After moving forward with The Fog, we hit a couple of speed bumps. A lot of speed bumps. Some other members of the team went through a lot of personal issues during the early weeks of deep dive and I started to lose faith in the team. Our updates were frequently lackluster and it was difficult to see other teams make much more progress much faster.
We seemed to hit a wall with art style as Connor and I had a difficult time figuring out what exactly we wanted the final game to look like and instead of focusing on figuring that out we distracted ourselves with less important tasks such as making props and rocks and other assets without a cohesive plan on moving forward. We seemed stuck in a rut as far as programming and design were concerned as well.
We had a lot of difficulty proving our narrative aspect of The Fog and so Connor, David, and I tasked ourselves with making a comic as a way to storyboard an intro sequence to the game. We were very excited about it at first, but it took a very long time and I grew nervous as to if it was worth the time investment. In the end, after re-teaching myself adobe After Effects, we had an animated comic that we sent to QA.
(You can watch the comic here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAjX49ulRVk)
The comic had mixed results at QA. People seemed to like the grey-scale coloration, but felt adding a couple accent colors would greatly improve the visuals. As for the story people tended to like the set up, with the exception of a couple of testers, and really liked the character background. To those of you who are unfamiliar with our character background: You play as a scout sent out by the new American Capital after a mysterious apocalyptic event which has covered the American landmass in a dense fog. Your job is to seek out and find survivors in this eerie environment and do what you can to establish a connection between these survivors and the new capital (via radio) and also to help these survivors with whatever they need. Be it finding supplies, or showing them a bit of humanity through these dark times, the scout is always up to the task.
After many weeks of struggling with art, Connor and I have settled on a solid art direction. We are going for a very low poly aesthetic with hardened edges and large bevels, with flat color consisting of muted tones (mostly grey for landmass and buildings, and having muted colors for people’s clothing and intractable objects). This style is a lot of fun artistically while also being challenging. Here are some art pieces we are basing our style off of:
We really liked the artsy feel of these images and this style. I have been working on the character Walt in this style and have so far created these models: