Design Notes

Game Art Design

Posted by on 31 comments

Creating a unique look for AdventureQuest 3D

When asked, "What is the most important thing about game art?", I responded with a single word, "Home." Against a thousand fantastic monsters and bloodcurdling lava filled volcanic dungeons, the most important part of any game's art, in my sincerest opinion, is the feeling you get when you login and see your home town. It needs to feel like... home.

aq3d-home-450.jpg

Close your eyes and picture of the town of Battleon. What do you think of? (Other than being endlessly attacked by monsters.) To so many of us... it truly feels like home. But it is more than just the countless stories we have had together there. There is no mistake why the town looks and feels the way it does in our other games. Growing up in Forests of the North, I fell in love with lush green trees and vibrant blue skies. You can see that part of my heart and soul reflected in the town of Battleon. (Which is why we are going to be so extremely careful with the redesign of Battleon in AdventureQuest Worlds next month!) Nothing is more important to me personally than building the best and most unique home town for our new game, AdventureQuest 3D. So, you may not be as shocked to learn we threw out ALL of the town art we made and started over. Instead of building textures with photos, we are hand painting everything. We are also learning how to make the grass and trees sway in the wind. The colors are going to be a bit more vivid, a little more fantasy. It will be unique. So when you look at it you will not say, "oh this is a 3D game", you will say, "Oh wow, this is AdventureQuest 3D." Stop back tomorrow, and I will talk about the character redesign.

