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Making Art for a 2,5D Platformer Part 1: Preproduction

Straight from the art department, I will be reporting on our process for the new project. This will consist of a series of posts, regarding the visual elements of the upcoming game we are making.

At the moment we are at a very early stage and thinking about mostly conceptual stuff but also figuring out how to get our production pipeline as efficient as possible. Being at this point of development, a lot of planning is required. This very first post of the series will be covering my approach to laying out requirements and starting research on all the areas we will have to cover.

  • visual development: general look and feel of the game
  • procedure: production pipeline
  • management: asset backlog and animation backlog

Visual Development:

Establishing a look for your game at an early stage is crucial. We learned that from our past projects, as it is easier for everybody to work on things that are visually attractive. Also, we do want a visual expressive game, that communicates our intentions. Laying out a look and feel for such a game is crucial(although I am still not entirely convinced about too much concept-art)

Indies have been associated with nice and cuddly graphics for quite some time. Of course, some of the games do have a darker look and we certainly won’t be the first to do this. Still, a darker look fits our profile and our intentions, so we are going in that direction at the moment.

The characters in our game are stranded on a planet. This situation is the main conflict: Your goal is to help the two to escape the planet. To visualize this, we do want to make a clear distinction between players and the planet itself. The planet will be more of an organic thing and the players will be robot-based characters.

The character concepts will be done by me and Elena is going to work on level concepts. Posts of both of us will keep you up to date.

Procedures:

This venture is our very first real 3D Game. That means, we have to figure out how to set our production pipeline up. Using the programs individually is not a problem for our art department, as we have been working with them numerous times before.

During preproduction we are looking for the best way to produce a good amount of good-looking assets in an acceptable amount of time. As always, this can be tricky.

Backlogs

Not a huge product backlog, but making a catalog of all the assets and animations to create will be one of the goals of preproduction. To get a grip of all the things to make and a structured overview of that, we need to gather information mostly from the gamedesign department. I think it will be parted more than one list and usually we use a google document for that. More backlogs for each field of our department:

  • Character related(Models and animations)
  • Environment/Level related
  • UI related
  • PR/Homepage and print stuff

This is a small insight of what we are doing at the moment, I hope we can make a more detailed post on each of these points after we finish preproduction.

cheerio!

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