Popular Post Havoc89 Posted April 4, 2021 Popular Post Share Posted April 4, 2021 Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful day and staying safe in these weird times. First off I'd like to just say that no this is not some elaborate April Fools joke, I did make sure to delay posting about this until a few days after April Fools. Secondly and most importantly, after 15 years of development; I am officially retiring from Renegade X, Firestorm, and Totem Arts. 🙃 I bet you may have thought I'd be here till the very end, and to be honest so did I. This is a bitter sweet moment for me especially because of how long I've been part of this team, and this community. tl;dr version is: IRL stuff... Story time! Spoiler The C&C games have been near and dear to me since I was one digit old. Renegade blew me away, and inspired me to try modding games for the very first time. It will always be a special diamond in the rough that inspired me to see vast potential in a C&C FPS game. Since Ren modding days, I ventured into Battlefield 1942, and Vietnam mods, and eventually took part in a mod called Tiberian Aftermath. Battlefield, similar to Renegade had been another source for my inspirations of wanting to see what a C&C FPS could be like at the scale of a battlefield style game. Tiberian Aftermath was a project that helped me to develop and hone my skillset as I started to grow as an artist. Alas Tiberian Aftermath never saw the light of day on Battlefield Vietnam, but the spark in me still remained. Most people wont know this but I did plan on porting Tiberian Aftermath over to Unreal Tournament 3 in 2006 back when the game was called Unreal Tournament 2007. It showed so much promise as a mod friendly video game. Unbenounced to me, @[NE]Fobby[GEN]and a few others were also planning a C&C project on UT3 around the same time. Fobby was looking to build up a new team and found me as a direct result of my work on Tiberian Aftermath. So he reached out, and at first I was pretty hesitant. Eventually I agreed to join and dropped Tiberian Aftermath on UT3 completely. Renegade X aka Renegade 2007 was born! I met and grew up with a bran new team of incredibly talented people whom were just as inspired by C&C Renegade as I was. So we began development on Renegade 2007... A mod for UT3. We revealed ourselves to the public, showed off some trailers and even were featured on C&C3 Battlecast Prime time in Apoc's Corner a couple times. At some point we knew we needed to change the name and drop "2007" from the name. Some how we landed on X because... well it sounded cool! Renegade X eventually ran through a few releases on UT3, and with EA's permission even ended up being finalists on Epic Game's Make Something Unreal Contest on UT3. Eventually Epic did a surprise release/announcement of the Unreal Development Kit, and we knew we had to jump over to it! Epic Games had also taken notice due to our involvement in MSUC and having one of the more popular mods on UT3. So they asked us to port as well, but we we're 100% confident we would be able to do it smoothly. And so we began Operation Blackdawn. A short single player adventure that helped to to become more familiar with the engine. Not everyone on the team was on board with the idea, but I did insist it would help us make a better Multiplayer in the future. Around the development of Blackdawn, I had entered college in a 3d animation course. Got a job at a mobile game development company which abruptly ended with a mass layoff. Which left me a little distraught, and lacking in self confidence. Black dawn had helped me build up more confidence over time. Blackdawn launched with a massive surprise in sheer download counts. We kept watching the download numbers skyrocket from the first day going over 30k, to the first week over 150k. The last time we did a rough count (2 years ago-ish), it was over a million from various different mirrors all tallied up. To say that this was a motivational boost for us as well as my self is an understatement. Blackdawn was a hit when it comes to the numbers, but not so much when it came to the content. AI was jank, the gunplay left much to be desired. Sure the vehicle combat was fun, and seeing the dead 6 characters together again was a blast. Oh and of course the epic Ion Cannon cinematic still holds up today as being one of the best looking ion cannons ever made. Until we one upped it with the Firestorm Ion Cannon . Blackdawn despite it's mediocre success, was a great chance for not just us as a team, but also for me personally to learn more about game development. It showed me how much hard work, time and effort goes into making games, and just how much more I had to still. I knew I wanted to eventually turn this into a career for myself since nothing else really made me more excited to work towards something. I wanted to get back into the game dev on a professional level, but at the time I took a job I wasn't initially very excited by. I joined a small animation studio in Toronto through the help of a college buddy. At first I was hesitant about it, but over time I