Category Archives: Concept Art

DevBlog 32 / The Lumberjack Brothers

Hi there!

This week André was working in the logic pass in the new area Tomé was populating a while ago. This area suffered a lot of changes, now has a lot more to explore and this led to a more careful balancing in enemy placing and rewards like the plants of the treat mechanic, what is inside the chests, etc. Collision testing is also a very monotonous task and there are always a few places where the character can get stuck during this phase of development. André also added these areas to the streaming logic for a more fluid progress throughout the game. Next week we will show some environment screenshots with the new Amplify Color calibrated.

Iuri is now rigging and animating two new NPCs we’ve already shown you, the prisoner and the wanderer.

Lonely prisoner.

Remember the axe-wielding mini-boss we have shown in previous blog posts? There are actually two of these foes roaming about, the Lumberjack twin brothers that inhabit the Forgotten Forest. Tomé has been working on the look of the sibling we hadn’t mentioned yet. He is supposed to appear very similar to his brother, with a few distinct features like facial hair, tattoos and differently colored garments. This hulking giant will also be carrying a particular kind of weapon, which we will show at a later stage.

Concept paintover of the Lumberjack’s brother.

Pichel made a lot of progress with the model of another enemy we are adding to the game. This opponent is very important narrative-wise since it shows an early stage of the transformation of flesh into bark, which the peasants from the surrounding villages have been undergoing. It hopefully shows that the fully transformed wooden aberrations you may encounter were not actually born that way.

First phase transformation Wood Enemy.

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DevBlog 29 / Wanderer NPC and companion interaction

Hi everyone!

This week André was working on some minor improvements regarding the feeling of impact during combat. A pause of 2 frames was added to the attacker animation when a successful hit is landed, as well as HUD vibration whenever the player takes damage. With these two small additions, the feeling of causing/taking damage is even more noticeable. We already have hit animations, particles and gamepad vibration, but we think these small details are super important.

André also merged some sub state machines in the Animator for more fluid transitions and to simplify the Animator tree.

Tomé finished a new concept for an NPC that the player will frequently meet throughout the journey. He is a very enigmatic character that will often inform the player about lore, comment on the state of affairs and even open some shortcuts. Pichel is working right now on the high poly model for this character.

The Wanderer Concept.

Iuri and André are developing interactions between the Elk and the Girl. One of these consists in a “treat mechanic” which is being implemented. Basically, the player needs to feed the Elk some fruit in order to gain its trust and be able to mount it. We have always leaned towards the idea that the Elk is not a simple mount, and we hope that with details like this one we can make that show through.

Idle interaction with the Elk.

We intend to have this mechanic ready in a few weeks. Afterwards we will start populating the various locations with fruit props and control the zones where the player can mount freely.

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DevBlog 28 / GDD updates and new zone study

Hi there!

This week, Amplify Creations moved to a new office, so the Decay of Logos team had the chance to improve and complete the Game Design Document of the game, and do a review of the overall production plan. Some minor plot holes were covered and the history was enriched.

Everyone helped but some other things got done obviously. André fixed some pending bugs and he’s working on improving the elk control when mounted and implementing more of Iuri’s new animations.

Pichel is finishing a very important enemy, a very peculiar boss that will have a special video preview.

Tomé did a concept study for an upcoming new zone that we are preparing.

The Rift Windmills.

 

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DevBlog 17 / The Elk is alive!

Hi everyone!

This week André helped the art team by doing some improved scenery meshes from the blocking mesh for the underground passage in the swamp zone (a new area we are working on). André also worked in something he wanted to do for some time, foliage dithering fading.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

Dithering per vertex when the camera is too close .

André also did the same effect but per object when characters get too close to the camera.
A reworked streaming logic is in the works, more fluid and efficient logic that can’t be noticed even if the player has a HDD disc drive (or for consoles).

