People celebrate Halloween in different ways. Some dress up as their favourite character, some turn their houses into haunted dwellings, and some light firecrackers and scare my dog. For modder Yogensia, however, Halloween is a time to celebrate by creating iconic horror movie weapons for use in Left 4 Dead 2.
Since starting four years ago, the talented creator has made more than 40 weapon mods for Left 4 Dead 2, which include a candy cane shotgun, Harley Quinn's Suicide Squad bat, and a Rickenbacker 4001 bass guitar. This Halloween, he modeled and textured the The Shining's iconic axe and the machete of Friday the 13th's Jasoon Voorhees, which was a collaboration between him, Rafael De Jongh, Maksymilian Genewicz, and Renato Carvalho. Yogensia told me that while he's done with the Halloween-specific creations for this year, he still has a few projects in the works.
"I still enjoy the idea of adding new [mods]," he said. "It's all about finding something that piques my interest and matches my skills, then finding free time to work on it.
"I'll most likely work on Negan's baseball bat 'Lucille' from The Walking Dead in the next few weeks."
The work Yogensia puts into each mod can take anywhere between a few hours to several weeks depending on how ambitious the project is. He tells me that the "workflow is not set in stone," and that every modder has a different way of doing things. His method starts with him modelling a high-polygon version of the featured weapon, making sure to focus on as much detail as possible.
"After that, I simplify the model to make it low-poly and usable in games, making sure the general shape still looks relatively good," he continued. "Then I do a process called 'Baking,' which transfers the details of the high-poly model to the low-poly one as textures.
"This makes the low-poly look almost as good as the high-poly from a normal viewing distance. Then I start texturing the low-poly model, and finally I convert the model to the game's format, make sure it works properly, and upload it."
Before actually modelling and creating the weapons, Yogensia says he spends a lot of time doing research and looking at pictures for reference. He tends to stick to shots from the movie itself since "Google searches tend to show a lot of cosplay props or replicas with missing details and inaccuracies."
"Axes and machetes are relatively simple, but sometimes you just want to be sure you aren't missing any small details," he explained.
Of all the iconic weapons created by masters of design and armory, Yogensia singled out the M41A Pulse Rifle from Aliens as his white whale. He's worked on a model of it for the last couple of years, taking his time and care to make sure it's as accurate as possible.
"Sci-fi rifles are, of course, more complicated than melee weapons, and if I ever release an Aliens-related mod, I'd like it to be up to the standards of the first two movies," he said.