Bioware/EA

Technical Artist, Bioware/EA
October 2005 – February 2010

  • Dragon Age: Awakening
    • Created the crystal maul and crystal staff weapons.
    • Continued to maintain the package pipeline for the various DLC content.
  • Dragon Age: Origins
    Resource Pipeline:

    • Maintained the art asset pipeline, allowing the artist to direct which module and package the content gets exported to.
    • Created a one button export tool to piggy-back off the existing export system, automating a lot of the repetitive modelbase creation tasks. This allowed artists to rapidly test their assets in-game and iterate over it, before applying custom settings.

    Environment Art:

    • Generated lightmap UVs by hand for “The Fade” tileset and numerous other assets, for when the automatic generation would result in bad layouts and thus bad shadows.
    • A seam remover (or desparkler), a MAXscript tool which snaps all the vertices of a mesh to the nearest whole centimeter. This helps to remove all the small gaps between models which can cause random pixels to show.
    • Example of the tileset after the fixes – prior to the fixes, there were black splotches in random locations from incorrect shadows, and gaps between the wall segments.
    • Assisted with the development of the water and lava shaders.
    • Continued with collision generation and optimizing geometry.
  • Unannounced Title
    • Investigated multiple methods of streaming for an open world design.
    • Investigated various methods for creating the environment to account for streaming: LODs, materials, level design.
    • For an internal demo, made a cloud material that didn’t require any programming assistance for its random lightning flashes.
    • Utilized the shatter/fragmentation system in UE3 to allow for breakable wall segments and jumping through it.
  • Mass Effect 1
    • Generated collision for the majority of the game’s levels, wrote a collision management tool in MaxScript to help speed up creation and testing of it. This tool continued to be use for the other chapters.
    • Helped with the area mini-map generation, creating the overhead view then assisting the UI artist in tracing the geometry, then also placing the helpers in the level for alignments.
    • Worked on the uncharted worlds, both exteriors and interiors.
    • Optimizations
    • Level streaming (Yes, the slow elevators were partially my fault, but it could have been much worse).
  • Neverwinter Nights
    • Patches 1.67 to 1.69 (final)
    • Handled the integration of the content from previous Premium Modules (DLC) into the patch’s contents.
    • Integrated the horse and cloak system into the game.
    • Initiated an open, public beta test of the patch contents, coordinating with the NWN community
  • General Tech Art
    • Investigated, identified and resolved problems with porting the game for the three platforms (PC, Xbox360 and PS3).
    • Initiated a GUI-based, unified script repository to collect, categorize and have a common distribute point for all the MAXscript tools in the company. Some examples:
      • Automatic bounding box creation for objects, groups of object, opposing corners or along selected edges, helped for collision generation for railings and such.
      • UV channel management, such as duplication of an existing channel for lightmap generation.
      • Pivot positioning
      • Interface customizes itself based on the artist’s role, so they only see tools relevant to the task at hand.
    • Model optimizations, such as poly reduction on hidden statue geometry and merging multiple material and texture map usage.
    • Would often initiate tests of the various engines to find out their limits or behaviour in various scenarios to better understand the engine.
      • One example of this was to set up a test to discover the behaviour and performance impact of skeletal meshes of varying polycounts, vertex counts, bone amount and weights.
    • And after said tests, would share the information gained to the various departments to account for current and future design decisions.