2004 - Oil Tycoon 2

In 2004 for whatever reasons, possibly financial, the company abandoned its own project (Witch Hunter) and started work on Oil Tycoon 2. The old project hanged around for a while in the background but as far as I know it never recovered from being shelved.

Oil Tycoon 2 was a bought and paid for project, continuing a franchise. To be honest I wasn't anywhere near the game mechanic side of things and later when the game came out I shamefully didn't even play it so embarrassing as it is I can't really say a lot about the actual game.

Making the models for it though was a joy. The game was already planned out and there wasn't much uncertainty as to the number and type of assets needed. We were basically filling modern cities with models that had plenty of easily available reference material.

This being a strategy game the camera was pulled out quite far and the cites were just playing the role of the backdrop. The buildings in the renders here are in a far bigger scale than they would have ever appeared on the screen where you'd be looking at the whole city planning the action more globally.

The project was fairly small and very fast paced and quite a pleasant experience to work on. The assets needed were quite varied and the only problem was trying to keep the poly-count and texture memory footprint low - relying heavily on reusing textures across buildings.

I remember finding it quite amusing how I was back to doing small buildings - like the hundreds of buildings I've done for our amateur project (Transport Tycoon Unlimited) a few years back. Of course the actual process was different as they weren't meant to be used as pre-rendered sprites - you had to create them as proper, closed, low-poly meshes and you had to work out how to best to use the texture budget available to you.

At the end of the project I decided to leave the company. The work hours were putting a little bit of a strain on me and negatively affecting my university studies. I spent the next year working freelance jobs in my own time and could concentrate more on my education - I succeeded in getting an educational grant (awarded based on your grades' average) which I managed to keep till the end of my studies.

First thing next year I got hired again; in January I started work at Reality Pump, another gamedev studio in Cracow, which I have very fond memories of.