grew to love it, and my desire to be in games was being fed by the development of Renegade X. For me personally I had previously worked on so many mods that all ended up getting canceled and forgotten about. However, A couple years of hard work beyond blackdawn, we launched Renegade X: Open Beta 1. The first ever standalone multiplayer release for Renegade X. This was an incredible achievement for everyone in the team. We couldn't be more proud of what we had accomplished. I couldn't be more proud of the team and also myself to know just what I could do as both an artist and as a leader. With an inspired team one can achieve wonders, and we did just that! Renegade X launched to levels of success none of us could dream about. We had trouble playing the game in the first few weeks after launch because all of the servers were almost always full. Renegade X multiplayer according to our last tally from 2 years ago has a rough estimate of over 1.5 million downloads. Renegade X did not launch in the greatest of states, we had rushed it and payed the price for it. Our massive initial player base dwindled quickly from a vast array of quality of life issues. But we didn't give up, we kept going! Patched up the issues, rebalanced the game a few times, and introduced a lot more content as well as modding tools for Renegade X. This helped breath new life into Renegade X, and is a game I'm still always excited to play. No game has ever cured my itch as much as this game has. By this time I had worked professionally as an artist on a few cartoons, short films, and various secret pitch projects on several IPs. I had become a CG Supervisor at the same animation studio, and was pretty happy with how things were going. Once Renegade X had stablized and the community began to grow. I still had one itch left at the back of my head. Tiberian Aftermath was something I still wanted to do. I've always wanted to see Tiberian Sun fully realized on the ground level, and so I started to dig through my hard drive of old project files of Tiberian Aftermath. I was curious to see how hard it would be to implement mechs, so I brought in the Titan from Tiberian Aftermath into Renegade X. Which eventually kept escalating and grew to us incorporating 6 Tiberian Sun vehicles into Renegade X as crates. Eventually we got better looking assets from C&C Reborn from the w3d hub team. We started to chat with them early on about potentially collaborating a Renegade X - Reborn mode. Slowly over time we had incorporated almost every building, vehicle, and character from Reborn in Renegade X as a separate game mode. But it started to pose issues for us in the game design. While at the same time for me, I wanted to make some new art assets to really push the visuals to new heights. I also wanted to challenge myself into seeing how much better of an artist I had become from the early days. I think it is safe to say that I'm a teensy-bit better than I used to be. Once I had re-made the wolverine, I knew we needed to do this justice by having HD assets that aren't old assets from Tiberian Aftermath or Reborn. And so began... Tiberian Aftermath 2.0 aka Renegade X: Firestorm before it was called Firestorm. No joke the original name was Tiberian Aftermath, and we even had a logo and everything! It wasn't until very close to announcement that we decided to rebrand it as Renegade X: Firestorm. You can see how the Renegade X: Firestorm logo was forged ^ I held the team back in a way by having Firestorm be on UDK rather than UE4. This was a tough decision to make, but one that I couldn't take lightly. Since Open Beta 1, the team had changed quite a bit. Very few of the original members still remain, and the team was short on numbers as well. I knew that moving to UE4 back then was going to be a much more difficult task for us than it would be to stick the foundation we already built on UDK. I knew that Firestorm would not only build up the team once more both in confidence but also in numbers, but also show the new team just how capable they really are since most of the dev team now were not around during the first launch of UT3, Blackdawn, or Open Beta 1. They didn't go through the immense high that a lot of the older members lived through. I mentioned this before in both a news topic, and in a few DevTalks that we originally had a full scale massive TS game which was what we were calling Tiberian Aftermath. And when we realized it was a bit too ambitious for little ol UDK, I had to make a hard decision on dumbing it down and making it more of a reskin of RenX. This is when the name Firestorm was brought up. However since then we have redesigned this game to be just as large scaled as Tiberian Aftermath, but this time way more refined and fun to play than the old version. It is the best version of the game to date! I couldn't be more proud of the team both past and present, and the games they've built. Around the time of our first internal alpha playtest of first version of the game, I was a CG Supervisor at the animation studio having already worked on 4 different productions in that role. I