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Moonfall is a hand-painted side-scrolling 2D action RPG game set in a dark industrial gothic world where the age of Enlightenment never came.

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It's Tuesday and we have yet another of our semi-regular Dev Diaries! Read on to learn more about game development.

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In previous blogs (Setting The World Style Part 1 and Part 2), we’ve discussed how the world and setting of our game changed over time. Here, we’re going to focus on how the graphics and visual style evolved to its current state. As we already mentioned in Dev Diary 1, this issue set us back by two months. Let’s dig into it, shall we?

LINEART GRAPHICS

The first type of visual style we tried was lineart graphics. It was our first choice mainly because we liked the creations of our graphic artist Ivan.

Figure 1 – First attempts with lineart graphicsFigure 1 – Choice of the game's setting


The first attempts were promising. However, we knew that how the game looks in color would be the deciding factor here, so we’ve tried plenty of various color schemes. Here are two we liked the most.

Figure 2 – First color attempts with lineart graphicsFigure 2 – First color attempts with lineart graphics


We loved the colors and were proud about the results. The sketches met our criteria of both dark atmosphere and interesting visual style.

DRAFT OF THE GAME SCREEN

After our first color attempts, we started working on the game screen.

Figure 3 – First sketch of the game screenFigure 3 – First sketch of the game screen


After a while, we thought we had a winner. So we transformed our sketch into colors. We picked the green version (Fig 2, left). It looked like this:

Figure 4 – Game screen in colorsFigure 4 – Game screen in colors


WTF? That’s what we immediately thought. It looked so strange. And we were quite disappointed with the result, since our expectations were so high. We had to try many color variations, such as these:

Figure 5 – 14th version of the visual style, much better than the first oneFigure 5 – 14th version of the visual style, much better than the first one


Figure 6 – 22nd versionFigure 6 – 22nd version


Figure 7 – 26th version of visual style, one of the latestFigure 7 – 26th version of visual style, one of the latest


With each one of the thirty or so versions we thought we were approaching our dream. But when we looked at it after all those iterations, we have realized we have a huge elephant in the room. Visibility. The last versions were so dark we almost couldn’t see anything in there. Two weeks of work were in vain. And our vision for the visual style went up in the smoke.

PAINTED GRAPHICS

We started working on painted graphics.

Figure 8 – First attempts with painted graphicsFigure 8 – First attempts with painted graphics


This looked much better, and more importantly, everything was visible. However, it looked like some classic adventure game. We tweaked it a bit and the result looked like this:

Figure 9 – Improved version of painted graphicsFigure 9 – Improved version of painted graphics


Wow! We loved that. Finally, after two months of attempts, we have found our visual style. We were free to work on other important aspects, after all.

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That’s all folks! And feel free to comment and discuss.

Comments
Sph!nx

Very cool artwork. Keep it up!

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TheSoulSeekers
TheSoulSeekers

Looks great!

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fishcowstudio Author
fishcowstudio

Thank you guys! :)

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baszermaszer
baszermaszer

Looks much better now. Great job!

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Moonfall
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Fishcow Studio
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