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Portfolio question. Is it okay to have a project that is a remake of an old game environment, etc?

polycounter lvl 6
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Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
I just remade a map from a 22-year-old game (Unreal Tournament by Epic Games). It just a personal project for my portfolio which I hope to find a job as a 3D environment artist. I made everything from scratch completely only using screenshots or textures from the Unreal Tournament Editor as references. Is this okay? I just want to make sure there are no legal issues with this. I have seen many quixel videos on YouTube of them remaking environments from Counter-Strike, Warcraft, and Halo: Combat Evolved. 

For my next project, I want to remake another really old game environment but make it more my own idea since the original idea is boring and bland. I just want to take inspiration this time and make it more my own and modern as if what would the game developers do today if they were remaking it. 

I've seen many do fan art of characters, environments, and weapons, etc for their portfolio or personal hobby. I just want to make sure this is okay. Is it okay? I mean it takes talent to be able to look at something as reference or concept art and turn it into 3D art. 

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  • Zi0
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    Zi0 polycounter
    Is this okay?
    Yes
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi high dynamic range
    As a stretch goal idea, if you're recreating something, either attempt to do an art direction where it's still emulating the original art style but improving/asserting in a unique direction somehow (think Crash Bandicoot or Spyro remakes recently), or really lean into adding technical art flairs that give the environment more passive movement and interest.
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    As a stretch goal idea, if you're recreating something, either attempt to do an art direction where it's still emulating the original art style but improving/asserting in a unique direction somehow (think Crash Bandicoot or Spyro remakes recently), or really lean into adding technical art flairs that give the environment more passive movement and interest.
    Yeah, I agree. Remaking an old game environment or character is not as easy as it sounds. It's quite a fun challenge when you also have to do some redesigning as well. With my most recent project, I tried to stay true to the original but my upcoming project is going to be another remake of a horror game environment but I'm going to tweak it, add to it, and redesign some of it. Even change the theme to something like the aftermath of it, like as if years have passed since the events of whatever happened in that horror game happened. That way it's still a remake but also a fan-made project that is more personal. 
  • Meloncov
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    Meloncov greentooth
    As a practical matter, yes, it's totally ok.

    From a theoretical legal perspective it's a somewhat more complex issue, but that would only become an issue if the rights holder wanted to force you to take down the work. And just about every rights holder takes the policy of allowing fans to post fan art.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe high dynamic range
    It's more than ok in my opinion.  If an applicant demonstrates a capacity to work within a set of external restrictions - be that art style or whatever - it means they're more likely to be useful in a production environment where they have to work within a set of externally defined restrictions
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    Meloncov said:
    As a practical matter, yes, it's totally ok.

    From a theoretical legal perspective it's a somewhat more complex issue, but that would only become an issue if the rights holder wanted to force you to take down the work. And just about every rights holder takes the policy of allowing fans to post fan art.
    Right sometimes I worry that the game studio is not happy that I did the fan art and I'm like why? It's not like I'm completely copying it or making money off of it or making a clone of their game and releasing it to the public. 
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    poopipe said:
    It's more than ok in my opinion.  If an applicant demonstrates a capacity to work within a set of external restrictions - be that art style or whatever - it means they're more likely to be useful in a production environment where they have to work within a set of externally defined restrictions
    That's very true! I thought so myself. A lot of times environment artists will follow defined restrictions and be handed concept arts or guidelines of what to create and it's their job to follow it as closely as possible with some possibility of making their own changes if agreed upon by the team. It's usually a team-work thing anyway what the art direction goes. 
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