It has been busy, eventful couple of weeks for Respawn and Titanfall 2. Let’s recap:
We launched our first content drop, Angel City’s Most Wanted. This is the beginning of our vision to provide all Titanfall 2 players with awesome new FREE content as well as a store where you can buy cosmetic items and a pretty hefty patch with lots of updates. Get the full details here.
We hosted a Free Trial Weekend for all platforms. We saw a ton of new players come to check out multiplayer for Titanfall 2. We also got great feedback on how we can improve this experience in the future.
We had our first Double XP Weekend and I finally got to Gen for my first time! We’ve got one more Double XP weekend planned before the end of the year so make sure to watch @titanfallgame for updates.
This week we’ve got a pretty special look at what goes into the design of Pilots at Respawn. Our process is a bit unorthodox in that we build physical models using a process called kitbashing. It’s super interesting and I’ll let our Art Director, Joel Emslie explain:
What kind of materials and model kits do you like to work from?
There is a lot of support and supplies for 1/6th scale figures in the retail market. Basically, 12-inch-tall action figures with incredible detail. This is why I like to work in the 1/6th scale most of the time when creating characters. With Titans and other larger characters, I like to work in a scale that’s closer to 1/16th. I have a large collection of loose model kits ranging from 1/6 scale boxed figures, accessory packs, tanks, aircraft, dense hobby foam, pvc plastic sheeting, armature wire, etc. I could go on and on about materials. I even like to cruise the hardware store and grab random parts as well. You never know what might solve a particular design problem. The part can be just lying there and instantly spark a solution.
What's currently in the workshop?
Our workshop is brand new and I haven't had a chance to make a model in there yet but I’ll get the chance soon. In the workshop you will find all sorts of model kits supplies and tools. It has shelves with all the maquettes and kitbashed models from Titanfall 1 and 2.
How many of these do you think you've made?
I think that I've created around 20 to 25 models so far. On future projects, whatever those might be, I plan to really dive into this process and go crazy.
Which one is your favorite?
Kind of a lame answer but the most recent one that I created for Titanfall 2: the Stim Pilot. This model is my favorite because it is nearly 75% built from scratch and combines 3D printing, vacuuforming, kitbashing. It’s the product of a few years of learning all these techniques and putting them all into one piece of art.
About how long does it typically for you to make one?
A kitbash can take up to 4 to 5 days. A scratch build can take up to 5 to 9 days. It’s actually an effective use of time considering the average 2d concept of a character can take up to 5 days to create a front and back concept. A physical model can be created in almost the same amount of time with every angle accounted for because it exists as a physical model.
What's a tool that you can't live without when making these?
My trusty Dremel is the ultimate tool in the workshop. You can do almost anything with it and I cannot live without it.
When did you discover this process for creating characters? Did you do this at all before working on Titanfall?
It’s kind of funny when I think about it, but I've been interested in making models since childhood. In grade school we had an art assignment to make a simple tree house model out of cardboard. I went absolutely insane on my tree house and continued to work on it for a week after the assignment was completed. When I was 13, I had friends that were into Warhammer 40k. I wasn't into the game but I was totally into making and painting the small figurines used as pieces in the game. I became bored making the figures in the standard way and almost immediately started modifying them with other model kits I had in my room. Fast forward to current day. I’m 42 and I get to make models for a living. I cannot stress enough that I have a dream job that I run to every morning and reluctantly leave at the end of every day.
This is a link to a video blog with Adam Savage on the show, Tested. I think he is an absolute genius and a complete inspiration in the maker community. If anyone is thinking of getting into this type of thing as a hobby, I think you should watch this so you have a good idea about how enjoy this hobby safely.
Happy Model Making!
Pulling off a gooser for me is one of the most satisfying things to do in Titanfall 2. Check out this perfect timing with the Cluster Missle:
Northstar is currently my most-played Titan. This clip by TrizzyDizzy really shows off how to use mobility to overcome Tone defense and Ion Laser Core:
If you are getting frustrated by enemies using A-Wall I have two words for you: Gravity Star:
Lastly, Nick Brick has created some impressive builds of the Alternator and Time Shift device with LEGO :
This is our last FNN until after the Holidays. It’s been a busy, kind crazy seven weeks since launch and we’re just getting started. We’ll do a lite FNN on 12/29 and then next year we’re going to have a lot of new stuff to reveal and talk about.
From all of us at Respawn we wish you a Happy Holiday filled with family, fun, and Titanfall 2.