Super Metroid Redux update: Metroid model started

Posted by SpaghettiOh on Friday, May 29th, 2009 in 3-D /Art

Ok, so this is a Metroid, the star of the Metroid series of video games for numerous Nintendo consoles (like you didn’t already know that…) :

Metroid enemy from Super Metroid
A Metroid as it appears in ‘Super Metroid’ for the Super Nintendo.

Now, normally one might think it would be extremely easy to sculpt something like this in 3D; at least as someone with 3D experience might. Throw some spheres together to represent the nuclei, throw that into a larger sphere, add some claw-tusk-lookin’ things and you’re set! Here’s the problem: that image and it’s subject are two dimensional, and that means there’s no cheating and turning him around so you can see him from different angles. I’ve run into a few problems in doing this…

Problem 1)
In all the references I could find where a Metroid was brought into 3D by Nintendo, there are no consistencies between any of them. Here’s an example:

Metroid renders
A render from Metroid Prime | A snapshot of a Metroid from Smash Bros. Brawl | A snapshot of the Metroid trophy from Smash Bros. Melee

Problem 2)
The game I’m rebuilding doesn’t give a strong indication of what it might look like in 3D. The two sets of claw-tusk-lookin’ things seem like they might be side-by-side, but then it also looks like there are two near the front and two near the back.

Anyway, I started modeling and really hated what was coming out of it. The geometry didn’t flow well, my polygon count was way higher than I wanted (I want to keep it around 500 like Samus), and I just wasn’t digging how it looked overall. I sat on it for a couple days, and finally hit it again tonight and here’s what I ended up with:

Spaghetti Oh's Metroid model

Right now the model sits at around 454 polys, which gives me around 50+ to play with when I model the rest of the underside (not shown). The other thing, too, is that in order to get the poly count that low I had to remove a lot of unseen geometry. This isn’t really an issue, since the camera constraints will forbid anyone from seeing what’s missing, but if I ever wanted to use the model for a full blown animation where I show angles other than what’s seen in the game, I’ll need to model it back in there. Here’s what the back currently looks like:

Metroid model back

One more thing…this was just too weird not to share. I had to import the Metroid into the level I’ve been building so I could get an idea of what I could remove that wasn’t seen by the camera and here’s how it imported…you can see Samus on the elevator, and she has no idea……….:


Head on over to the project page to see some background on this life vampire.

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Call of Duty: World at War review

Posted by SpaghettiOh on Sunday, May 24th, 2009 in Gaming Life /Reviews
Call of Duty: World at War

The World War II genre of video games has become an extremely saturated market over the last couple years thanks to our friends over at Electronic Arts shitting out a new Medal of Honor title every six months. But it’s not just EA, really… check out this list. Of the 170+ games in that list, 135 of them were, or will be, released since 2000. This should give you a good idea of just how many games have cluttered such an interesting topic; one that might have people scratching their heads as to why anyone would even make a “game” about in the first place.

If you read the article I wrote on BIA:HH, you’d know that obviously I’m not all that thrilled on what’s happened in the industry to my favorite historical event. Not since the famed opening level in Medal of Honor: Frontlines, where you participate in a Saving Private Ryan-esque beach storming, has there been a WWII game as good as this. I say that with 100% sincerity, so you can go buy the game now.

I’ve never really been a fan of the Call of Duty titles; I always thought they were too stiff, boring, and inaccurate. That’s where this game helps the franchise take a turn for the better. As soon as the campaign starts up you’re pummeled with real archive footage of soldiers dodging bullets through trenches, seamen shooting Zeros out of the sky only to be kamikaze’d by another, and all the death, guts & glory that comes along with such an epic war. Hands down I knew right away this game was going to set some standards for the genre. The sheer fact alone that they used footage as graphic as what my eyes were just raped with meant that the developers at Treyarch were serious about this game.


“Bound by your imagination…”

Posted by SpaghettiOh on Monday, May 04th, 2009 in Enlightenment /Quotes

There is a video I’d like to share with you. It may be a lot to take in at first, but watch it a couple times. It’s 10 minutes, so if you watched it 3 times (get ready for the best made-up word of the month) you’d’ve sat through that lame episode of primetime TV you just watched. At least use your eyes to take in something enlightening, even if you don’t necessarily agree right now…