READ: Interview With Survarium's 3D Modeler
Today we bring you an interview with 3D Artist Arthur Lugansky. Which manufacturers of weapons does Vostok Games cooperate with? Is it easy to contact manufacturers and receive samples? Can modern modules be installed on a PPS in real life? All these questions and more are answered!
Read the interview below!
Can you tell us, why did you decide to become a 3D modeler?
I first saw video games back in 1993 on an 8-bit console. Then I had a 16-bit one. In 1997, my uncle got our first computer, and already by then, like many of my friends, I decided that I would become a programmer and would make video games. Now at present, I work as a 3D modeler, but sometimes I have to program as well.
Where did you study, and did you have to study for a long time?
I graduated from Kharkiv Aviation Institute as microelectronics engineer. Like all "techies", the first models I did were in CAD-programs, Compass-3D and SolidWorks. These were various jets, propellers and other aircraft parts. I studied modeling myself after on the Internet. In many respect what I know now I owe to the cool guys Artem Tursunov and Nick Barre. By the way, read that interview with a true guru. As for how long it took me to learn things I will surely share with you once I’m finished with it. So far, I’m learning something new every day and the list of things I need to master has just been growing.
In which way do you like to work and why?
At Vostok Games, I'm modeling weapons. In games, I was always interested in how the weapon looks and how realistic it feels. Perhaps this sounds silly, but for me the weapon is the embodiment of beauty. Beauty - when there is nothing superfluous. I have a collection of weapon mock-ups and I'm interested in their history.
Were you directly involved in working on the new system of modules that was recently added to Survarium? If so, why decided to change the system?
Players noticed that the game had a lot of collimators, but you were unable to choose which one you wanted to install on your weapon. We thought that this also applies muzzle devices etc. In the end, we decided that if we did a redesign, then it must be a big one. We went to discuss with the programmers, evaluated our efforts and went down to implement it.
From the video interview it is clear that Vostok Games cooperates with different manufacturers of modules for weapons. Tell us, are these producers from the CIS countries or from abroad too?
Yes, indeed, throughout this time we have established contacts with manufacturers of weapons. We cooperate with Zenith, Armacon arms, AWS, FAB Defense, Matador Arms, and we are also actively negotiating with CAA and others. If suddenly someone from the manufacturers wants Survarium to have a butt or a sight, we are very pleased, because thanks to this interaction, we make it easier for ourselves to work on modeling and, at the same time, make the modules as realistic as possible.
Is it easy for manufacturers to contact you and send samples? Do they ask for something in return?
It all depends on many factors. Sometimes there is a certain degree of mistrust, the responsibilities of the parties have very strong limitations and so on. Sometimes everything goes very smooth and easy: for example, with Armacon Arms we have very friendly relations. In return, they usually ask when the products could be expected to see in the game.
Are you able to get hold of every module? What do you do in case the module is needed, but it’s impossible to get?
The task usually is not in physically getting hold of this or that buttstock, sight or weapon mockup. In order to make a 3D model of a tractor it’s not necessary to bring it into the office and measure it with calipers. The question is, how much faster and in better quality you can create a 3D model with a real sample on hands. If it makes sense, we do our best to obtain it, if not, we model by photos available on the Internet.
How long does it take to work on each model? What kind of body kit was the most difficult to work on?
It all depends on how complex and detailed the model is. The usual time we plan is four weeks of work for one model. Depending on many factors, including the release window for the update, the time may vary. When talking about the level of difficulty, the Fab Defence buttstock instantly comes to mind as an example. I’m not sure who invented that geometry, but I had sweated a lot trying to repeat those dents.
Tell us, is the new module system complete or with future updates will you will add new features? If so, which ones?
The system itself is already quite extensive: it allows you to assemble weapons of almost any complexity. As for the modules, we want to add a lot more, and many of those are already in the "half-ready" stage. Sometimes however, there could arise higher priority tasks, so other work has to be postponed. As for the new modules, we'd like the ability to significantly change the appearance or even the layout of the weapon with the help of the workshop. Let me not make any announcements yet, let's talk about everything when the time comes.
Were there any modules that you would like to put into the game, but they would not have been correct in terms of gameplay?
Of course! For example, the carbine KS-23 in reality can fire grenades with tear gas or even a hook with the rope, while barrel-attached grenade launchers is something which wouldn’t even require a discussion here.
In the grim world of post-apocalypse it is often tough to survive without being smart. What do you think, would something like non-manufacturer-standard modules, but those assembled by ‘artisans’ from what’s available at hand fit well in Survarium? How would a weapon with such modules look?
We are used to seeing in post-apocalyptic universes the weapons and attachments assembled from what’s there at hand. Is it worth adding in Survarium as well? I rather think not. The players to have heated arguments already as to why the damage of these bullets differs from the damage of the other ones. From my perspective, balancing out a hand-made gun on par with the already existing arsenal without raising a wave of criticism would be barely possible. Besides, according to Survarium’s lore, there survived only 1% of the Earth’s population, so there should be sufficient weapons and attachments available from the military warehouses and stores for all out there.
Many players find it difficult to imagine that modern modules can be installed on such old weapons as the PPSh. Tell us, is it the fantasies of the developers or can you actually upgrade old weapons with modern modules?
There was a similar situation when we added a module for the Glock 17 pistol, which allowed you to fire in bursts. We then got a lot of criticism and complaints that it is unrealistic. But in reality such a module exists and is even available to buy. Moreover, if you know where to cut things off, you can well make even Makarov pistol fire in bursts. As for the collimator for the PPSh, I do not see anything unusual there. Especially when no one is bothered by the use of the same collimator on the SKS, which was developed in the same year as the PPSh. On the Internet, there could be found a lot of photos with a similar modification.
Do you have any advice for the novice modelers?
It is difficult to be groundbreaking here. Today you can find multiple free lessons available on the Internet: choose what you like and learn! Just a bit of patience can make you a junior professional. So learning, learning and learning once again!