Sometimes it just happens that one project becomes an idea for another project. It also happened to me that, learning how to model using a blender became an adventure to check if I could somehow reconstruct my town, but how did it look in its 30’s?

How did it start?

Long story short, just learning 3D modeling or checking how it works, to maybe in the future print something in 3D or have an idea to talk more with coworkers, who are passionate about 3D. In parallel, I was browsing the archives to look for my ascenders and their stories, about whom my Great-grandmother told me over her yeast dough and black tea with lemon. That is what she told me what she remembered as a kid, sounds like a different city and the stories sounded incredible and were quite sad, but there were also stories with “good endings”. Time passed and a curiosity about those stories was living somewhere inside of me and the inability to ask Great-grandma about more stories I sometimes researched more stories by myself to understand them better. In the archive, there were many names that sounded so unfamiliar for those days in my hometown, who was those people? what is their history? Before the war occurred there were many cultures living together in this town. Backing to track, what if I could model some building or item from the past around 1930? I found an old picture and just tried to create some building that does not exist today.

Is it how it could look building at Kościuszki 10 Square around 1930?
Maybe not so bad like for the first model made in Blender?

After a few months of learning Blender, I saw the first effect, but it was quite “flat”, thus I looked forward to improving results. I found that Unreal Engine 5 can give great results, but the first touch of software was quite overwhelming. I exported my model and added elements of the environment to make the level look somehow better.

First try with Unreal Engine 5

The first try of Unreal Engine was good. It gave me some kind of experience getting back to the past. Then I thought what if I would add more and more, maybe add some story behind of building?

It starts looking good

In the meantime, I had to look for more information about places and find some references and I found lots of information at Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Tomaszowa Mazowieckiego page. On the Fotopolska page, there are lots of pictures, which helped with modeling buildings. There are lots of more places from where I found interesting information, but I will try to share information about it later on.

At this moment it is mostly modeling, looking for references to try to restore a place from the past to the virtual world, which takes lots of time to compile. Of course, with the power of money, it would speed up some processes. For now, trying to create elements of the world, but making the storytelling part is another side of the coin, which should be also considered well. Part of making quests and discovering is still quite far from creating at this moment, but maybe someday.

We are here right now, after around 1 year of learning and making a side project

I have more ideas

  • Use language models and feed models with knowledge based on the year around 1930 and stories from that time, then use 3D models to let them talk. This approach might be costly and complicated, but possible.
  • Make it more like The Vanishing of Ethan Carter game
  • Move it to VR with elements like the above
  • Unlikely to make it more like a Mafia game in direction like in the series of The King of Warsaw. Then the game would need to be more like a fictional story, even if in the series there is a character who was inspired by some worker who was living in Tomaszów in the past.

For now, I would try to build some basic level. It would be nice to get some better hardware for this intention because the one on which I am working performs poorly. Additional plugins or assets would also speed up building it.

It would be pretty nice to find a good way to talk about the past and people living that time because of the war which came in 1939 r. annihilated many people. The ability to bring memories of those people, telling their stories or their daily life, which is maybe not so different from our life today, but was broken by the circumstances, which are hard to accept, seems like something worth doing.

During project development, I will try to write a little bit more about the background of places and the development process.

If You want to help or just write feel free. Maybe together we can have a chance to make something nice from it.

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