Pirates of the Burning Sea devlog: on conceptualizing Tortuga

The Tortuga port brought to life in Pirates of the Burning Sea - Image 1Have you ever wondered what technical artists do? Well, Xenobia of Flying Lab Software will tell you what a typical day of a technical artist is like. In fact, the artist used the conceptualization for the town of Tortuga in Pirates of the Burning Sea as an example. More technical artistry follows after the jump.

 A PotBS NavMesh that Flying Lab Software sent to Xenobia - Image 1 Xenobia editing the PotBS town of Tortuga using Maya - Image 1 

You may think of the various towns in Pirates of the Burning Sea as works of art, and rightly so. But what you probably don’t know is that the technical artists at Flying Lab Software, such as Xenobia, went through a lengthy process to get the towns to the state they’re currently in.

Having taken the PotBS town of Tortuga as an example, Xenobia described the conceptualization process as follows:

  1. The concept people at Flying Lab Software write up a storyline, “feel” and general description of the area.
  2. The environment and animation teams model the town and work on needed animations, respectively.
  3. Xenobia reads the storyline, thinks up the mood for the town, and picks out relevant animations.
  4. a rough draft of the town’s NAvMesh is sent to Xenobia (see the left picture above), who uses Maya to add the appropriate locators, exits, doorways and glowy, clickable parts.
  5. Xenobia exports the Maya file and then adds NPCs and other details in the editor while continually tweaking things here and there (see right most picture above).

Xenobia admitted that technical artistry is a difficult job, but it’s also a fulfilling one. Considering how the finished product looks in PotBS, we’re not surprised.

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