If you type ”World of Warships” into your browser search bar, the very first link will lead you to one of the game’s promo sites. Up to now it has looked like this:
World of Warships has not required a fully branched portal, although it will inevitably get one soon. It has already outgrown the “business card site” format and, last year, the game witnessed several important milestones. The alpha version went live and the game finally got its own blog where the developers were given an official broadcasting channel to fill with new content week in week out. Previous versions of the promo-site failed to reflect these vital developments and it soon became apparent that something needed to be changed. All that followed was, to a large extent, a result of brilliant teamwork.
Everything started with the initial visit of Ivan Moroz to the St Petersburg office with a task for us. We were asked to create a new, high-quality and contemporary promo-site that utilised parallax technology – an optical illusion of independently moving layers and, in our case, one that would involve ships.
The challenge was accepted and work started in the typical manner for a designer- with initial sketches. Both St Petersburg and Minsk-based artists joined forces to face the task of creating a static picture that would be coupled with moving elements.
Some of the proposed variants looked nice only in the static state and not when they were moving. Others looked pretty dynamic but did not consider the technical aspects of the project.
Finally we chose a sketch. The art was developed in St Petersburg and the technical/design aspects in Kharkiv; Minsk coordinated all activities. So, essentially, three countries were involved in the process.
The next stage demanded our “rendermen” to choose the desired models of vessels to be depicted and to figure out the light sources in the picture.
This was Julia’s task as she was the artist and the ideological leader behind the creation of the picture.
Thanks to her enthusiasm and communication skills, a number of colleagues from adjacent departments were also involved. Here you may see our video team explaining wave movement laws …
… and Eugene Zaitsev, our skilful 3D-modeller, who succeeded in turning a stern sea into something more “foamy”. The mountains in the background also became more realistic.
The work was still in progress when we had to check the authenticity of the plane in the foreground. As we specialise mainly in ships, we had to avoid any blunders with depictions of period aviation. Vladimir Gremitskiy, our military vehicle consultant, was on vacation at this time, so we decided to send this issue to our specialists in the Kiev office.
As a result of this “find a plane” quest, that involved people from both Minsk and Kiev, we received the desired high-polygonal model. The plane was finally taking off!
The hardest part of the job was still to be accomplished, specifically, conjoining all the elements into one harmonic display. At this point, Julia was almost inseparable from the picture. Over and over again we altered the water and foam patterns, applying and removing details. The heroes of this epic image cannot evade such a fate as well – we were looking for the most expressive picture possible.
In pursuing excellence, we are constantly discussing all the difficult and complex aspects of our work with our international team. Ultimately, we provide our colleagues from Kharkiv with the initial, raw image and wait for it to be implemented into the site design. Their efforts make a miracle happen – the picture becomes dynamic, enriched by various interfaces.
Even though parallax hasn’t been tweaked yet and its movements are a bit strange, we finally can see it working and can understand what should be done next. Polishing the art continues, now with consideration given to the specific dynamics. For instance, we had to introduce an additional correction for the tracers’ trajectory.
Having addressed our Art QA department for a historical expertise, we found new ways for further improvements…
Detailed comments from the Art QA deptartment are a source of grief and pain for any artist, although, this topic is beyond the scope of our article!
Translation: Incorrect tracer trajectories. It was better to make this in 3D using separate cylinders in a separate layers. There should be 3 guns and tracers on each side of the plane. Flashes from the guns are not something that would happen in reality. We also added 3 spent ammunition magazines under each wing.
Being a true artist, Julia never ceases in the search for perfection. She seems to never stop adding corrections. Finally everything is polished from the biggest part down to the tiniest details and all fragments are arranged into layers. The epic puzzle is finally alive!
Our mission is over and it’s time for the Kharkiv team to do the rest of the job. Their duty now is the technical implementation and overall design of the site itself. There is no point in talking further, you should just see it for yourself!
As an ending note, it is said that man can endlessly watch three things: the flow of water, the fire glow and others at work. Even though the process of our mutual efforts remains behind the scenes, despite this modest attempt at showing it, the two former two are widely represented in worldofwarships.com.