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EU4 - Development Diary - 15th of November 2016

Hello, my name is Carlos Lundhall.
I'm a 3D-artist here at Paradox Development Studio and today I'm going to talk about a coming visual change in the coming 1.19 patch: New vanilla sprites!

I started playing EU4 when working on the Mare Nostrum dlc to get a feeling for the game I was working on, and BAM! I was hooked!

I now have 300+ hours in the game (I know, I know, it’s not a number to brag about) and love playing underdogs like Teutonic Order and Byzantium.

Under all this hours in the game it really scratched my eyes seeing the old vanilla sprites compared to the new ones, so I decided to remake them, one by one.

Here's a comparison between one of the new vs old sprites.
old_new_comparison_tier_1_02.png


At first I was thinking of this as a personal project that would take a lot of time to realize.
But after finishing the tier 1 western vanilla sprite using my free time and what we here at Paradox call Personal Development Time (basically we get a day each month to work on what we want as long as it is related to what we do in some kind, to develop our skills and try out new things), I pitched the idea to Catalak to give me some actual work time to redo some sprites, and I got it!

From there it was business as usual, taking the sprites trough my character pipeline.

So what does the pipeline look like?

First off there's a lot of research. I have a good 1200+ reference pictures for all the different tiers combined, and it's being filled with new references almost daily (I guess I like to collect stuff).

Then comes the concepts, where I try to do it old school style and just draw it on paper.
concpets.jpg

As you can see I had the ambition to remake the tier 1 cavalry also, but there was no time for that.

Next thing is to make the sprite!

I'm not going to bore you guys to death with all the technical 3D stuff that goes into making a model, so in short the process is as follows:
* Concept
* High poly modeling
* Low poly modeling and UV mapping
* Texturing
* Get the model into the game.

This picture below visualizes the process in a VERY rough manner.
process.jpg

Also there’s a lot of feedback from my dear colleagues, especially mr Carlberg, whom is a bottomless well of history knowledge and technical 3D stuff.

I stumbled upon some obstacles along the way, one of the biggest obstacles was that there was some tags that used copies of the vanilla models, and were unique in the script.

This gave me some countries that needed either
1. be redirected to use the new model and texture, and be colored with dynamic coloring, or
2. to make unique textures for them.

I went with the second option, here's some of them.
renders_tiers_1-4.jpg


Finally I remade the weapons also, I felt that they too needed a level up in visual quality.
western_generic_weapons_remake.png



And here's the final sprites.
western_generic_remake.png

For the tier 3 sprite I felt that we had such high quality material already, so I put together a sprite from existing parts.


So that was all for me.
Thank you for your time and I hope you enjoy the new sprites!
 
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Mcwynne

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Any chance of us getting the rest of the world updated?

Great job regardless!
 
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kreepinglizard

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Good to see the dull old sprites getting a fresh coat of paint. Nice work, Mr. Lundhall.
 
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HumanMarine

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Is this going to be everyone's vanilla sprites, or is it just focused on (parts of?)Europe/Western Tech?
 

Powder hound

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These are excellent and something that will make the game.......well more enjoyable!!!
 
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fred.erick

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Incredible work, and the new models are a joy to look at. I'm sure you've made many veterans of the game happy.
In fact, you've made the tier 4 European model look better than the France tier 4 from the Evangelical majors pack, which now begets the questions - how does one use this better model only for France?
 
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puddingkip

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That tier 4 French guy is amazing. Not to discount any of the other models but damn, he looks good.
 
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Blobhemian

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Great job, the change was much needed. Now i see why the more recent unit packs used to have the low resolution weapons, it felt so strange. Now that the unit packs have a little bit of attention as well, i'd like to ask if it was possible to fix some minor unit pack issues that are often brought up at different places but always somehow get lost.

