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Neverwinter

Developer Blog: Vallenhas Environment

By Julia (nitocris83) | Tue 14 Jan 2020 07:00:00 AM PST

Welcome back adventurers!

Today we will be taking a short look at the Infernal Descent Adventure Zone: Vallenhas. The goal for this zone was to give players a large space to explore using a familiar location. To support the story of Infernal Descent, a large chunk of landmass was absorbed into Avernus, carrying Vallenhas and players into the heat of the underworld.
 



The largest challenge for this Adventure Zone would be the conversion of such a large space into a suspended landmass being pulled by two separate forces. How would we convert and create playable spaces that sold this motif and gave the feeling of instability and worry?

Using a mixture of our terrain system and crafted geometry we were able to create a variety of floating landmasses that felt as if they were separating from each other. This gave us the opportunity to skew the setting, create visual blockers, and give the zone a unique quality.

Applying this method to various sections of the zone we were able to distort the perception of this map while maintaining some core playable spaces. Manipulating those spaces and creating a few new ones, while propagating them with a much higher density of assets, gave us a completely different look than its predecessor.

The increase in population didn’t come cheap though. The combination of extremely long sight lines with high asset density created a large obstacle for the overall performance of the zone. Heavy use of our LOD system, placed occlusion meshes, object culling, and time spent addressing errors brought forth from its former state allowed us to achieve a decent balance between visual fidelity and overall performance.

With Infernal Descent and the introduction of Vallenhas we take our first steps into Avernus. It was quite the experience crafting this zone - one which I hope is reflected to those playing & exploring it. Until next time, Adventurers, and may all your rolls be criticals!

Cheers!

Jason Marquez
Environment Artist,

nw-news, nw-launcher, nw-developer-blog,

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