EverQuest’s latest expansion, Torment of Velious, revisits the frozen continent of Velious for the 26th expansion.
But things have changed in Velious.
An icy infection has swept over the land, changing the giants, mammoths, griffons, dwarves and anything else it touches.
In order to breath new life (or death) into the giants from EverQuest’s 3rd expansion, Scars of Velious, the artists and developers had to start from scratch.
Many of the old EverQuest assets from early in the game are no longer accessible. They’ve either been saved in file types or by software that is no longer used, or the files simply do not exist any more.
Not surprising for a game that has 24 years of development, 5 million lines of code, and dozens of developers fingerprints, past and present, on the code.
So, for the giants, the developers started from scratch, creating new giant models as close to the originals as possible.
Aaron Bisnett, artist for EverQuest and EverQuest 2, was tasked with taking those new models, and “messing them up” to simulate the icy infection that has taken over.
“They’ve seen some better days,” says Bisnett, describing the process for the 3d artistry that goes in to applying these changes to the giants.
“That’s the big thing. A lot of folks know how to draw, paint or do 3 dimensional things.”
But translating a flat surface, essentially a flat square, on to a fully 3 dimensional surface with recesses and nooks and crannies.
“Then learning how to do what we call ‘pelting it out.’ Because it’s like pelting out the skin of a creature. You have to unpack the creature onto a flat surface and then figure out how best to place those things onto that surface.”
The result is a set of undead giants with icy infection running through them, glowing blue eyes, armor in tatters and they aren’t happy.
Torment of Velious went live in December of 2019 as EverQuests 26 expansion.
You can see the interview with Aaron Bisnett and more elements of the Torment of Velious on the Episode 9 of The EverQuest Show.