The new model of the Elk is starting to come alive! Iuri began skinning and animating the Elk, and we hope to show gameplay with the new model in a near future. For now we have a very dynamic walk cycle:

Old view on the left, current view on the right

The new WIP walk cycle.

Tomé has been producing some more tree models to spread around the game environments, specially dead trees for the swamp area we are working on. He also developed a few modular stone pavement groups that can be combined together to form roads.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

New trees for various new zones.

Pichel made a lot of progress with the Elk model, and he has been investing a lot of time into making the fur work with our visual style. You can see how it’s coming along in the image below.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

On the center the new Fur approach.

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DevBlog 12 / New props and Companion Model

Hi there!

More illumination iterations were done this week. We encountered some light probe problems and had some lighting misconfigurations, but we are working on it. Most of them are related to our scene streaming system and light baking workflow.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

Illumination tests.

Tomé made some concept tests for a rune stone that the player can interact with. These rune stones are strategically placed near points or areas of interest informing the player about story lore, area information or even gameplay. We are trying to have as little as possible distracting on screen tips during gamplay, these runes and some hints in the re-load screen are given to maintain the immersive experience but the core gameplay will be clutter free.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

Rune Stone and alphabet concept.

We are doing some tests for an ancient alphabet for the ancient civilization ruins and runes like in the concept above.

Pichel is finishing the high poly of the player’s companion, he followed the concept posted in the previous devblog but naturally some changes were made to match the 3D perspective.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

WIP player companion.

 

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DevBlog 11 / Illumination Test, AI and new Companion concept iterations

Hi everyone!

This week we did some more illumination tests, still not as we would like it to be but it’s getting close! Next week we will update the Amplify Color LUT textures used, our idea is to create an immersive and smooth transition between interiors and exteriors. The use of Volume based blending per-area really helps us quickly test and improve the game look without adding to the work load.

We adopted a tetrahedral light probe placement instead of a simple evenly spaced grid and so far we are getting good results on dynamic objects.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

Some issues still to fix but getting closer to the final version.

This week André made a few tweaks to the enemies AI and improved their adaptation to specific situations, in a game as ours AI is a constantly evolving area. For example, an enemy may adopt a defensive AI state depending on its weapon state; if its shield is about to break he will likely try to use it less and evade the player attacks, depending on the enemy it might even strike more. Enemies will also become gradually more offensive the longer they have to defend themselves from player attacks. On the animation side we also apply specific variations that required tuning.

Pichel is working on the new companion 3D model. We had several concept iterations until we arrived at the current result, while he’s doing the body High Poly some small changes might be made to the improvised settle and additional props.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

More fantasy iterations.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

The last concept made.

We are still not 100% sure about the item bags or props attached to the legs.

Next week we will show you the high poly!

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DevBlog 09 / The Journey Companion

Hi everyone!

A very important character in this game is the player’s companion, previously mentioned in the game description. Your companion can help in some puzzles, serve as a fast travel option and can store additional weapons, armor and potions that you can’t carry with you. But it can’t follow you everywhere! Some places can only be accessed with the player alone, for example: when you need to climb something, your companion will wait for you below; in this type of situation you need to manage what you bring with you and what stays with your companion, since your inventory is limited and your companion can carry many more items.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

Early concept by Jeffrey Ferreira.

This was the very first model of the game (Modeled, rigged and animated by our programmer André), and it is still the model used for AI logic tests and behavior like in the gif below. All the mechanics and logic mentioned above are already implemented.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

Here we can see some automatic object avoidance, the Elk automaticly avoids major falls and objects like trees even if the player forces it.

We are trying to make the Elk’s movements the most organic possible, like previously mentioned, in situations like avoiding falls and trees, and by reacting to enemies close by. If the player is adventuring around and exploring, your companion won’t stay in the same place waiting. Our idea is to have a character with personality that you can mount and interact with, not a soulless prop.