1. Tier 1 Italian DLC units use wrong one-handed animation, it's easy to change it in the dlc files, but I'd rather have it fixed officially since i don't know how to make a mod for it and have to rewrite it directly in the game files, which seems wrong ^^
2. Mamluk special cavalry models are overridden by the new infantry models. Easy to fix it by changing version number in the dlc files and some people might actually like the infantry models more, but since people paid for the original, it would be fair to let them use it.
3. Please release the old italian "T3" unit models for modding purposes, while the change was much needed due to immersion reasons, people paid for the original and it would be nice to put them to some use so that none of your work is wasted :)
4. Bukhara should totally use the Uzbek models, Prussia the T2 Brandenburg model and the new Golden Horde tag should use the (now) Great Horde models, just to keep things consistent and avoid some small disappointment when forming logical successor countries :)
5. The new 16/17th century rifle floats in the hand of the vanilla eastern T2 units, I don't even know how i managed to notice that one, let's hope it will be fixed by replacing the old models altogether :D

Anyway thanks for your work, you finally made playing tags without unit packs somewhat more satisfying again!
 
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smellymummy

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those are really massive ends on the halberds. Were the pointy ends of those used at the time really that big?
 

Vito492

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So forming Germany or Italy won't give us those ugly old units anymore? Great change! :)
 
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zjamespryor

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Good grief man, these look great
 
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LordofWarN02

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Great jobs, New sprites looks cool. I hope there will be Tier 4 sprites for Non European generic and also for Ming, Japanese, Qing/Manchu and Ayutthaya need T4 since these nations that have unique sprites since vanilla EU4
 
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Israel Hands

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Look great!

What I would really love in the sprite department is for the sprites to be de-synced so you don't have 10 armies standing around in the HRE all doing synchronised hip waggling.
 
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Phantomiux

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Great work, those new sprites look amazing, sadly, I can't enjoy them as I wish. Last time I played full campaign on patch 1.13 ( Common Sense ). After next patches I tried to start another campaigns, but I always met with frustration - my game was crawling even on speed 2 and after 1650 it was for me unplayable...

I know, my i3 laptop with Geforce 520MX is outdated, but on older versions EU IV was running much smoother for me ( speed 3 without problems, speed 4 was ok, speed 5 was literally same as speed 4 ). Now this game blob too much ( new provinces, nations, etc. ) and I am afraid that this new unite models just make situation ( for me ) even worse :-(

So I am on crossroad - I should buy new pc ( which sadly I can't afford yet ) or keep playing Crusader Kings 2 ( after RIP optimalization changes that game runs like rabbit ). What EU IV in my opinion needs is similar optimization-focused patch...

Edited due typos
 
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Abefar

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Nice looking sprites. Looking forward to them.

What about all the unit packs? What role do the play now? Is there any point in getting them now?
 
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Blobhemian

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In fact, you've made the tier 4 European model look better than the France tier 4 from the Evangelical majors pack, which now begets the questions - how does one use this better model only for France?

1. Create an .asset file that will contain following lines: (let's name it say "france.asset")

Code:
entity = {
   name = "FRA_INFANTRY_4"
   pdxmesh = "FRA_INFANTRY_4_mesh"
   version = 2
 
   state = { name = "idle"        animation = "idle" }
   state = { name = "walk"        animation = "walk" }
   state = { name = "attack"       animation = "attack" }

   attach = {
       Left_hand_node = "western_musket_2"
   }
}


2. Create create a new folder in your Documents\Paradox Interactive\Europa Universalis IV\mod folder and name it say France. In this folder, create a chain of two more folders that will look like this:

Documents\Paradox Interactive\Europa Universalis IV\mod\France\gfx\entities

3. Put the new asset file in the "entities" folder.
4. Create a .mod file and name it the same way as your mod folder (thus France.mod) in the "mod" folder. It should contain at least these lines:

Code:
name="France"
path="mod/France"
supported_version="1.19.*.*"


5. Enable your new mod in the launcher

You can name the files and the mod however you want of course, unless you are using tons of mods and need to adjust your load order.

Sorry for shitty formatting, shitty advice skills and shitty modding skills.

This will not work for 1.18 and older patches of course.
 
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