Shifting to the new art style in Ark Fantastic

Shifting to the new art style in Ark Fantastic

We never said it would be easy.

In our last development blog, we have presented what we’ve been working on lately, and it has been, yes, a new art style.

This time, we are going to dive a bit deeper. Our esteemed artists; Serena and Ivana are the ones who have been working hard on the new art style, and so far, the reception has been positive. Of course, we also have to take some of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comments into an account, but generally, we are pretty satisfied with reactions.

So, before we delve into the gameplay of the “new” Trip the Ark Fantastic, Serena and Ivana are going to share a few words with us.

From the beginning

So, when it comes to the art style in general, Trip the Ark Fantastic has been all over the place in the beginning.

This is how our boy Charlie looked in the super-early stage of the development

“The first version of the game didn’t look bad – it’s just that it didn’t have a clear visual direction. Everyone had their own idea of how the game should look, but we didn’t communicate well.”, Serena said to us.

Welp, some startup issues right there.

“Thankfully after months of struggle and feedback from investors, we all sat down on a meeting and talked everything through.”, continued Serena.

Environment design for the new art style

When it comes to designing anything really, the first step is to collect references. With that, we had a better art direction, and it was easier to work with. We tried to stick to strong, readable shapes, with well-grouped colors, a tiny bit of texture when rendering, depending on the material. We didn’t want the clean mobile game look, but not too painterly either.

Ivana made a layout of the perspective for this lovely environment, while Serena drew in details and rendered it.

Objects in the environment had to respond to the quest to make sense. Unlike the old environment, the new environment is set in a 2-point perspective to give it depth and will include parallax when fully animated.

Prior to that, Serena says that she had little to no knowledge of art fundamentals. So, implementing color theory was a game-changer. Making small, thumbnail composition with firstly values and then colors. That was used with the purpose so the colors are not scattered everywhere, and the overall composition will look more pleasing.

At some point, we had to tone colors down because they were too saturated, and that’s one of the reasons the final picture looks a little bit different from the sample.

And, the sample of the style:

Laying out value composition and color composition on a bigger thumbnail to see how everything will look:

Final illustration (with layers for parallax) in its actual size (4k) after a few days of rendering.  

Click the image to open it in full size.

Character design

So, you’ve seen how our boy Charles evolved in time. Pretty awesome read right here:

But here is something new, not related to Charles. Ivana has made a pretty cool collage that shows how our new, never-before-seen character Wolf Guard evolved in stages for the new art style.

So, what do y’all think? Let us know in the comments!

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