I'm Arthur, an artist and modelmaker specialising in digital 3D modelling, texture creation and environment design. I have experience in 2D and physical art as well, but I've always found myself more drawn to the creative and technical side of games and films, wondering what goes on behind the scenes to create the final product we see. My goal during this course was to progress my digital skills to a more professional level in a variety of programs and challenge myself to create a virtual environment, to be explored as a potential game level.
The initial idea for the project came from a mental image certain songs had given me. I knew I wanted to make something big and underground, some sort of crypt style environment, like a German techno club if it was run by cultists or a witch coven. For inspiration I looked at nightclubs such as B-018, Printworks and Berghain, and films/games like Suspiria and Dark Souls.
My goal was to create a scene with some linear progression to it, starting with a bar area and having that room lead to other rooms, eventually ending up in the main chamber deep underground. All the modelling would be done in Blender, textured with Substance Designer/Painter, then transferred to Unreal Engine so the scene could be interactively explored in real time. To branch out into other creative areas, I also wanted to add dynamic sound to the scene and have this synced with custom animations playing on screens within the scene itself. Some ideas were scrapped and the size of the initial idea was reduced as it proved too ambitious, but I'm still happy with what I achieved by the end.
I've noticed that depictions of the future in media almost always reference the past in their designs. Usually this is just a product of not being able to accurately predict the future, so we improve and alter existing designs, but the style of retro-futurism intentionally takes from the past to create a strong and unique aesthetic. My thesis explores this style with a focus on video games, namely BioShock, Fallout 4 and Alien: Isolation, as these games all utilise retro-futurism but in different ways, each referencing a different timeframe between the 1920s to the 1980s.