Spotlight: Designing Art for IA!'s First EnvironmentDevelopment Art
Since IA!'s conception, we've spent the majority of our time learning a brand new engine (UE3), implementing some of the core aspects of the game (e.g. OP view) and prototyping many features. As such, most of our work thus far has been in code.
After laying down some of the groundwork, we announced IA! to the world and kicked off many other aspects of development, working towards our next major milestone: a vertical slice of IA!.
→ What's a Vertical Slice? To us, a vertical slice (or VS for short) is a level that showcases a small percentage of each aspect of the game: art, audio, gameplay and level design. It can be used as a demo to give players (and other interested parties) an idea of what the end result will look, feel, sound and (most importantly) play like.
Art obviously plays a very big role in a VS, which is why we've been putting in tons of effort in that department since the start of the new year and, as soon as the team had voted on IA!'s theme and art style, the fun began!
We started by picking a setting for what would eventually become the game's first actual level (and what we'd use for the VS). While everyone's first thought was a space station (Moonraker!), we chose a location that was slightly more.. hospitable: inside a volcano!
David (our art lead) got us all started with a few concepts, giving us an idea of what we should be aiming for (you can see the complete set in this gallery album):
We then planned a basic, linear, multi-part level (based on those concepts) that we could use to showcase the various assets we produce. David made a drawing of it which Michael (our environmental artist) could use as a reference when blocking it out in UDK's level editor:
Our wonderful art lead then put together a list of assets needed to build and detail that level, with concepts and specifications for each (complete set in this album):
For the next few weeks, our artists will be hard at work creating all the 3D models and textures needed for that level and, as we get closer to completing it, we'll definitely be making another post showcasing our progress!
This all brings us one step closer to completing the VS and finally being able to release IA!'s first of many public builds to the world. We hope you're all as anxious as we are!
That's it for IA!'s first Spotlight. Be sure to leave us your comments and feedback!