had begun to hit a ceiling of what more I could accomplish at this company. I loved my collogues, and genuinely had fun working on all sorts of different projects. However I wasn't feeling particularly challenged anymore, and things had become rather easy. I began to become complacent. Something I was already aware of and had me troubled. A couple months later I was approached by an old friend and a former Renegade X developer @JeepRubi. Who opened up an opportunity for me to further my own career and dive into the deep end once more. To feel challenged, learn new skills, and adapt to an entirely new field. A lateral shift in my career. Whilst also moving to a different province, and a new city. This was just what I needed, a chance to start again, a chance work on a bigger scale, on larger productions, and be outside of my comfort zone. I knew that if I agreed to it, I would eventually have to let go of Renegade X. There is just no way that I would be able to give it my all if I was still focused on Totem Arts. That was one of the hardest thing for me to do however after many weeks of debates inside my own head, I knew that if I didn't take this new opportunity I would end up regretting it for the rest of my life. Something I knew I wouldn't be able to live with. So I took a deep breath, and took a leap of faith! The dev team has known about this for over a year, and I knew my days on this project were numbered. But this made me even more active and much more eager to work on Firestorm in the time I had left. Together with the Dev and Testing teams, we pushed ahead with Firestorm and established a framework that even in it's rough state can still put many games to shame. FS has helped to rebuild and reinvigorate the team. That was my final gift to this team. To show them that they are an incredible force because they like myself are fueled by passion, drive and determination to achieve greatness. It pains me to leave Firestorm unfinished, it pains me to know that my original spark for a Tiberian Sun FPS will not be finished with me present, it pains me to know just how much I've invested personally to make all of this happen! It pains me to see how much of an evolution I've gone through only to have to step aside and let others finish what I started. But... I am proud! Proud of everything I've accomplished! Proud of how far I've grown as an individual and as a leader. Proud of how far I've come in my career! And most importantly proud of how many incredible achievements Totem Arts has accomplished! Alas... The time has come! Not to destroy GDI but, for me to step down, and for the next generation of modders and developers to take up the mantle. To inspire a new generation of fans, and expand the community even further with bold new ideas and innovations! Not just from Totem Arts, but from all C&C projects and their teams. From W3D Hub, Open RA, CNC Net, and countless more! Its up to the global C&C community to support one another, and expand the community together with even more new projects and ideas! All of these projects have only gotten this far because of the die hard dedicated fans and community members that keep them alive and thriving! So keep doing what you're doing, make some noise and keep making awesome new content! I cannot wait to see what you all do next! Well that was a rather long story time, but I had a few things to say. I hope I've explained why I'm leaving well enough to make it clear. It is entirely to do with me and my own decisions in life and in my own career. I would love to stick around, and I would love to see FS all the way through till the end, but as a wise man once said "The end is the beginning!" I don't want this to be a time of despair but rather a time of celebration. Look how far we've come together, and there is no stopping where we're headed next. I didn't do all of this on my own, no we did all this together. The RenX community, the developers, the testers, the OG Ren community, and the global C&C community! We all can achieve wonders, and will continue to do so with or without me. This doesn't mean I will disappear, no not at all! In fact you'll probably see me ingame a lot more often since I wouldn't the working on RenX after working at my day job. I cannot thank you all enough for everything you've done for me! Everyone from former, present developers/testers, to all of the sub communities that helped us get this far! To all of our fans both die hard and casual whom kept us going all this time! To the global C&C Community that never dies! Thank you to everyone else I've missed (I have a terrible memory sorry). You all helped us build up the Renegade X community and when I reflect back on the past 15 years, I could never have imagined that I'd get this far! And the best part is that we're only going to become bigger and bigger! This is the last time you'll see me post here as a developer! From now on... I'm just a fan! Goodbye everyone! And see you ingame! Regards, - Havoc89 14 16 13 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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