We have been working on BattleSouls for about 18 months now and a lot have happened to both the gameplay and the look of the game.
Being an online multiplayer game with a quick pace, the graphics has turned out to be a very important factor for players in order to get a quick overview of the battlefield.
During the last 3 weeks we have significantly ramped up the amount of testers in our closed Alpha test. We are (thankfully) getting a lot of great feedback on the gameplay and people are loving the new game mechanic with the class swithcing while you are alive. So thats a good thing, BUT we are also getting just as much feedback that the graphics could use a loving hand. All the way from textures, to visual effects to animations.
One of the reasons we are running these early tests are to get the feedback directly from the players so we will know what to prioritize, so we have now started the upgrade process for all our artwork.
This banner is the first example of the improvement process for the artwork. It is important for our testers and us that the colors spring more to life, that you have no doubt what is is and that it looks alive in the world. We also needed even more difference between shadows and hightlights to make the objects more beleveable.
As you can see in the above image, what we are trying to do is create a more clear image to the player about what is most important in the world and make sure that even if it is only subconsciously, they will notice important objects instantly, based on details, saturation and contrast levels.
The hero Baruus seen above here is a good example of trying to make him seem like a more important thing in the game world. Notice the added details in some places, and removal of some in other places. Also notice that darker areas have been made darker and lighter areas have been made lighter to make it all stand out more.
The above image shows some of the improvements to the environment. As you can see in this image there are almost no details added because we don't want the environment to pop out more than the characters and other important objects, but rather want them to read as background objects.
One important change that we did make though was to make the difference between light and dark much more significant to make it look like more they are rooted where they stand.
The reason I have included the above bird skeleton in this post is to show that some of the textures simply needed an upgrade in their look to be able to fit in with all the upgrades we are doing for the other assets, so even though this is an enviroment piece, it still needed a little bit more detail in order not to stand out as having to little detail.
This is the last image that I want to show you and it is a very important building in BattleSouls. It is the point on the map where the inhibitor crystal is. Both teams go here to fight over this crystal, and the team who captures it gets to go on the attack and try to destroy the main crystal in the other teams base.
As you can see with this object, we added more details to it to really make it stand out and we also added the darker colors to the bottom of the texture to make it look like more it has been standing in this world for a long time. The added details and bigger differences between light and dark really helps this building stand out when you look out over the map.
That was all for this update from BattleSouls, we hope to soon have all this new art work in the game! Next step for us is to work on the lighting in the game to make all the new assets come together as part of the world, but maybe I should save that for another post :)
If you are in to online multiplayer games, and want to battle it out in a 5v5 in BattleSouls, you should sign up for our closed Steam alpha via this link: BattleSouls Alpha Sign Up Form
Thanks for reading along, if you have any questions or comments, just fire away ;)