The Making of "We Come In Peace"

Hugi talked to Ubik and Chaser of Elude about how the winning Amiga demo of Breakpoint 2010 was created.

Written by Ubik, Chaser & Magic

Ubik of Elude is the graphics artist behind most of the graphics in the demo "We Come In Peace" by Elude. The Amiga demo that finally gave Elude (and their coder Kiero) the #1 spot in the competition. Hugi had an audience with Ubik and Chaser of Elude about the making of this demo. If you have not seen this demo yet, or just to refress your memory a bit, watch the demo on youtube here.

So, how did Elude end up with that space/alien theme for "We Come In Peace"? How did the process of making the graphics go? Ubik starts telling: "At the beginning there was an idea :) It may seem obvious, but often I would first start with something and shape the course and create something interesting. After inventing, in general, how it more or less should look, I began to browse lots of images, photos and animations. Everything what could motivate me to turn on Lightwave and Photoshop. Although the original idea was slightly different, but the general assumption remains. At the beginning I had the idea of showing the history of an alien civilization which carried a mysterious package, which as a result of a shipwreck on the ground was broken - it comes out of a strange body, a bit like the plant that is growing rapidly and destroys everything in its path. Unfortunately, some things could not be shown due to the fact that the Amiga did not give the board in performance. What you see in the demo is the result of really large objects optimization, animation paths, etc. However, even taking into account everything that didn't make it into the demo, saying modestly, I think 'We Come In Peace' came out very good from a graphics point of view. Kiero perfectly did his job by writing a few new effects, which gave a very good blend in with the overall climate."

It was quite difficult to make lots of different buildings and a spaceship in only 5700 faces. In modern games some guns have more faces. ;)

As written earlier, "We Come In Peace" won the Breakpoint 2010 Amiga demo competition. How did Elude experience the last month before Breakpoint 2010, working towards a finished version of "We Come In Peace"? Ubik describes this period working towards the end product. "You see ... after the release of Lightshaft (2nd place at Breakpoint 2009 -ed) I feared our next big demo. In Lightshaft a lot of effects, about 25% of them, had to be rejected because they ran too slow - a lot of work went into the trashcan. I really did not want to waste a month on making our new demo at night, but 'We Come In Peace' went extremely smooth. I do not recall that any part gave us some major problems. Besides of course, ignoring the need to optimize scene(s) and removing more facilities than originally planned."

This one was simple, very simple. However, Ubik could not make more details here, because Kiero wanted to put some coder-pron here (faked dof, particles and other dirty stuff).

Besides the visuals and effects in this demo another very big aspect in this demo which makes a really big atmosphere is the music. Chaser of Elude made a very atmospheric, momentum building, movie like track! Chaser reveils how long it took him to compose the track for "We Come In Peace" and who is singing the lyrics. "The track was created in about a week with Symphobia, omnisphere and nexus. I used the program East West Symphonic choir to make the choirs", Chasers explains and continues: "The phrases inside the track were created with wordbuilder, this is a suplement or extension to Symphonic Choir." (See the youtube link at the end of this article for a video explanation of these software programs -ed)

I like this scene. The smoke looks very cool but unfortunately Kiero cut it after 5 seconds. Why? Because this bastard didn't like any animation. (Yes, the smoke was an animated mask.) That's why we also didn't use animated backgrounds and skyboxes (except once in our Lightshaft demo, the factory-scene) and other fake things. Maybe Kiero is right, but one the other hand look how much people like Starstruck by TBL where a lot of animations were used.

When Chaser composed the track he had just seen a few samples of the demo effects. Ubik, Chaser and Kiero worked on the demo at the same time in the same time period. Chaser explains: "I saw samples of the effects before composing the track. In the same period of time when we worked on this demo, Ubik made 3d scenes, Kiero the effects and some additional gfx and I composed the track. Kiero finally assembled the effects, scenes and music so they fit together. Kiero did the syncing of the music with the scenes."

This object was used as tunnel with ribbons.

My favourite part, which unfortunately turned out far from the original. In the beginning there were much more stones, there was grass, some plants etc. But the Amiga was too slow to run this. I had to delete about 50% of the objects and a lot of textures. I also wanted to put a Decepticon logo (which as you know is the second TBL logo) and break it in a few pieces but... well... it's only Amiga - we had to limit our imagination ;)

Nothing special - Just a simple lobby in a spaceship ;) Looked a bit boring, but Kiero inserted some nice particles here which look like fake shadows. A skilled viewer sees one thing that combines several scenes. On the textures I put symbols 'eld2nd'... well, we believe in 'a second place'. It's obvious, a second place is the best place ;)

" We Come In Peace" finally won the Breakpoint Amiga demo compo for Elude. Not a second place, which they reached many times (also when they were making demos as MAWI) but a first place. As a end to this article Ubik describes how they heard and reacted to this news during Breakpoint 2010. Ubik: "I was so surprised - really. How did I react when I noticed the results? Well, this is a good story :) Just before I went along with the substrate to eat kebab :) We were outside eating and listening to the results. And then suddenly, first place! We shook hands and went into the hall right after it to sit in front of the stage and look how Kiero jumped for joy on the stage :) Substrate and me did not go on stage for the price ceremony - apparently we did not feel the need for this."

Links related to this article

We Come In Peace on Youtube
We Come In Peace on
Explanation of the East West Symphonic choir Word Builder Interface on Youtube
Download We Come In Peace Soundtrack

Ubik, Chaser & Magic