SWG Legends news // *SWG: Legends Staff Spotlight: Rees*

Staff Handle Name?
What is your position on the Legends Staff?
What do you do for the project SWG Legends?
I design things. I make 3D models, add textures to them and then hand them over to a developer. For example the plush X-Wing and TIE Fighter, I made the models for them, but NSG added the sound and light effects and put them in the game. I also work on badges and deco, such as in the Bestine museum. I prefer to decorate like SOE did, not putting too many items in a building.
How did you come to possess these skills, education or self taught?
I studied 'Industrial Design Engineering', which is very 3D oriented. But 3D design software was still new back then, we still used large drawing boards and paper. I did have a PC and when the game Doom came out I learned how to modify it. I made new levels and changed the monster sprites. That was my introduction to game design. For my work I no longer needed 3D design. Only here on Legends, after the Bespin deco project was finished, I decided to learn 3D modeling again. I took an online Blender course so I could design for SWG.
Describe your typical day supporting Legends.
I usually work on a design task. I try to finish an object completely before moving on to the next one. A simple object usually takes a few evenings, but a complex object can take weeks or even months. Clothing is particularly difficult, for example the Imperial Navy Trooper helmet. A design involves making the 3D model, usually also a texture image, configuring the ‘shader’ file that links model, texture, and other settings together, and putting it all in a package of files for a developer to work with. The 'shader' files are relics from the SOE days and difficult to work with. SWG has many secrets, so I often need help from other staff members who in the past, with great effort, discovered how it all works.
I try to work on different types of objects to always learn something new. I started with common items, then clothes and now NPC buildings with the help of Rabiator. Later I hope to work on new adventure environments.
What do you think your greatest contribution has been to Legends?
I really like the world-building side of Star Wars Galaxies. And making the game feel like the movies we grew up with. My first Star Wars experience was a 1978 book: The Making of Star Wars. It described the storyline and had pictures of movie sets, models of droids and ships, concept art and the like. One of the black and white photos showed a strange spherical vehicle next to the Mos Eisley cantina. Much later I found out it had a name: the 9000 Z001 Ubrikkian landspeeder. But when I started SWG in 2003, it wasn't in game. When I joined the staff here at Legends, the 9000 Z001 was one of the first items I worked on. I was thrilled to finally see it in its proper place in Mos Eisley, next to the cantina door.
What would the other staff at Legends say to this; “Describe Rees.”
I'm not sure. Not being a developer myself, I often need their help with the old tools. Also, I can get very upset about details.
What they actually said:
"Rees is an incredibly talented designer. Whenever he posts previews of what he's working on, I'm amazed by the detail! Rees and his skills are an incredible asset to the team." - EllannaRose, QA Team
"As a dev, Rees is one of my favorite designers to work with because of his skills and creativity. I remember working with him on some new items for Lifeday 2021. He made plushy versions of an Xwing and TIE fighter which were made to fit the precedent of the stuffed Star Destroyer toy already in gam. However, he wanted them to be more than just looks. He came up with the idea to add various sounds and particle effects to the new "toys" which really brought them to life. Similarly, he designed the Ewok Drumset that plays a song, and the Chewbacca Stocking which is a functional container to share 3 gifts with your friends." - NoStyleGuy, Developer
"Rees is an amazing designer. He's become the go-to for any new work or tweaks we need done. He's always ready to pitch in and is generally a great fellow. I'm grateful to have such a good person to work with :)" - MacSquizzy, Developer
"Rees is a wonderful member of staff and always a pleasure to interact with. His love for Star Wars shines through in all of his designs. I get the sense it's a dream for him to be able to help build for the galaxy and for everyone who lives in it." - Vincer, Events Team
"Rees has been an amazing addition to staff. He's taken on so much work and is taking the time to learn new programs and processes just to ensure that he can give more to the server, and this is on top of him being one of the most notable and wonderful community members on the entire server. I can think of no one who deserves more praise." - Muhen, Events Team
"Rees is creative, always open for ideas and super helpful!" - Nesiah, QA Team
What has been the most difficult thing you’ve done supporting Legends?
It is mainly figuring out how the old systems and files work together. For example, finding the best 'shader' settings for an item: how it uses a texture image, how it reflects light, how it can give an extra 3D effect. A period or comma in the wrong place results in 'computer says no' without further explanation.
How often do you actually get to play SWG?
I am online daily to keep an eye on things in my guild. I am lucky to have many great and active guildies who organize events. This gives me some time to work for the staff. But I don't have much time left to work on my own characters. I try to keep my GCW rank up, but that's about it. My own deco projects are also on the back burner.
What is your favorite thing to do in game?
I do the administrative work for our guild and organize social events, such as meetings and our Life Day party. I love to decorate - check out our city Darker Waters on Talus. My favorite heroic is Hoth. I also like exploring and always try to find old NPC quests. I collect the legacy items they hand out. But I still haven't found the Devaronian fur glosser.
When did you start playing SWG, and describe that experience?
I started in November 2003, when the game launched in Europe. It was the first MMO for me so I didn’t really know what to expect. I am happy to be with you all in the wonderful world of SWG.
Thank you Rees! We hope you enjoyed this look into a fascinating member of our staff team! Looking for more Spotlights? Click here!