Some details like foot IK and body position relative to ground or slope will be implemented to enhance the organic feel. This behavior is highly influenced by Shadow Of The Colossus Agro’s behavior (the companion horse).

Old view on the left, current view on the right

WIP, for tests only, not the final model.

We are still exploring the Elk’s design, and that is currently one of our top priorities. Next week Tomé will make the final concept of the Elk for Pichel to model. Next step is new animations.

In this week of work André did some bug fixing and gameplay polish while Tomé and Pichel finished the ruins asset modules.

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DevBlog 04 / Act 1 Enemies

Hi there!

This week we have some character concepts and models to show. It’s the most predominant enemy in the first area of the game.

An ancient ruin.

Concept exploration and orthographic views.

For reasons we won’t spoil, some inhabitants of this world are mysteriously turning into wooden aberrations. The goal of the concept above was to visually establish two phases of this process. In the first iteration, the flesh turning into bark is supposed to be very apparent, while in the second one the body of the villager is already fully transformed. We really wanted it to be clear that these individuals were not always like this, hollow wooden creatures – they used to lead normal lives.

It’s pretty hard not to draw comparisons to the character Groot while designing treelike humanoids, but the way we tried to distance ourselves from that was to stick as close to the human silhouette and anatomy as possible. In essence, the transformation is material, and most of the human form is maintained.

We are a very small team, so we developed a strategy for the enemies to appear and feel different each time the player encounters them.
Most enemies have adaptive AI, and when the enemy is instantiated a Behavior Tree is assigned randomly.

For example, if a Defensive BT (Behavior Tree) is assigned, the enemy will have a shield and act more defensively, going around you and only attacking sometimes. If an aggressive BT is assigned, the enemy will not have a shield and will attack more, and so on.

It terms of visual presentation, randomly instantiated parts will be added to the enemy giving diversity to his silhouette. One interesting thing is that the more attached parts the enemy has, the higher his defense is.

giphy

In the past week André was freeing some work for Pichel and Tomé by 3D modeling an area and populating it with props already created. Next step will be texturing the terrain.

An ancient ruin.

High poly and Low poly models.

Pichel was working on the enemy we showed above. UV mapping and low poly is done, and he’s close to finishing the additional parts.

Tomé is working on the 3D modules of the Ancient Ruins we showed in the previous blog post.

 

 

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DevBlog 03 / Buildings and new areas studies

Hi!

Time for some architectural concepts and new area studies – the game has more than colorful woods! We want to showcase a few additional environments that will be in the game, from very bright and vibrant (like you have seen in previous blog entries) to dark dungeons or windy barren landscapes. The scenery will mirror the player’s mood and experience as they explore our game world.

Tomé, with his architect background has been a great help designing and constructing the ancient ruins that populate part of the world.

An ancient ruin.

Forsaken ruins of an ancient civilization.

We are currently working on other areas like the swamp below while trying to maintain the same stylized look. During their journey players will smoothly transition between different areas, we are going to use the mood as a storytelling device, each area will be unique in it’s own way. It might even be a way to tell the players what kind of challenge they should expect, we are still experimenting and it has been great!

Swamp concept area.

Swamp concept area.

 

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DevBlog 02 / Concept and 3D Art

Hi there!

Today we’ll show some concept art and 3D models of the game, most of them are already in-game.

In the beginning of the game you are most likely to found this set of weapons.

In the beginning of the game you are most likely to find this set of weapons.

The high poly of the main character.

The high poly of the main character.

This week, Tomé did some architectural 3D and concept studies for the ancient ruins which populated the world and in past were once the home of an ancient civilization.

Pichel among other things has been revamping the first enemy you face in the game. We will post some concepts and high poly models in the next devblog post.

André made a small pause in game development and joined the system management dark side. He transferred our cloud solution for project management to our local linux server with Bitbucket Server (VCS), JIRA (project management) and Bamboo (auto-builds) cross integration, plus a robust backup system for our projects. During Pre-production we used Github and Trello.

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