Friday, 21 March 2014

Taking an Art Deco Approach

We had some discussion about the architectural style of the story level environment. As the game is set in a post 1920s alternate reality, we thought we could give a nod to 'World War I' art deco architecture:

The style is characterised by strong shapes (vertical lines, Arcs) and lavish decorative cornices. It also has quite an industrial feel, combining cold rigid metal with elegant carved stone. I attempted some environments using this approach:

Again I created a quick 3D asset as the main focus of this environment. I went for a skyscraper building, with strong vertical lines. The building behind features strong arches and supports with a cold metal look, giving it a very industrial feel that contrasts strongly with the minimalist stone skyscraper. I don't really feel however that I captured the elegance of the art deco style in this piece, so I tried again:

Reflecting back to the discussions on style. Here I wanted to achieve something very bold and vibrant. I began with very crisp solid block shapes and warm saturated colours.

Next I tried to add atmospheric lighting to give a greater sense of scale and also draw attention to the focal point at the bottom left, which is where I planned for a Mech to stand looking up at  the overwhelming Marauder city.

I felt that the eyes were escaping at the right of the composition as it felt too open. I closed this off with a flag draped beam, and used ropes to guide the eyes to the second point of interest, the closest skyscraper building.  I felt I achieved a more art deco style here with the arches and fancy cornices. I like the sheep head corner decorations on the more distant skyscraper, subtly implying the game is set in the north in a humorous way. At this stage however, we still felt the architecture to be too nondescript. It doesn't really feel like a northern city, it could be set anywhere. In fact, these scene feels like a vast open square in new york city. I am however, much happier with the vibrant colours, combining with the soft whitish stone with the strong red Marauder draped cloth.

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