I’ll be giving a talk at GDC 2016 entitled “Building Obduction: Cyan’s Custom UE4 Art Tools”.  If you’re going to be attending the show this year, drop by and say hi!  (Exact day and time TBD.)

Here’s the blurb I wrote for GDC’s session listing:


Cyan Inc. (creators of the MYST franchise, and pioneers of the adventure/puzzle genre) are working on a new game called Obduction – intended to be the spiritual successor to MYST and Riven.

Utilizing Unreal Engine 4, and tasked with a relatively large-scope project, our small team of developers faced a number of unique content-creation challenges. This lecture will outline the problems we ran across, as well as the solutions we employed – and how our toolset allows us to tackle complexities presented both by the intrinsic difficulties of realtime 3D world-building as well as inherent limitations of UE4 itself.

This talk is NOT a programming lecture. It is meant FOR artists, presented BY an artist. Many of these tools were developed using only UE4’s Blueprint and Material system, and are ALL focused on making content-creation as streamlined and painless as possible.


Attendees will gain insight into a number of elegant solutions to problems presented both by the complexities of small-team game development, and inherent limitations of the Unreal Engine 4. This talk is meant to inspire new ways of thinking about world-building, and not being constrained by existing toolsets.

Intended Audience

While aimed primarily at Artists & Developers utilizing Unreal Engine 4 (with heavy emphasis on Technical Art and Tools), the concepts presented here are applicable to any realtime 3D environment. Some topics will inspire devs of all experience levels, while others tackle larger problems that require deeper exploration.