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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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wowlock

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Would love to see similar updates for the Asian unit models too. Japan needs some love :p
 
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Brandis

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On a sidenote, here is a feature change I would really applaud:

Make battle results be calculated immediately and battles last one day only, like in the AGEOD games, and instead of animation on the map, show a short pre-rendered movie in the results window, similar to Shogun Total War's pre-rendered clips that were showing success or failure of an agent's action. That would be both more historically correct and look better cosmetically.
I'm going to have to disagree here. This basically makes reinforcing armies in battle impossible. Also, the amount of 1-day battles in the colonial era is very low. It's not historically accurate, and seeing the pre-rendered movie over and over and over again in a war against a large country would get tiring. Overall, things are better the way they are.
 
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Agoria

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Please model southern Europe cities... Northern Europe architecture in colonial Brazil looks so wrong...
 

Timewalker102

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I'm going to have to disagree here. This basically makes reinforcing armies in battle impossible. Also, the amount of 1-day battles in the colonial era is very low. It's not historically accurate, and seeing the pre-rendered movie over and over and over again in a war against a large country would get tiring. Overall, things are better the way they are.

But I do think battles should get shorter in later ages. This is when nations start spamming all their units in death-battles, so making them slightly shorter would increase strategy.
 

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