Platform: iOS, Consoles
Engine: Unreal 4
Horizon Chase 2 is an arcade racer, originally released for the Apple Arcade.
As a sequel, this project had a lot of ambitions and ideas in order to evolve the IP. My role as Senior Technical Artist was to provide support to the Art Direction in prototyping and iterating on the team’s vision for the visuals of the game, in order for it to run properly on low-end devices (iPhone 6S), while being scalable enough to work on high-end devices and consoles. It follows the footsteps of retro-racers like Outrun and Top Gear, and as such, there was a lot of care put into simulating the same feeling on both gameplay, camera and visuals.
Some of the challenges I worked on included:
- Fully dynamic lighting and Time of Day system and pipeline
- Weather conditions on environments and props
- Optimization techniques for vast, fully 3D maps (in comparison to Horizon Chase 1’s pseudo 3D environment)
- Illustrative rendering techniques and shader creation
- Asset authoring pipeline for stylized vegetation, props and track modules.
- Gameplay feature support, adding motions and feedbacks to the UI.
Stylization became a north for the project early on in order to tackle those issues, with shape language and brushstrokes becoming an unifying pillar in the project, from concepts to 3D Modeling, UI, texturing, shader and VFX. While we make use of PBR techniques in the project, we don’t use it as an anchor, developing our own solutions when necessary. One example of this is our custom shading for the cars, in order to look more like a painted metal, and our effects which tend to have brush marks or strong shape language in them.
My role also involved creating VFX for the game, dealing with different environments and weathers (i.e, rain, sandstorms), as well as gameplay feedbacks and camera adjustments.