We know we want to have towns and cities in SEED. But what does that mean exactly? It means we need to check in with the Art Team.
The Art Team is exploring how to create a city in SEED by creating all the parts of which it consists.
In dialogue with Game Design, artists have been considering the purpose of buildings: what kind of buildings do we need to make a city feel comfortable, alive and facilitate our early gameplay loops? How much space is enough space (inside of buildings and between them)? Because after all, Seedlings need to be able to navigate inside buildings and there needs to be space for furniture or equipment. And all of these elements need to be visually clear.
We can state here and now that there will be changes to the game triggered by play-testing with our community, so the Art Team needs to be able to adapt and work with that feedback, meaning features might be added or removed.
In order to continue this iterative process we’re putting our concept artist Joe and 3D artist Dusica to work: they have to figure out a lot of our problems “on paper” (the paper still being a screen) by giving us a lot of concept art to play around with, and turning this art into models to play around with some more.
But, we can’t just be playing and doing without any plan. What we do need is to have a backbone - so we need to look back!
Still from our first teaser, The Formation
We already did a lot of work on this topic in the past, so we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We want to make a more functional version of our past work, so we can playtest and adapt in light of the first responses and feedback.
Which one would you move into?
The concept artists are keeping some things in mind: What looks futuristic and comfortable? How can we balance out the detail, so it translates well into a 3D model? How can we leave the door open for customization in the future? How will we fill the gaps in between buildings?
The overall language of the buildings is something this work helps us map out: the player should be able to “read” the buildings and understand their scale and their role. A factory should feel like a factory to a player. This is tied into the fact that buildings also need to support story and lore, feeling organic parts in a logical though otherworldly world.
Some concept art can also be quite adventurous: our artists like to push to see how far they can take it before the engineering team has a meltdown or tells them very nicely that what they want can’t reasonably be done.
This is also an exploration into how to make everybody’s lives easier (artists and rendering team) - basically playing with the tools we have and looking for shortcuts in our systems. For example, if we want a round building, maybe we could cheat a bit by making the rooms inside rectangular, and only the outside wall round?
Experimental concept art - how far can we push it?
It’s always very exciting to check in with the Art Team and they’re going to have some more incredible work to share very soon...