Epistory immerses you in an atmospheric action / adventure game where you play a girl riding a red giant fox who clears out an insectile corruption from a beautiful origami world. As you progress and explore the fantasy world, the story literally unfolds and the mysteries of the magic power of the words are revealed. Available on PC, Mac, Linux + Free Demo!

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The "Art Direction" is basically a set of visual rules you decide to follow during all the creation process of your project.

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A paper on art direction

The "Art Direction" is basically a set of visual rules you decide to follow during all the creation process of your project. All the visuals you will design will stick to it, and in the end your project will end up coherent, with a specific look everyone will recognize.

"Paper" please

When Epistory was just in the shape of a playable prototype, we were just finishing a serious game on 1st world war. Despite the seriousness of the theme, the Art Direction of this project was really cute, showing flat scrapbooking characters and paper styled interfaces.

Our game about 1st world war. Notice the "scrapbooking" art style !

We really enjoyed making all the game assets with this look, but couldn't push the style beyond the limits. Then Epistory came within our grasp: "A muse lost into a writer's mind, creating the world as he imagine the story, fighting against the blank page fear" ? Hell yeah ! We immediately saw that we could continue with the paper style thing, but pushing it a lot further into a full 3D game !

Art "right" Direction

We first started to look for interesting references and we made moodboards with it.

Some of our "papercraft" styled references

We quickly noticed that the scrapbooking style couldn't be enough. Despite the 2D movements of the avatar, we had to make full 3D environments, and relying only on 2D paper collages would appear flat and boring. We decided to go for a more "papercraft" approach, with some additional elements taken from the origami techniques.

First 3D test to see what we could do with those papercrafting/origami techniques. Once we defined the shapes, we worked on a basic colored layout.


Paper pot

After testing differents approaches we ended up with a mix of different paper techniques:

> Scrapbooking for the environments ground tiles:

> Animated objects made of paper crafted volumes for destructible assets:


> Folded paper for texts and logos:

> Origami/folded paper for the monsters:

"Hot paper"

Once we had chosen the path of paper, all the assets had to stick with it, even special effects and particle systems ! We made "folded paper" styled textures, and used almost no alpha or additive techniques. It was complicated at first to find elemental paper styled effects to replace "classic video game effects", but once we did the first ones we just had to stick to the technique.


Fire effect without using the classic additive method, only with plain opaque paper sheets !

"Crapbooking"

The major drawback of this Art Direction is that it is often difficult to create assets "looking like paper" but with a non realistic look. We wanted to keep things cartoonish, with strong shapes and colorful
environments, but when you have to make a style of paper you can find in real life, the risk is to end up with a great but too realistic asset. The difficulty is to make believable paper looking assets, but still looking cartoon... It's an everyday fight to maintain consistency between the assets, but
the challenge is motivating and we believe the final visuals of the game will make it really unique !

Comments
blackygh
blackygh

looks very promising..... good luck guys, i'm definitely following

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VirginRedemption Author
VirginRedemption

thank you!

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-Velgus-
-Velgus-

Very nice article explaining your art direction. Thank you for taking the time to put this together to share. I really like the sense of narrative that this game seems to be forming. Many games think narrative is the same as the plot, and it's so much more than that. Narrative is everything that encompasses the game, creating a cohesive whole. Your art style look of paper, the environments, the story of a writer, the mechanics of typing - everything seems to be coming along to fit together well. A lot of game designers just throw in a mechanic such as typing, but in this game it actually makes sense.

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VirginRedemption Author
VirginRedemption

Thanks a lot! We really appreciate. We try our best to communicate a lot about development and be transparent with our followers.

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Sensi7
Sensi7

Very cool ! Nice art !

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VirginRedemption Author
VirginRedemption

Thanks a lot!

Reply Good karma+1 vote
bendabee
bendabee

This is looking so promising! Sorry MacDonald's but "I'm loving it!"

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Epistory - Typing Chronicles
Platforms
Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer & Publisher
Fishing Cactus
Engine
Unity
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