Art reference

Company of Heroes 3’s new dev diary is all about artistry and authenticity

A new dev diary video for Company of Heroes 3 has been released, diving into the art direction of the upcoming RTS sequel and how it aims to be authentic, both for WWII (of course), but adding more realistic details. Company of Heroes 3 is coming to PC in 2022.


Obviously, the roots of Company of Heroes 3’s art direction come from real-world historical research. Browsing the internet for reference material, watching WWII documentaries, consulting with experts, and even talking to the community have all taken place as they seek to stay true to the Mediterranean theater of war. There is certainly some middle ground with the research done for the first two games, but with the possibilities of a modern game, they reclaim much of that ground.

A particular new innovation here is in the “Paper Doll” system they have created. Game items are now created in a more modular fashion, so unit outfits and tanks can be more easily customized to add subtle variations between them with attachments and accessories.

Beyond that, they’ve also gone from baking to wear to models and textures, and now have it dynamically built over time. The type of dirt that accumulates on the tanks will depend on the surfaces they drive on, while the damage will apply to specific regions of the vehicle depending on where they are impacted.

The journal also dives into new advanced animations and unit behaviors that have been added. Units will now react to events such as planes flying overhead, their position becoming more tense, etc.

These are just small details, but they will certainly add to the immersion of the game in subtle ways when you take a moment to stop and admire the visuals, instead of the intense RTS action.

Previous dev diaries have dug into the overarching single-player campaign and the dynamic new campaign missions it’s built upon. Company of Heroes 3 is set in the Mediterranean theater of war, as Allied forces battle across North Africa, then invade Europe through Italy. The game will feature some of the story’s key battles, but with the sandbox-style campaign map, it’s sure to play out differently from the history books.

Source: press release