Team Size | 12
Dev Length | 9 months
Tech | Unity, Zbrush, Maya, Premiere
Website | http://thatowlgame.com/
• Concept Art
• Texture Art
• 3D Modeling
• Level Design
• Set Dressing
• Public Speaking, PR
As art lead, I was responsible for communicating and refining the visual style of Everend to the rest of the team. All 3D assets, textures, and concept art went through me to make sure they fit within the same aesthetic.
An original concept of mine, Everend started out as 'a game with a purple owl in a cave'. With the addition of 11 other team members (6 programmers and 6 artists in total) and 8 months of hard work the game began to take shape and evolved into what it is today: a puzzle and platforming 3D 'sidescroller' with a passive story and charming main character.
Kaia the owl begins her journey above ground, when a cataclysmic volcano rips her from her home and throws her underground into a vast cave system. What she doesn't know is that this cave holds the story of owlkind's past, a story long since buried and forgotten.
Through Kaia, the player can discover this story or simply choose to ignore it in favor of solving puzzles, exploring, or finding collectibles. As art lead for Everend, it was my task to design the overall aesthetic for Everend, oversee the creation of assets across the art team, and assure that the final product was married under one design concept.
The first step of creating Everend started in concept work. Concepting included environments, characters, props, and narrative elements like cave paintings, but did not stop at visuals. It carried into lighting, color treatments, and level design. Concepting also included some 3D work, considering how we would build the paths and terrain in unity and what types of assets would be necessary.
A large inspiration for our visuals, gameplay, and narrative came from Hayao Miyazaki's work for studio Ghibli. We strove for a similar impressionistic approach to our color choices and a very painterly approach to our environments. Another large inspiration for our game came from the Vietnamese caves of Han Son Doong--caverns so expansive, forests grow within. Considerations included how to make the environment feel otherworldly by kitbashing existing elements from nature, as well as building a space that told the old owl society's story in as few words as possible.
After the concepts were approved, a number of assets were created amongst the team. My personal tasks involving asset creation were texturing the environment (stones, doors, props, digital sculpting, and hand painting character textures in photoshop for an aesthetic that mirrored the concept art.
Our last and arguably most difficult task was to brand Everend. We decided to stick with our working title all the way through creation, finding no other alternative to convey the beautiful, yet foreboding and seemingly endless expanse of the world. Knowing our title, we iterated on a few title designs and logos which incorporate important elements of our game and story. You can see the 'breakout' watermark throughout the bottom of some images, as well as our finalized logo designs for both the game and our studio.
We also needed a poster. Everend's finalized poster design was compiled of rendered assets from the game including modular rock assets and our character model, and then painted over in photoshop for the final, polished look.
Also included: color and mood concepts placed beside finalized screencaps from their respective levels