These shots are from ACES (2013); a reboot of a classic air combat franchise for the mobile market, with Play Habit as the developer and Activision as the Publisher. ACES was designed as a Free-to-Play Single and Multiplayer On-line experience. It deliberately broke away from the design clichés that have always dominated games about air combat. Instead of trying to simulate the cockpit, ACES focused on the pilot and his tactics. By stepping back from physics and the act of controlling the aircraft, the game freed players to think the way combat pilots think in the life or death chess game they play at 300mph.
For me this was a little gem of a project. Growing up, I was in love with the Warplanes of WWII; drawing them or flying RC replicas of them, they were a big part of my youth. So when I was asked to Art Direct this project and spearhead the creation of highly accurate scale 3D models, I was thrilled to no end. The only caveat was that each aircraft had to be under 5500 polygons, used only one 256 x 256 tga texture, assigned to one default opaque Unity 4 material. As you can see from the shots above and the documentations, the aircraft models match the original blueprints and every panel line was represented in the final textures. Each model also has accurate wing chord profiles and camouflage patterns.
As for the terrain, I used actual terrain data and aerial photos to accurately model the plot variations and roads. Since the game took place between 500 and 300ft in the air, the method of indicating details in the terrain lent itself well to the graphic style of the game I developed. If you are interested in the details of how it was done, please toggle open the, “ACES Terrain Creation Outline v1.0.pdf” below.