Hello! We are New World Interactive, an indie game company that was founded in 2010. Having started off as a small team with large ambitions, our studio is now 39 people working across 3 continents.
Our team comes from a hobbyist background, with a rich history of successful total conversion mods including Red Orchestra and Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat. From the very beginning, we have always had a deeply rooted passion for creating games. Early on, the company was able to assemble many of the original Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat developers and pursue an opportunity to create a premium indie FPS – which would eventually become New World’s debut title: Insurgency.
When Insurgency was released in 2014, it was met with critical acclaim for its hardcore mechanics, such as lethal gunplay, minimal HUD, no targeting reticle, and friendly fire. To keep the game fresh, we developed free content updates for Insurgency for three years and, as it stands today, we have sold over 5 million copies on Steam. The game’s success allowed us to expand our team to not only produce more games, but to continuously add more and more detail to what we create.
Day of Infamy and Character Creation
After Insurgency’s success, an opportunity came up with Valve to create a Day of Defeat-inspired game as a standalone expansion for Insurgency. We received permission to use assets, create inspired levels, and give the gritty WWII experience a twist with Insurgency’s core gameplay mechanics. This idea and design eventually forged the path for Day of Infamy. The hardcore playstyle we were known for felt natural for a WWII game, encouraging players to function as a unit to succeed.
Our team wanted to make Day of Infamy feel more personal to players, and one of the best ways we felt we could do that was through our character design. Day of Infamy was an opportunity for our artists to challenge themselves to provide a deep level of immersion and authenticity.
The process of our character creation from beginning base meshes to the finished product took about one month for each character. First, a general-use, full body base model was sculpted. After each model was scaled to realistic proportions, next came one of our character artists Gabriel Fronza’s favorite parts: designing the uniforms in MarvelousDesigner. To create garments using MarvelousDesigner, artists cut and manipulate fabrics in a fairly lifelike manner. After shaping cutouts and configuring the fabric type, artists can get a sense of how they would fall naturally on the body model and add wrinkles, seams, and textures in Substance Painter. Using this platform, our team created over 20 unlockable uniforms for Day of Infamy, complete with dirt and stains to add variety.
Gabriel used the same basemesh to sculpt a variety of heads using photos taken in studio as reference. In fact, most of the heads in the game belong to our in-house developers in Amsterdam. After the basic shape was constructed with an accurate study of anatomy in mind, pores, eyelashes, and hair were also added to solidify a sense of realism.
Afterwards, a low poly mesh was created in 3Ds Max with animation and game optimization considerations. The high poly elements were baked in Marmoset Toolbag. The final step in creating our character heads is the texturing process. Using Substance Painter (and many, many WWII photos and movie clips as references), finishing touches were applied to ensure that the characters fit into the war-torn battlefields of WWII. The added dirt, blood, sweat, and scars are the characteristics that make the character models feel at home in the setting in addition to bringing them to life. These small details are also very handy in creating a large amount of head variations for each character class.
How we use Sketchfab
To highlight an update to Day of Infamy, Gabriel teamed up with another artist on our team, Nikolas Sumnall, to recreate the Omaha beach landing at D-Day. After reviewing various dioramas and war movie scenes for references, the scene setting was concepted in Photoshop and sculpted in Zbrush. Characters from the game were added and carefully posed by one of our animators, Ben Turtell, who is also featured as the 17th Australian Battalion unit seen above. Shortly before being implemented into Sketchfab, we added a low poly explosion to the beach. The final step was implementing the diorama into Sketchfab, which was a simple and easy process. Lighting effects and textures were fine tuned before the addition of a VR mode for those looking to experience a deeper level of immersion in the scene. Special annotations that tell the story of each soldier on the diorama were written by our voiceover director, and now lead game designer on Insurgency: Sandstorm, Michael Tsarouhas.
This model is best experienced with headphones as we also applied an audio overlay of artillery bombardment, machine gun fire, and soldiers yelling to communicate over the war going on around them.
When it comes to Sketchfab, we have used it to showcase a few of our other assets from Day of Infamy, whether it’s just for show or for advertising. From maps to weapons, we can use Sketchfab to highlight those tiny details and authenticities we have added to our games. We hope to use it more often in the future to give our players and fans an inside look into our games and projects.
Our newest project, Insurgency: Sandstorm, is being produced in Unreal Engine 4 and our studio is ecstatic to explore a more modern platform. The capabilities of UE4 will allow us to ‘stretch our legs’ as artists, programmers, and designers, through its improved textures, lighting, and audio. To follow the development of Insurgency: Sandstorm and find news about New World Interactive, check out our blog and follow us on social media.
Credit to those who worked on our Sketchfab models:
Gabriel Fronza – Character Art (Artstation)
Nikolas Sumnall – 3D Art & Animation (Artstation)
Ben Turtell – Animation (YouTube)
Michael Tsarouhas – Writing & Voice Over Director