Deep Dive: The Making of Apocalypse Wasteland

Deep Dive: The Making of POLYGON Apocalypse Wasteland

Hey everyone, Amy here! Today we’re taking a deep dive into the production of our latest pack, POLYGON Apocalypse Wasteland, an expansive stylised 3D asset pack filled with buildings, characters, props, modular weapons, vehicles, FX, and environment assets – everything you need to create the post-apocalyptic or dystopian world of your imagination. 

Read on for a deep dive into the making of this pack, to see some of the concept art, and to hear more about the production process from some of the talented Synty team members who brought this pack to life, including their favourite bits and hot tips!

About the World

The world of Apocalypse Wasteland is set 100 years after an environmental disaster devastates Earth. Two factions are at war for the resources to survive across two unique biomes. A dangerous green goop has been released into the world by a bio warfare facility, and anything living caught in it has become genetically mutated. 

Pete, our Art Director, on the conceptual direction of the two factions

“The key "thing", surprisingly, was the toxic sludge. This resource, a kind of bio-weapon that leaked causing the apocalypse, links all the factions and sets the framework for their interactions. 

The Mutants, who are the background antagonists to the world, have been caused by the sludge, turning people into violent creatures.”

“The ‘Ute-opians’, the vehicular desert anarchists, have learnt how to fractionate the sludge and use it as a fuel for their vehicles, and also as a drug to prime them for combat with both the Mutants and the Cultists.”

“The ‘Swamp Cultists’ faction however, have embraced the sludge and worship it. They live in harmony with the new ecosystem, and have built their village over the main source of the sludge, so they are in constant conflict with the Ute-opians who need the sludge for fuel.”

“The team concepted the two factions by imagining how they would make things and what level of technology they'd be comfortable with.” 

“The Ute-opians very much are hanging onto the old-world – resisting the mutants, recycling material from the pre-apocalyptic times, driving cars and shooting guns. Their outpost is haphazardly constructed from found materials and they wish to rebuild a somewhat "civilised" town. They have replicated what a small frontier town might have – markets, housing, bars etc.”

“Whereas the Swamp Cultists have built with natural material harvested from the mutant trees and plants. Their culture is structured around worship and they have ritualistic areas, totems and such.”

“Their village is more technologically "primitive", yet it's constructed around the very thing that caused the apocalypse (the crashed plane which broke the sludge pipes), and acts as a small keep in which, when attacked, they can retreat to.”

If you don’t know where to start with concept work, try a map!

“In the case of most big projects, just getting started can be a real challenge – finding the hooks to get consistent usable work can take a while. To help us this time we focused on making a map first and used that to build out ideas and catalogue the contents of the world. This became a great organisational tool to rally around, and something we will continue to utilise for large projects in future.” – Pete, Art Director

What were some of our 3D artists' favourite parts of Apocalypse Wasteland?

“The Rat's Ass building, race track whale skeleton, and gas station are standouts for me as super fun spots game devs could use to build outposts or bases around.” – Branch, 3D Artist 

“The amount of amazing materials we have. The texture sheets for this pack are out of this world, we had the concept team help us out with some incredible textures to then model and bake down to use on the buildings, props and vehicles. The various alts that we have of these materials really helped bring the world to life and adds a lot of variety to the project. Our alpha texture really adds a new level of interest to this project with the barbed wire fences, chains on the vehicles, and weapons, it makes the end of the world environment look even more brutal.” – Ashe, 3D Artist

Get attached to these Hot Tips!

“If you’ve bought a Synty pack before, you'll know that we are big fans of attachments. There are so many different attachments in this pack it’s kinda crazy. Justin also did an amazing job creating modular weapons. I'd definitely recommend mixing and matching the weapon parts and seeing what you can come up with. My personal favourite is the rubber ducky attachment.” – Branch, 3D Artist 

“Majority of the vehicles have inserts and attachments that can be turned off and on, such as the chains, spikes, props, doors, wheels etc. You can add other objects from the pack to these vehicles, as well as cool vehicle weapon attachments that we have also included in the pack, change the wheels, and mix and match their materials to create something even more unique than they already are!” – Ashe, 3D Artist

Editor's note: I’d like to point out both artists chose to discuss attachments unprompted!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek behind the curtain on Apocalypse Wasteland. You can see more screenshots, as well as pick up both Unity and Unreal Engine files on the Synty Store. This pack is also available on the Unity Store and coming soon to Unreal Marketplace.

We can't wait to see the projects you build with this pack! Be sure to tag Synty on Instagram, X or Facebook when posting your work, and if you enjoyed this post, we’d love for you to join our community of experienced and aspiring developers on Discord.

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