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Eonaleth
Eonaleth: For me Battleon would be snowy. Living in the north close to Canada we had a lot of rivers and I would go sledding down hills. That's probably why I connect with Frostval and the moglin town of Frostvale so much. I can't wait to see how everything comes together and Battle On dear friend /salute3
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Gjappy
Gjappy: It's working now, you see? :)
Entro
Entro: BLARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I WANT A HOMETOWN INSPIRED BY FLOATY DRAGON AMULET ONLY TOWN IN DF! (forgot the name)
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Artix
Artix: Falconreach. /love Falconreach
Zadck
Zadck: Dragonsgrasp? Not Falconreach, silly Artix. Dragon amulet only. <3 Falconreach. That does float too.
Menirz
Menirz: Sounds like a good direction. So many games try to focus on realism and then get bashed because its simple impossible to do perfectly... but choosing an original artistic style, perfection suddenly becomes possible. And i have no doubt you guys will be able to achieve it.
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Kvasir
Kvasir: I have a horrible sneaking suspicion that this thing will be in open beta before i manage to turn up sometime when the server is online. Out of curiosity, what made you move away from the unity web player back to flash? The monster preview you made in unity looked relay good, however I've never actually seen a full 3d game using flash player, at least not to the depth that you are going to, so i have nothing to compare it to.
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Artix
Artix: Actually, we are trying to do both Unity & Flash. Honestly -- we should be able to make it look and run exactly the same on both thanks to the recent changes in technology.
YamiKakyuu
YamiKakyuu: Being from the north too, Im really looking forward to seeing how the resign of Battleon goes. One of my fave places in the Upper Peninsula of Michian, it's a lake surrounded by a forest on all sides. Only a few little cabins a long it. Greenguard and Battleon often remind me of that (minus the lake). Really interested to see the character redesigns.
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pkmnmastah
pkmnmastah: The picture looks amazing. I hope the city from the first testing face will return. In the short time I have known it i have grown quite fond of it and the NPCs in the city
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Kheldar
Kheldar: really like the colour of the grass but the wood of the windmill seems way too vivid and needs some abit of grey.
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Xanaomin
Xanaomin: A unique design for a 3D game? That will certainly be hard. Well, unless you do something akin to HeroSmash... doubt anything is 3D in that style. Still, good luck! The whole of your gaming company has led to this epic addition!
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Colossus
Colossus: You know, there is a feeling I can get sometimes from computer games. It's a sort of feeling of home, like a sweet nostalgia for something you've never experienced before. Yet, you let out your breath slowly, as if you are in the middle of the most serene and beautiful clearing in fall (or some other really peaceful and beautiful scene).It's not at all close to that fantasy to be experienced in reality but somehow, it still manages to tug at your heart.Only one AE game has done that for me: DragonFable. The town of FalconReach (Book 1 anyway) is just so graceful and the way the artwork is depicted, the way the sun shines or the trees bend with people sitting underneath... And the music, wow, it is pretty excellent and just slips you into the world of FalconReach. It's not like the artwork is world-class (no offense, guys) but the style really is like the most ideal scene superimposed on a computer screen. That really truly is special. The first time I actually got that feeling was from the fishing scenes in DragonFable. The scene, the lighting, the background, Sun and Moon were all so perfect, it made me want to be able to experience that kind of thing in real life. Not saying that DF is my favorite AE game but it really manages to do that to me somehow...Whoever is making that happen, I salute you. The background music is also really important during those scenes in order to give me that feeling so kudos to Warlic (It is you doing that, right?). I really hope to see if you guys can get that sense in. But of course, if it is epic in some other manner, I'll definitely still appreciate it. :)
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Gjappy
Gjappy: Whoa that could have been one entire post. Your view on the art is truly an expressive one I think. Anyways, would you mind to submit the same comment just one time? :) thanks.
Artix
Artix: Fantastic post! Now you have me thinking about the music for the town... Ghost's music is so awesome. Perhaps we can get him to write us a custom piece to use.
Colossus
Colossus: Wow, ok, thanks for the compliments, guys. I'm really glad to be able to contribute to AQ3D. To Artix: Oh, it's Ghost's music? Nice! That sort of track could really make the town more moving. To Ghost: Thanks for the cool music. It really was quite striking. Sorry I thanked the wrong person. Don't haunt me. Please. To Gjappy: I wanted to start a new paragraph so I hit "Enter" twice and it posted twice... /facepalm
lordvermion
lordvermion: im from the north to i feel at home in the woods when is snowing
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Entro
Entro: I can't figure out how to use the forums so i'll post it here. I wish for a chrono themed town, as well as the ability to use timekiller from alender if already owned. Also, on df u need to add timekiller to armor closet. I WANT IT AS MY SAVED CLASS.
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Artix
Artix: A chrono themed area would be awesome
lurker
lurker : The artwork that Artix Entertainment comes up with is truly unique and absolutely astounding. I am fascinated to see what you guys will come up with next, and can't wait to try out the game for myself!
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Lyraxiana
Lyraxiana: Hand painting? I love it! I can't wait to see the designs! I can only imagine what the lush landscape will be like *pictures falling down in a field and breathing in fresh grass* And the forests and the towns and... man can someone just bring me there?
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Zali Blackclaw
Zali Blackclaw: ...OvO AWESOME! I love the idea of a hand painted world, especially from AE. It will be tough, but it MUST live! You have my full support!
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Hamofawe367
Hamofawe367: This town will be awesome!!!
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Kvasir
Kvasir: Another thought I've just had (this one is actually relevant to the post!). When logging into an AE game the first thing you see is battle-on, wonderful log houses, a guardian tower if you lucky, there is probably a mage with some sort of intro quest inside one of these houses, but it is always the same place... No-matter where you left the game last. That wasn't an issue in any of the 2d games because there wasn't really any dungeon crawling and you could fast travel to wherever you wanted to be next. So my question really, is will the game play in the same way, in the same style, or will you have to fight your way through dungeons and to towns in a way that makes returning to the hometown every time you log in and out slightly detrimental to the game. I quite liked the idea of fighting your way between towns, or at least soaking up the scenery, but i don't want to sacrifice the familiar battle-on feeling of home. (ps. Battle-on is home! but i don't have a house there... the guardian tower has no beds..... Where do i sleep?! Yulgan's?!)
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Artix
Artix: I like battling your way to new places. I also like the idea of having runestones and teleporters that can be unlocked so once you make it to a place, returning to that place is easy.
fate3182
fate3182: I would have to say that all the artix games have a ,well, homey hometown. I particularly like Falcon Reach in DF , and think that AQ3D could benefit from a hometown based on it. Also i think that the players home should apear in battleon, or at least have a gate or something that leads to your house to make the programing easier. Lastly its not home without Twilly so Twillly MUST be there. Any way im sure what ever you guys do will be perfect for the game. Good luck (not that you need it) I can't wait to see it.
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Nomtan
Nomtan: I'm really excited for this!
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Zadck
Zadck: I'm really happy to see this change. I mean, if you see a picture from World of Warcraft, you know it's world of warcraft. If you see a picture from Runescape, you know it's runescape. AQ3D should be the same way and this does have a "look" to it.
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SamX
SamX: You should do this stuff like how you'd learn to draw a manga. you try to copy and understand other's works, then rebuilt it in your own way.
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Damian_N.
Damian_N.: Aqw is getting a re-design. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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