Why and how we completely redid our art style (for the last time!)

Trip the Ark Fantastic is a project that we love to take our time with. That shows when it comes to the art style, which has been changed several times during the production.

Here’s how our main protagonist, Charles looked early in the production. Those are the two early production iteration of the character.

The second one stood for a while, but there was something “missing”. For the main protagonist, Charles looked relatively bland. So, Charles is a scientist, right. Scientists usually have glasses. This is something that would give him a bit of a character.

That is where the newer design direction took us, and our merry hedgehog looked like:

With that character design, we also slightly updated our environmental design, with widely-liked Scurries scene:

That was awesome! Or so we thought. We sent our latest build to several parties, and most of them complained about the “blandness” of the interior design; primarily the Burrows.

The good part? At least we knew what’s wrong, and how we could change it. Btw, while you’re here, check out how we pitched the game to the publishers, and how we made our game brochure.

Welp, back to the drawing board, it seemed! Back to the drawing board, we went, indeed.

The idea? We couldn’t simply imitate the previous design and build upon it, so it was a rather difficult task for our artists Serena and Ivana.

First, something a bit, well, Tim Burton-ish?

Looks great. Pretty “edgy”. But, too dark. Scrap that.

The second one? Yeah, looks pretty good, but at the end of the day, it looks too similar to the previous designs. Let’s do something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! But great-looking at the same time.

So, we did.

Behold, the brand-new Trip the Ark Fantastic art style, in several stages:

Also, if you were wondering, yep, this is our new Charles! With several types of shading.

Got ideas? Suggestions? Write us in the comments!

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Eva filia Magdalenae

To me the redesign is a great example of “Why mess with something which was working just fine?”. ๐Ÿ™
It was good before. Relatively realistic, a little too cute maybe, but with that fairy-tale-ness I like in adventure games. And the new portraits go towards caricature. I don’t like it at all and particularly I hate the boar – I have a (non-traumatic) aversion to very masculine men. Please, don’t spoil the game like this. Concentrate on designing the plot instead of contriving on how to make the graphics more quirky. A game like this really doesn’t need it. ๐Ÿ™