.
- Entirely new character models means entirely new character riggings rebuilt from scratch. Every player animation you've seen so far in Rend will be made anew for these redesigned character models.
- We've built a considerably better and expandable character rig that allows for the many future actions that a player will be able to perform such as mounting, crouching, dancing, and lots more.
- The new customizability this rig allows for includes new hair styles and facial hair options as well as adding custom eyebrows, tattoos, and other options with upcoming game content - a requisite game feature for metaprogression.
New Model Armor Samples
The new character models will be introduced in next week’s Alpha update. We’re looking forward to players' feedback on how they look and perform in the game. Be sure to check out our Alpha roadmap for insight into what’s coming next!