Dev Blog #10 – Visual Development of Lake Ridden

As promised, this week has been much more focused on getting some game development done. We’ve been putting a lot of effort into the forest, both on the stones, the grass and the foliage. In this post we’ll share a bunch of fresh development screens showing how Lake Ridden is coming along!

Erik and Anton (aka The Art Team) have been hard at work exploring ways to make the ground foliage blend well with the trees and the stones. When you have grass in a game you don’t want every single blade of grass to feel like an individual item. Rather, you want a good, yummy looking field of grass that will look good as an entity. As you might remember this is what the Lake Ridden looked like in September, when we were tuning and tweaking the overall contrast values of the forest:

We want the grass patches to blend well between individual stalks, but it should also merge in an appealing way with objects placed in the grass or sticking up, like stones, branches and trees. To improve the look and feel of the foliage we added some different plants and flowers sprouting in the grass since helps to sell the bigger picture and bring life to the fields. This also emphasizes the various heights of the ground.

We also gave the rocks and the stones in the game them some extra love. We remade a lot of the them into different shapes, so that we can combine individual stones into cool looking piles and hills to build exciting scenes for you guys to explore. The challenge with rocks is that we need o make sure they look good both as huge hills or as tiny pebbles scattered around the environment. Johan worked his magic and wrote a shader for the rocks that makes sure that the surface of the rocks and the moss (their textures) stays crispy even if you give them a close-up.

Remember that all of this is still work in progress, and things will change quite a lot before we release the game next year. Our next step is to use some of those juicy reference photos we snapped in the woods around Rössjön last week and remake our trees. We realized we want trees that grow much higher; that grow branches way out of reach for the player.

The Root Cellar is coming alone fine. We’re working on the lights and atmosphere.

Friday gaming with the team, playing “Betrayal at The House On The Hill” , to analyze game design and pacing.

I hope you enjoyed these development screenshots. Don’t forget to leave a comment if you got any questions or feedback, we love hearing from you!

Sara & The Team