Alan Wake 2 - Destruction VFX

AW2 -Destruction VFX- Nursing Home

AW2 - Destruction VFX - Overlap

AW2 - Destruction VFX - GYM

AW2 - Destruction VFX - Sheriff Office

AW2 - Destruction VFX - Bikers Gang

AW2 - Destruction VFX - Misc

AW2 - Destruction VFX- Asset Showcase

Alan Wake 2 - Destruction VFX

For Alan Wake 2 we wanted to Improve the granularity and detail of the destruction.
To archive this we push it from 3 angles (Art, Physics, Gameplay)
Art wise with Johannes and Jonne we made new houdini tools in a more modular way and easier to edit and bug fix, that would allow a more hand crafting approach for a higher detail and more control behavior. This HDA allowed me to connect joints to chunks easily, cut the meshes exactly where I wanted and add splinters, rebars, setup physic collisions the settings for the joints, weight, etc.
I researched for real friction and restitution values and edit them to get a more differentiate response.
I remade all our textures, decals and meshes related to destruction trying to reach a more realistic look than in past projects.
I created multiple LUA scripts for more complex assets, like water cooler, a destructible clock that works giving the hour, the destructible cars, a fake wall damage prefab that was used through all the game.

On the Physics side, we worked with Morten and Sami, to remake how the health on the destruction worked, this allowed us to make that certain weapons or enemies couldn't break certain physic materials. In the past you could break a concrete wall just punching overtime, and that is something we wanted to avoid. We wanted to show that the shotgun is stronger than the pistol that is why pistol cant break furniture, or a Taken is stronger than Saga so they can break metal and concrete. They also worked on make permanent destruction, we didnt know if would be possible but at the end make it in to the final game.

Gameplay, we worked with Morten, Tomas Hudson and Ben Anders, on make deliberate and not deliberate actions, this would allow that walking wouldn't move chairs or objects on top of tables, but if you run or dash ( a deliberate action) then you would push the chairs and objects because most likely you are in a combat and need space. We hoped to make a more believable behavior and stable in physics.
With Ben we also developed realtime destructible walls that the enemy can use to reach the player, as shortcut for the navmesh, at the end they where use more as a set piece moment but they are full realtime so you could fill a room with them, this then helped us to also developed with Ben, Rikard and Lauri, a system that made the enemies aware of destructible and allowed them to break objects if its a shortcut, the setup was a bit complex so after I left was not as used.

Before I left I documented everything, settings for joints, how to script impulse wave, damage tables, how the tools work, and recorded multiple workshops so Axel and John at the time starting as Trainee could take over.
Axel continued my work and made extra assets, worked in the chaises and bug fixed the game to can ship
Special thanks to Daniel Konzyck to script the contact material manager, Samirah Evers for help me with some boxes variations and Isaac Stalh to help me to make some variations of the pickups, Ron for finishing the rest of vehicles after i left, Benjamin Lindquist for mentoring me on correct PBR worflows, but specially to Axel and John for finishing the game and add more cool stuff! was a pleasure to work with all of you.

My videos on this post are are the PS5 version of the game with some videos on my test level with the props isolated.
Some disclaimers:
-I didnt work on the Binder VFX only on the impulse wave scripting
-I worked on the Tanks attacks and overall scripting but they got worked more after I left
-On the Nursing home i made all the breakable asset, 2 types of tables, chairs, water cooler, clock, cabinet, ketchup, fake breakable wall.
-On the Gym I made the columns, fake walls and curtains, watercooler and wheelchair.
-On the overlap Tank combat, I did all the assets and destructible wall, less the brick columns that where made by Axel, and Samirah helped me to make to make some variations for the boxes using my houdini files.
-For the tank combat on the bike gang, i worked on all the assets, ( destructible walls, the coffee Character, tables, the benches furniture and the paint buckets) less the final big coffee mug in the middle, a cake and some assets im not showing in the videos. and after the tank break the wall Saga get pushed and break some asset Axel did those and worked on clean and bug fix the navmesh when they added new assets.
-On the DarkPlace I worked on the wood benches on the metro, and the trash bags, the all types of metal trash container, a stool, and the sedan car. I also worked on the first iteration of the dark presence in the metro, but it changed and Johan, Axel and Johannes worked on what you see in the shipped game.