/ in RTS Arena, Art, Design by Shadow Masters

Dev Diary 2: Creating environment

Today we’ll give you an insight into our environment development process – how we come up with the game's locations design and how we're balancing catchy looks with gameplay requirements.

The environments are a crucial part of any game. They help players to better understand the story of the game and allow them to take a deep dive into it. In RTS and MOBA games, it’s vital to distinguish different types of units on the battleground, so that players clearly understand where their units can or cannot go on the map. Players should be able to identify areas on the maps which can give them advantages, like high grounds, control points, cover spots, etc. And of course, places where some important stuff happens need to be highlighted somehow.

On the other hand, the size ratio between units and environment objects has to be correctly chosen. Sometimes units are giant in comparison to the environment for better visibility which can look unrealistic and out of place. Compliance with all these has become one of the main tasks in the environment development for the Project “RTS Arena”.

We started with so-called “mood pictures”. The goal here was to convey the atmosphere of the place where the game events happen. The pictures should be the foundation for further development and with them, the art team can maintain a single cohesive style when creating individual elements of the environment.

Our game takes place on a planet far far away, where the remains of powerful ancient civilizations were discovered. We wanted our artwork to convey the greatness of the Precursor alien race that once lived here.

Our game takes place on a planet far far away, where the remains of powerful ancient civilizations were discovered. We wanted our artwork to convey the greatness of the Precursor alien race that once lived here.

There are a lot of large and obscure objects in the environment. They help to build the feeling that you are indeed on an unknown planet. Also, the size of the units looks more realistic – and they become more recognizable on the battleground. The glowing highlight for pathways and points of interest make them noticeable and atmospheric. Vivid vegetation contrasts with other elements of the environment and clearly articulates pathways, cliffs, slopes, and different elevation levels.

Then we started to work on separate parts of the environment which should be clearly visible and give all the needed information. We designed pathways and slopes to high grounds, places where units cannot go, and places that are important for the gameplay objectives.

When these elements were done, the team created tilesets for the terrain. We use Blender for prototyping and add-ons for creating roots and branches that creep across the surface.

At this stage, we adjusted camera view and lighting, the dimension of the map objects and their size ratio to playable game units, the slopes tilt angles, the width of passages, differences of terrain heights, etc.

We also created additional decoration elements, props, and vegetation. They work as landmarks and help players to easily identify the position on the battlefield, show where the units cannot pass through and solve other important gameplay objectives.

This is just one of the environment types we’re preparing for the game. We think it turned out to be atmospheric – but also doesn’t clutter the gameplay experience.

What’s your take on it? Please leave your suggestions in the comments, it will help us to make our game better.

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1 Comments

Окилхуджа

27.01.2020

Я бы хотел сказать вам что вы не бутеде меня выгонять из игры

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