Project Spotlight

Dave LeeProject Spotlight:
Leadwerks engine "The Zone" Environment

In March 2010 I was contracted by the Leadwerks Corporation to design a large scale environment for the Leadwerks real time game engine. The purpose of this environment is to showcase the many features of the Leadwerks engine with consistant, next-gen artwork.

The environment is titled simply The Zone , and it draws inspiration from a variety of sources. Some of these sources include the 1972 Russian sci-fi novel Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky and the 1979 film Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky, which took inspiration from Roadside Picnic. The Zone takes place in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in the Chernobyl region of the Ukraine.

Initial Stages | Work started with an initial layout sketch showing the locations of all of the major elements for the environment. Once the layout was chosen, the main areas of the environment were blocked out, and work soon began on the major assets. I started by modeling the major infastructure like the railroads and bridges, and I layed down the major roads using the Road Tool in the Leadwerks Editor. The Zone Planning SketchPicking up the Leadwerks engine was rather easy with only a few changes to my normal workflow, especially coming from working with Crytek's CryEngine 2.

Development | Vegetation and natural props were provided by fellow artist Michael Betke of Pure3D. Using Michael's excellent plants, trees, rocks and more (and with the help of the Leadwerks vegetation layering system) I was able to quickly and effeciently create very realistic looking forests and plant life accross the environment.

The Zone Blog | As I've worked on the project I have been updating a blog on the Leadwerks community website. This blog chronicles the progress of the environment, and you can check it out by clicking here. Below I have selected a few screenshots that highlight parts of the project. For more, be sure to visit the blog! At the bottom of this page I also share some development images from the project.

The Zone Project Breakdown

Dave Lee Visit the Zone Project Breakdown page for an in-depth behind the scenes look at the production of this project from start to finish.

The Zone Project Gallery

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For more images, please visit the official Zone Project Blog.

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