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Post news RSS Patch Notes 0.20701: Town Overhaul & Thoughts on AI Concept Art

We overhauled our hub town Caribou Creek. I also ramble a bit about A.I. generated art and show you the awesome work of Felix, our art director and concept artist.

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Hey everyone,

in the last devlog/preview post I already announced that I was working on a dash move. It is now done and you can try it out within the Steam alpha playtest! But this is not what this post here is mainly about. Today I want to give you some visual impressions of our creative process and ramble about Midjourney.

With the help of our art director and concept artist Felix I overhauled our starting town Caribou Creek. In times of AI generated imagery I have regularly seen the discussion come up, whether images from tools like Midjourney can replace a concept artist. Midjourney creates images that look a lot like concept art you see on ArtStation. Am I saying this is not concept art for a flaming octopus dagger?

OctopusSword

In my opinion there is a common misconception of what concept artists do: create beautiful images. I'd say their job is to solve design problems. In deed, to communicate their solution they often create images. But if they can solve a design problem without creating a piece of visual art and simply explain to you on a call what the solution is, they perfectly accomplished their task.

So in this post I'd like to show you some concept art as a part of our production pipeline. It is not polished and would not be posted on ArtStation, but it did perfectly do the trick for us.

The first problem was that Caribou Creak missed a unique feeling. Felix decided that we needed crank up the occult vibe. It is a town rebuilt after an alchemical explosion. Not many people live there anymore, so it must be protected against the forces of evil by charms and straw guardians.

Concept Charms

Concept StrawMan

The second problem was that our alchemist's workshop, which is built into the former blacksmith's workshop, is the place the player spends most of the time and it was just not well thought out and "alchemical" enough, so Felix redesigned it.

Concept Workshop

Here is a montage of how things look after their implementation in game.

Charms:

Charms 3MB


Straw persons:

StrawGuys 3MB


Alchemists workshop:

Workshop 3MB


One of the reasons why I think Felix did an amazing job is that he took a close look at what assets we already had and he did his redesigns on the basis of that. He created designs that were tailor-made for our production. I am the only one making 3D models for the game at the moment and I could not spend weeks on this overhaul. At the stage where AI is right now, it can't take these production related circumstances into consideration.

I derailed these patch notes a bit, the full list of changes can be found on our Discord as always. I'd appreciate feedback and thoughts, especially thoughts on AI generated art, because I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

Cheers,

Alain

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FlightFight
FlightFight

Very nice showcase! The AI images you've shown don't look like MidJourney though. MidJourney creates far higher quality images, though not always very useful for concept art of course 🙂

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