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Art Style #6: What about the world?

We have already talked a little about the characters in “Art Style #2: Sketching out Infamis” and about the game idea in “Infamis : Legends of the Arena”. The world where the game is set is something we haven’t talked about too much yet. So, let's open up that a little.

The player might not see much of the world, since there is no exploration, still the plan is to bring out the world and environments through the art used in the game.

How?

Different windows will have art that is related to its function. For example the market window might feature a banner or a background that features a bazaar and perhaps an animated character like a merchant. The arenas and the area where they are located would be shown in the loading screens to give the player a sense of the kind of arena and environment he is going to fight in. If the arena is located in a barren area that has large rock formations and lava, the theme will continue in some form also in the arena.

Designing the world

You could design a world and come up with different kinds of location types that appear in the world. Then you could start thinking about what kinds of folk would live in those areas and the world you have created. That would sound logical. Myself, I started to think about these all at the same time and ended up starting from the characters.

So, we had these sketches of characters and possible races/cultures we might have. From there I decided to draw a few images of different kinds of locations that might be in our game. Some of these might be used in loading screens to show off the arena or some parts of them might be used for the artwork for the user interface.

But foremost these are for just first drawings to gives us some idea of the world and to help generate new ideas for different kinds of arenas.

The three steps

I like it when people post art and include a few "work in progress" images along with the final piece. It's nice to see a bit more about how they work and perhaps see some new ways to do things. Our art style is quite simple but I still decided to show the drawings in three steps: "#1 Sketch", "#2 Cleaned up" and "#3 Final".

The floating isles

The first idea came from the bird looking characters. Since some of them have wings, maybe they live in a place that needs wings to be reached. So, I got the idea for the floating isles; also, there should be some way for the non-winged characters to reach the isles.

#1 Sketch

With the sketch, I try to get the image in my mind onto paper. So, a lot of drawing and erasing is involved.

Floating isles 1

#2 Cleaned up

Next, I clean up the lines a bit and add different gray shading to the different layers. The idea is that some of the elements are further away.

Floating isles 2

#3 Final

In the final version, I ended up adding a few things onto the first layer. I decided to keep the gondola lifts for those who are not able to fly!

Floating isles 3
(Click the image to see the larger version)

The hill village

I wanted to do some kind of human settlement, since humans have gotten less attention than the rest when it comes to the character design so far.

#1 Sketch

The hill village 1

#2 Cleaned up

The hill village 2

#3 Final

The hill village 3(Click the image to see the larger version)

The city in the mountains

This idea came to me while thinking about the arenas. It would be cool to have an arena that is located inside a sleeping volcano. And if the arena is in a mountain, why couldn't the city be also in someway connected to mountains?

Not too sure who lives in this city, but due to its underground parts it might be suitable for the "greener kind".

#1 Sketch

#2 Cleaned up 

Mountain city 2

#3 Final

Mountain city 3(Click the image to see the larger version)

Side note:
One idea is to have a world map. On it the player can select arenas to fight in and get a better idea of the world itself. A world map would be a great option to show off the world and its different locations. It remains be seen if we can come up with a gameplay reason to have a world map, so that it serves as an important element to the game.

Conclusion

The workflow might be a bit confusing, since we are thinking about the world, the characters and the arenas all at the same time. Still, it makes sense in a way, since we don't want to limit the possibilities at this point. While drawing characters you could have a great idea for a location where they might live, and while drawing that location you might come up with a new character. It’s this kind of back and forth with all these three subjects and I think that’s fine.

The first ideas might not be the best ones in the end. That's why it's good to revisit the original ideas after a while.

In the next post "Art Style #7: Weapon concepts" we will talk a bit about the weaponry.

 

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