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Game developers on Twitter are sharing pictures of unfinished game builds for #Blocktober

| October 4, 2017

Game developers on Twitter are sharing pictures of unfinished game builds for #Blocktober Articles  Titanfall 2 The Last of Us PS4 PC Gaming

Video games go through a lot before they end up in consumers’ hands. In fact, a lot of games are a complete mess mere weeks before release. That said, we never really get to see much of in-development titles outside of very selective clips shown during behind the scenes documentaries or developer diaries. Now, though, to celebrate “Blocktober”, Twitter game developers have gotten together to share images and GIFs of unfinished environments for some of gaming’s greatest games.

The Last of Us

Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is undeniably an extremely popular game–our very own William Schwartz called it a “generation defining experience“–and that popularity isn’t stopping during Blocktober. Mark Richard Davis, who is currently working on the game’s sequel, has given us a brief glimpse at the original game’s Pittsburgh map (below) which doesn’t really hold the same weight as it did in its finished form.

Game developers on Twitter are sharing pictures of unfinished game builds for #Blocktober Articles  Titanfall 2 The Last of Us PS4 PC Gaming

Killzone: Mercenary

Killzone: Mercenary wasn’t an amazing game on the PSVita, but it was a fantastic demonstration for how a first-person shooter would work on the system. I remember playing countless hours of the game’s multiplayer on Sony’s under-utilized portable system, and even now I like to jump into a quick match with the game’s bots. A developer on the game called Peter Ellis, who now works at Naughty Dog, shared an image of the opening level’s greybox, a top-down view of the un-textured environment. Just look at this thing!

Game developers on Twitter are sharing pictures of unfinished game builds for #Blocktober Articles  Titanfall 2 The Last of Us PS4 PC Gaming

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

One of the most under-appreciated releases of the last generation, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is not only a fantastic and beautiful game, but also my favourite thing to come out of this year’s Blocktober. Shared by developer Peter Field, who is now working on the upcoming PS4 exlcuisve DREAMS, Enslaved’s unfinished build is miraculous to look at when compared to its final product.

Before:

Game developers on Twitter are sharing pictures of unfinished game builds for #Blocktober Articles  Titanfall 2 The Last of Us PS4 PC Gaming

After:

Game developers on Twitter are sharing pictures of unfinished game builds for #Blocktober Articles  Titanfall 2 The Last of Us PS4 PC Gaming

Titanfall 2

While there are quite a few Titanfall 2 images being shared by various Respawn developers, my personal favorite to release this Blocktober has to be the pictures for the unfinished War Games map. Shared by the Lead Level Designer for the game, Jason McCord, this is a fantastic look at Titanfall 2 in the nude. Another fantastic share for Titanfall 2 is from developer Chuck Wilson who posted an image of an early build for the game’s Black Water Canal map.

Game developers on Twitter are sharing pictures of unfinished game builds for #Blocktober Articles  Titanfall 2 The Last of Us PS4 PC Gaming

Uncharted 4

Ooooeee, this is a big one. Uncharted 4, as well as its predecessors, has had many images shared for various unfinished maps for the game and this Blocktober is no different! Do you remember the Orphanage level from the game? Well, you’ve never seen it like this!

Game developers on Twitter are sharing pictures of unfinished game builds for #Blocktober Articles  Titanfall 2 The Last of Us PS4 PC Gaming

Just bask in its unfinished glory, mmmm. Shared by game designer Liz Fiacco, this just goes to show how much attention to detail gets poured into every single Uncharted game before release. Other notable shares for the Uncharted series this year include: the driving sequence from The Lost Legacy, Uncharted 4’s Clock Tower sequence, 4’s New Devon/ At Sea, Uncharted 3’s Chateau, and the Museum map for Uncharted 2’s multiplayer.

Payday 2

Overkill’s insanely popular multiple heist sequel Payday 2 has seen a lot of maps in its lifetime. One of the most memorable maps for me personally is the map Nightclub which took me bloody ages to make my way through with the game’s dastardly AI, because I had no friends. Shared by the game’s Lead Level Designer Jason Mojica, here’s a look at a very early image for this map.

Before:

Game developers on Twitter are sharing pictures of unfinished game builds for #Blocktober Articles  Titanfall 2 The Last of Us PS4 PC Gaming

After:

Game developers on Twitter are sharing pictures of unfinished game builds for #Blocktober Articles  Titanfall 2 The Last of Us PS4 PC Gaming

Which one looks better in your opinion?

This Blocktober is massive and still going on so make sure you keep up to date with the Twitter hashtag. If you have any notable examples that were missed during this article, share them down in the comments below!

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  • No. You have this completely wrong. Please don’t spread fake news; it hurts our industry.

    Blocking (also known as whiteboxing) is not “unfinished environments”. It’s simply the logical parts of the environment— namely the collision mesh and special “trigger” areas and elements. Blocking often is one of the first stages of building a level, true, but that blocking persists into the final product, just invisible in the final release build. Designers typically work with the final art later into development, but typically have the ability to toggle the art rendering for blocking rendering if they need to debug or revise the level layout.

    Some of the “before”s and “after”s you’re showing here have small differences in the layout. This is because game development is very interative and many things may change a little before the final build. But that doesn’t mean the the “before” was necessarily early in development. Blocking can go through many iterations and tweaks before it’s ready for art. So the fact that the blockings for many of these maps have nearly identical layouts to the final maps tells us that they weren’t early at all; they’re the nearly-final iteration of the blocking, preceding the art by as little as a week.

    It’s important to understand that games don’t work like the real world. And game’s level is built in layers that each co-exist and serve different puposes— typically rendered art, collision geometry, event triggers, and more commonly now also baked lighting maps, sound zones, friction/physic-material maps, etc (depending on the game). The art is not an improved, evolution of the blocking/whitebox; the co-exist with the former serving the player’s eyes and the game’s story, and the latter serving the level gameplay and making the best of the player mechanics.

    • Alpha Male

      I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about sir. But I like it.

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