TurboSquid recently spoke with Tiziano Bucci, CEO of Invader Studios and Art Director for Daymare: 1998 about his team’s third-person survival horror game. The game first released September 2019 on Steam and just released console versions in May of this year. Tiziano was happy to answer some questions about TurboSquid’s role in the game development process.
TurboSquid: Tell us a little bit about Daymare: 1998 and the choices you made to build the 90s horror aesthetic.
Tiziano Bucci: Daymare: 1998 is a third-person survival horror game released on PC (Steam, GOG.com) and console (PS4 and Xbox One). We at Invader Studios are huge survival horror fans. We especially love the iconic 90’s survival games. That era thrilled our imaginations and was a major influence for the game’s scenarios, from that first wave of 3D experiences on PlayStation to the movies released at that time.
When we decided to start the game’s production, we had no doubt about the time period we wanted. The 90’s are really unique from a visual standpoint, so we spent a lot of time studying and collecting references in order to recreate that atmosphere. We literally exhumed “historical finds” from our basements and bedrooms to let the whole team, especially the younger ones, directly touch and interact with that amazing stuff. We tried to contextualize everything, from the clothes, to the graphic interfaces of the computers and devices you can interact with in-game. And, of course, we filled the game with tributes and references, in the typical style of that period.
How did TurboSquid fit into your development pipeline?
We developed Daymare: 1998 with a core team of only 10 people. With it being a full 3D game with cinematics, characters always on the screen, and 13 different game maps, it was clear from the beginning that we needed some support to work on the assets’ production. TurboSquid has been the fastest and best solution for this need, thanks to the huge and always updated catalog and the amazing artists who put their artwork on the platform.
As an art director, how do you determine which 3D components are modeled in-house versus the ones that are purchased from a stock site?
Generally, we prefer to produce in-house all of the hero props, which need a specific design, as well as the main characters. We usually buy stock models of secondary and generic props, which are useful to fill environments during the level design phase. Of course, we make exceptions [for hero props] when we are able to find specific models perfect for our needs.
When shopping for 3D models, are there any technical details that you specifically look for that make it easier to integrate them into your project?
Usually any kind of model can be readjusted, but we often use rigged and low poly models with preset LODs and PBR textures in order to get them easily into Unreal Engine.
Visually speaking, what is your favorite scene in Daymare: 1998?
The map that we love the most is “Sam’s House.” Sam is a very intriguing character and he’s also unique within the Daymare: 1998 universe. We tried to present him at his best in his rural house in the forest, on the Keen Sight outskirt. It’s a really pleasant experience compared to the chaos of the town maps.
Anything else you want to include?
We really want to thank the full TurboSquid team for this amazing platform. It’s really useful to help indie teams and small companies to achieve their goals and make their dreams come true.
Tiziano Bucci graduated at the European Institute of Design in Rome (IED), and then started a one-year intensive course at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Los Angeles. After that, he began work as a freelancer both as a character and environment artist. In 2016, he founded Invader Studios with his associates and is currently CEO. You can follow Daymare: 1998 on the game website and Facebook. You can follow Invader Studios on Twitter and Facebook.
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