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Jordan Walker - The man behind the Bathhouse


After winning the Stages category with his impeccable re-imagining of E. Honda’s Bathhouse in our recent BRAWL competition, Jordan Walker gives us a bit of insight into who he is and how he got to be so awesome. Currently working at Epic Games, Jordan is part of the Gears of War team - way to steal all the talent, Epic...

Hamish Bode:
Jordan, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Jordan Walker: I've been in the video game industry for about 7 years and I'm currently a Senior Technical Artist at Epic Games.


HB: How did you first get into game art and eventually breaking into the industry?

JW: While in highschool I decided I wanted to create art for a living and the video game industry was my best chance at getting paid to do it while still getting some creative freedom. I went to community college for two years while doing a small amount of contract work for Gearbox. After college I was hired for my first in house job at N-Space in Florida to work on the Game-cube game Geist.

HB: Your Bathhouse entry had people drooling from the first tile you posted. Why did you choose to re-imagine this scene from SFII?

JW: As soon as I read the details for the contest I immediately thought of E.Honda's Bathhouse. It's an iconic stage from Street Fighter 2 and I remember it vividly from my childhood. It didn't hurt that the stage had basic geometry that I could quickly build and materials that could easily be made high res. That let me concentrate on making the scene have unique destruction and painting.


HB: Working at Epic has obviously given you some mad skills with the UDK. Given that this engine is used so widely by Polycounters, what do you think is the main thing that people could improve on in their use of the UDK?

JW: I think people are utilizing UDK in great ways. It's actually inspiring to see all of the cool work people are putting into UDK. I love seeing new environments, characters and materials inside of UDK. Since we release UDK each month it's exciting to see people take advantage of new features.

HB: Can you give us an overview of your workflow for a scene like this?

JW: First I blocked out the scene in a quick sketch. I usually don't spend too much time here since I revise my vision as I work. I then blocked the scene out using basic shapes in UE3. I then began work on materials and models. Sometimes the material was built first (in the case of the tile objects) but any model that needed to be processed or have a custom texture was built before it's material.

After creating most objects in the scene I did a final lighting pass which included color grading the scene and tweaking fog. I then placed effects for steam, water, lens flares. Lastly I created a custom post process effect that let me tint various areas of the screen and included a vignette.

HB: What motivated you to take part in Polycount’s BRAWL competition? I mean, the only prize up for grabs was some virtual street-cred. Actually, I lie, those shiny Greentooths are pretty cool. Greenteeth? Let’s go with Greentooths.

JW: Honestly it was a great idea for a contest and I enjoyed participating and sharing my work as I created it. The Greentooths are pretty awesome.


HB: What part of the environment was the biggest challenge for you?

JW: Balancing the scene composition was the toughest part. It's great to make cool assets and pieces but they really need to be tied together with good lighting values, fog, and layout. Balancing all of those aspects was a constant challenge while working.

Since Jordan is such an awesome Polycounter, he's even given us all access to a build of his Bathhouse so you can run around in the UDK and experience all it's glory. Go to the thread and download the build - it's phenomenal! You can also check out Jordan Walker's personal website: http://mutantspoon.com/


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