- The hidden Portal -

Zanzarah Zanzarah was my first commercial project. I worked on Zanzarah from 2000 to 2002, when I was employed at funatics development. My tasks during the Zanzarah projects were level design, character design and animation, textures, background painting and tool programming.

Zanzarah was a very interesting project; the relatively low limits and the missing features of the underlying Renderware Engine (which was a relatively early version without shadowmaps at that time) were an interesting challenge. We used self-created tools for lighting; shadow maps were "faked" by hand-cut shadows.

Meeting both requirement limits and deadlines, we managed to create a game which got excellent ratings in the graphical section in magazines and fanzines.


The restrictions appearing for the Zanzarah fairy characters were: 800 Polys, 5x128x128 textures, body and wings were treated separately in the engine, with animations in different speeds. So no direct influence between wings and body was possible in the animation.
The rendered fairies shown here are taken from the game as they are, without any modifications like mesh-smooth or changing the animation. The background scenes are scenes taken from Zanzarah and modificated a bit for rendering the charakters.

AVIs and Images
AVIs require DivX;-) codec e.g. available here

Feez (AVI)

Feez (Image)

Goop (AVI)

Goop (Image)

Akritar (AVI)
 Akritar (Image)

Glacess (AVI)
 Glacess (Image)


The screenshots shown here are examples of my level designing work during the Zanzarah project. This work included building levels with 3d Studio Max as well as painting textures and backdrops with photoshop. While some of the shots are a good example of teamwork - like the "Enchanted Forest", where everybody in our graphics team has added his work - others are nearly completely done by myself, like the Caves indoors and outdoors scenes.

The restrictions appearing for the Zanzarah levels were:

- 4000 World Polys for small levels
- 7000 Polys for special locations
- about 25000 Polys for foggy locations like the Enchanted Forest
- No light map; lighting was done by vertex paint / hand cut shadows
- Texture limit approx. 5 MB

Another important restriction was that the citizens of Zanzarah haven't got an efficient sewer system and so we couldn't build any toilets as seen in every  shooter. Thus we spread an extreme amount of chamber pots all over Zanzarah :-)

Dunmore, the swamp village
While the basic design of the swamp was made by a colleague, the complete swamp village was done by me, including indoors and outdoors scenes and textures.

The Caves & Monaghan, the village of the dwarfs
The complete design of the caves including all models, textures, background paintings, indoors and outdoors scenes was done by me.

The Enchanted Forest
The Enchanted Forest is a good example of excellent teamwork; during the development of the game there were several versions of the forest, where each member of the team supplied his work, and each new version was better than the previous. I made the design of the final version, which means that I reworked many of the textures, added many new textures and made most of the forest levels. Also the indoors scenes were reworked by me, adding new textures and lighting.