Dev Diary #03 – The Art of Theft
Hey everyone, we are sorry about the delay, but here it is!
The long awaited post about the Heist Art style.
In truth, part of the art style was somewhat picked for maybe not the best reasons.
We originally had the desire to really play with the Direct X 11 features coming to Unity 4, and so we wanted an art style that would allows us to show off tessellation (a technique for adding more tris to an object the closer you are to it), this is when we thought about the affordances of something like comic book panels, being able to show off a high poly model on one part of the screen and then have a much more efficient lower poly version on the same model both being rendered at real time.
But then from a game design perspective, We started to examine what else we could do with the graphic novel art style, and the element we were most interested in was the clear communication between what is illuminated and what is in shadow.
As you may be able to see below, its pretty clear where lights and shadows are, and we are able to leverage this with the stealth mechanics of Heist.
Another element from the graphic novel look we are using greatly is outlines!
Outlines have allowed us to more effectively communicate the illumination of the player when they walk through the 3 levels of light, as you will be mostly looking at the character as you play.
Coupled with the Graphic Novel art style, is the Noir themeing.
This was chosen purley because we liked the idea of the character being this mysterious trilby donned shadow lurking around an Art Deco inspired mansion.
We also noticed a lot of games seemed to be focused with sci-fi, or Tolkien fantasy or gritty realism as their core themes, so creating a unique looking game obviously appealed to us.
The Film Noir allows us to do use colour as a way to communicate important game elements to the player. With this direction we are making sure colours will be washed our or very dull, allowing a flash of vibrant Red or Blue to really grab the players attention.
So far, we have had very positive comments about the art style from fans and professionals alike and we couldn’t be happier
There have been a few people saying that more art is needed and we do agree with this, Lately we have been working towards adding more visual interest but without it becoming too cluttered or noisy.
Well that’s all from me today, this will be our last post until January when we get back from our Christmas break.
So to everyone have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – Atomizer