Tuesday, 29 October 2013

"Role" Concept Art & Visual Style Guide

Seeing as I couldn't start work on our level, I've spread out my time developing the visual style of the game, researching other styles, and creating a brief visual style guide. 

I've also just sent over some first pass art to our programmer as we want to have something that looks good for our Thursday meetings, and we can't wait any longer.

 I asked our producer to email Ken to ensure him that we're not lazy or unenthusiastic. Skully, Anthony, and myself are all extremely excited about this game, and are determined to not let this affect our final product. He tells me he sent the e-mail so they now know why we might not have been delivering excellent progress each week. 

Original Mock Up

Second Mock Up

Visual Style Guide
Computer Game Development Project  

Working Logo
In this document the visual style and artistic requirements necessary for the accurate creation of the game project “Role” will be defined.
Role is a 2D Rube Goldberg inspired side-scroller. It is very interested in creating a simple, engaging experience which drifts between soothing and urgent gameplay.
Role is the story of day into night. The game begins when the moon falls from the sky directly into the level. The character moves independently, and the player must tap the screen to alter the game environment in order to vehicle the moon to the end of the level, at which point the moon rises as the sun and the level is complete.
The visual style will serve the simplicity of the game and support the games’ context to fully play to the story of the gameplay. The artwork should also complement the idea of stillness in the game.

The only “character” in the game is the moon. The Moon will have a wisp-like texture and should have a sense of “life” to it. Much like the character in “Thomas was Alone”, the animation and sound design will compensate for the simplicity of the characters’ design.


User Interface
Because Role is designed to be a simple, calming game, the UI must therefore mimic this, and must not exist to bother or distract the player in any way.
The environment art for Role is the majority, and as such is incredibly important in affirming the atmosphere and ethos of the game as a whole. Primary colours have no place in this game; Rather, a de-saturated colour scheme based around highlights has been created to give the game the feeling of “sitting round the camp fire”. The player should hopefully feel unsure about the environment, but also intrigued. Overall, the environment assets should combine to instil a strong sense of nature and history.
Man’s presence in this world should feel minimal and also rustic. Modern technology would jar with the organic shapes and remove the environments’ sense of innocence.
To best emphasise the bitter cold and stillness of the night, blue hues have been used generously across the environments. By creating this strong atmosphere at all times, the rising of the moon to the sun at the end of each level should be a great contrast of visuals upon which to end on.
Shape theory is a strong influence on the narrative and impression of the character and environment art.
The main character, the moon, is a circle, and as such the design can better emphasise the situation or position of the character through a harmony or dissonance of shapes.


In the image above the repetition of circles enforces the idea that the player is currently early on in the level, the shapes are all relatively rounded and there are little or no sharp, threatening lines. The moon almost looks like it belongs in this environment because it harmonises with the shapes in the environment. When placed among sharp objects however, the player will definitely not feel safe.

Role will have a parallax system which will complement the art enormously. Games such as Rayman Jungle Run and Limbo served as inspiration for the considering of the scale and ambience which great parallax art can convey.
The background art of the environment should not distract from the detail of the midground. It should complement the ambiguous setting of the game and, like Limbo, help give a sense of remoteness to the world.
A zooming action also exists throughout the level, which will help draw attention to different parts of the environment and its mechanisms.


Placement Art
The images compiled in the mood board convey the sort of atmosphere that Role hopes to accomplish. The still from La Luna (Pixar, 2012) in the top left of the board demonstrates the still, calming nature of the moonlight. Stills from Rime, The Secret of Monkey Island, and Project 2 (3 middle images) illustrate the impression which can be captured through highlights and contrast. 

"Role" Moodboard


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