Open World Propping - Generation Zero

Helping to bring the game world to life was one of the things I enjoyed the most about my 3D artist internship at Avalanche Studios.

I spent several weeks adding props, vegetation, small roads, additional buildings, burning cars, and other elements to locations (that were already laid out) in order to give a feeling that they had been inhabited.

Aligning existing buildings to the ground and ensuring that no objects were poking through walls or the ground was the first part of propping a location. It was important to play in the world as well to find bugs and make sure the visuals were interesting to the player.

While placing out props I had to consider, not just the aesthetics, but the action! What will the player have to jump over, run around duck under in order to navigate the location? And of course what opportunities are there for enemies to hop out.

I did propping passes to over 60 small to medium locations so of course this is only a small selection of images.

Burning cars and trucks smashing into them are always fun to add to the world.

Burning cars and trucks smashing into them are always fun to add to the world.

The location already had a gas station but I laid out the pump islands and the fenced in propane storage in the back.

The location already had a gas station but I laid out the pump islands and the fenced in propane storage in the back.

Adding the road to the garage, a car,  a flagpole,  a table and chairs, and some children's play things turns a house into a home.   I also added trees, leaf piles, and bushes.

Adding the road to the garage, a car, a flagpole, a table and chairs, and some children's play things turns a house into a home. I also added trees, leaf piles, and bushes.

A simple billboard, parking lines  and barriers can add a lot to make a store come alive.

A simple billboard, parking lines and barriers can add a lot to make a store come alive.

larger loctions were more challanging to keep track of but really gave a sense of a small world.

Here I added the containers and trucks to fill in the warehouse district.

larger loctions were more challanging to keep track of but really gave a sense of a small world.

Here I added the containers and trucks to fill in the warehouse district.

Adding props can break up the players view allowing  them to hide from enemies or get a jump scare.

Adding props can break up the players view allowing them to hide from enemies or get a jump scare.

I created prefabs that could be randomized with a button click.  Such as this hangar with planes in different positions.

I created prefabs that could be randomized with a button click. Such as this hangar with planes in different positions.

Here is one configuration randomly assembled.

Here is one configuration randomly assembled.

One click it changes to this.

One click it changes to this.

A small corner that  was added to bring life to the farm.

A small corner that was added to bring life to the farm.

Playing the area allowed me to see how to break up areas with as few props as possible.  Two gave the player a lot less visibility as well as providing cover from enemies in the area.

Playing the area allowed me to see how to break up areas with as few props as possible. Two gave the player a lot less visibility as well as providing cover from enemies in the area.