Thursday, January 28, 2016

Week 2: Environment Thumbnails!

Our game consists of two environments at the moment, the headquarters of the CSA and Kowloon City.

The first environment, the CSA, is our major hub and mission area for the channeler to call home. It features a Victorian architecture style, is home to several spirits and has a magical globe that controls a portal to other locations in the world.

The second environment is Kowloon, a crammed asian-themed city overran with crime. It features an over exaggerated Chinese influence with modern signs.

Week 2: Character Thumbnails!

Our game currently consists of 5 characters as listed below. Our exploration for the first week focused on shape, color and any effects the character may have.

While the game is in first person, we should have a good sense for what the character at least looks like - what any channeler looks like. The focus is on a more scholarly aesthetic, pushing robes and fabrics more than anything. The only real technical consideration at the moment is properly setting up the cloth to behave correctly in engine.

The main antagonist, this evil channeler is a former member of the CSA turned rogue. As such, he would feature a similar setup as any other channeler, but with his face obscured and a potentially more menacing look. As for technical consideration, the evil channeler may have ghostly smoke coming out of his hood or glowing eyes.

One of the channeler's companions, Chao is a Jiangshi (hopping vampire). The intent was to explore a more brawler / enforce look in his design. The character may feature some accessories that rely on simulation in-engine for their movement, such as the seal over his face, a pony tail or necklace.

Another companion, Shazhaad is a teenage Ifrit -- a djinn. While he may be strong he is a clumsy firestarter. The major technical consideration is for how the fire is achieved - either by particles or with an animated mesh / texture card.

The first boss of our game, Shanzhu is a menacing Jiangshi gang leader - and former boss of Chao! He would have some of the same technical considerations as Chao

Beyond characters, to show a behind-the-scenes, we also worked off of design briefs provided by our producers, here is an example for our companion, Chao:

Week 2: Artist Breakdowns

Our final target art style consists of two artists, taking the construction and visual look of Sam Nielson and applying a more muted color palette reflecting Yuri Shwedoff, below is what we are drawing from these two artists in terms of character art, environments and colors:

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Week 1: Mood Paintings

After settling on our three artistic influences, the team put together several concept art pieces to explore a first pass at mood and setting.

This piece focuses on Nielson's curved-line style leaning towards a darker, more mysterious subject matter:


This one was heavily influenced by the Secret of Kells, but with a more muted / darker color palette to reflect Shwedoff's and Chiara's palette style:


A two-frame piece emphasizing the silhouette and lighting style of Shwedoff / Chiara:


Another piece emphasizing the more muted color style of Shwedoff and Chiara, but with the construction method of Nielson:


This piece focuses on the silhouette aspect of of Shwedoff and Chiara, but leaning more towards the construction method of Nielson with a bit more color:


Week 1: Choosing an Artist!

Our first task was to choose an artist to draw inspiration from, to that end we researched and selected three artists to investigate and draw concepts from as an initial test:

Art Inspiration #1: Sam Nielson

Our first artist is Sam Nielson, who works in a more simplified, sculpted aesthetic. Our major take away from his style is the emphasis of using curves over straight lines to create a sculpted, deceivingly simple looking look and feel with exaggerated proportions.

The major concern with this direction is more-so pinned on the modeling method, as we much ensure smooth deformations in the characters to keep that sculpted aesthetic.

Art Inspiration #2: The Secret of Kells

A more simplified look, this vibrant style focuses on interesting, curved silhouettes and strong character poses. While we may work towards a different color palette we are intrigued by the shape language.

While we aren't as interested in their color palette, the major challenge for this art direction is pinned on having the simple silhouettes from multiple directions while still maintaining interest. There will also be shader concerns for keeping a more colored storybook feeling to the game.

Art Inspiration #3: Shwedoff and Chiara

Our third inspiration, we focused on more silhouettes and color palettes / styles. Shwedoff's work uses a more muted color palette with generally one lighter color as a highlight.

The emphasis on this artist was from the perspective of color value targeting, as lights and effects are intended to be prominent in our game.