Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Concepts AHOY

This week marked the first (official) week of Leylines' development! It was filled with the wonders of character design, Moebius dissection, shader plotting, and the beginnings of graphic design.

Along the process of drafting thumbnails for every character and monster that may appear in Leylines, we discovered that it's insanely important to truly dissect Jean Giraud's artistic style, make some notes, and keep that close to us as a reference - rather than just go by our wonderfully artistic eyes. It truly helped us get a better eye for environments, organic creatures, and overall shape language.

Each of our studies, covering characters, creatures, environments, line, color, mood, and composition.

With that out of the way ... we've been hard at work at crafting thumbnails for our game. Here they are! Our 2D/3D artists have been learning to use Zbrush as a concepting tool and it's added another dimension to our concept art.

One of our existing challenges is figuring out the Shellek's shape language, as we will want a natural feel to them. Our designs of the Shellek are integrated with the very crystals of Miria, which caused their descent into madness and bodily mutations. Our first priority was designing concepts for the main antagonist: the leader of the Shellek.

Next, we began to design concepts for lesser Shellek. Some of these designs will become enemies Vala encounters when she explores ancient temples.

Onto more minor characters ... a new one was created! Temple Guards. Very few currently exist, as Crystal Temples have been dominated by Shelleks. They were once guardians of what was once revered as holy sites. These designs were meant to embody Temple Guards as a whole, not one singular individual. So, these may be closer to "costume designs" for the Temple Guards.  We threw in some designs for their bows too.

Before we crafted concrete supporting characters, we messed around with some possibilities of what we can include. We drafted some female characters, male characters, and even some creatures that may assist Vala on her journey. Here's a look at that.

Onward to environments! Leylines is meant to be a platformer game. So a goal for environments is to create a world with depth, detail, intrigue, and usability - all while maintaining that surreal feeling present in Moebius artwork. 

Leylines is going to have quite a few visual effects going on. For instance, Vala's arrows are going to have a more magical quality to them and likely be closer to (Leyline) energy projections. Here are some concepts of visual effects for arrows, crystals, and the Leylines themselves.

And a first pass In Engine!

In the midst of all of this ... our Art Manager Andrew has been working on a few technical art aspects for Leylines!

Moebius has a very distinctive style to it. Because of that, we will be needing some shaders developed to aid us in really pulling off the look Jean Giraud conceptualized. This is the beginning to achieving the linework and posterized look his artwork has.

We discussed that Vala will learn more about herself, her role, and the past with the Shellek through accessing "memory crystals". This is a current pass at this idea!

Finally, we have been working on some graphic design elements to Leylines' as well! This is currently our first iteration at potential logos, taking Jean Giraud's own handwriting as an influence.

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