Team Size | 12
Dev Length | 9 months
Tech | Unity, Zbrush, Maya, Premiere
Website | http://thatowlgame.com/
Play | https://lythora.itch.io/everend
● Concept Art
● Texture Art
● 3D Modeling
● Level Design
● Set Dressing
● Branding, graphic design
● Public Speaking, PR
An original concept of mine, Everend started out as 'a game with a purple owl in a cave'. With the addition of 11 other team members (6 programmers and 6 artists in total) and 8 months of hard work the game began to take shape and evolved into what it is today: a puzzle and platforming 3D 'sidescroller' with a passive story and charming main character. Kaia the owl begins her journey above ground, when a cataclysmic volcano rips her from her home and throws her underground into a vast cave system. What she doesn't know is that this cave holds the story of owlkind's past, a story long since buried and forgotten. Through Kaia, the player too can discover this story or simply choose to ignore it in favor of solving puzzles, exploring, or finding collectibles. As art lead for Everend, it was my task to design the overall aesthetic for Everend, oversee the creation of assets across the art team, and assure that the final product was married under one design concept.
The first step of creating Everend started in concept work. Concepting included environments, characters, props, and narrative elements like cave paintings but did not stop at visuals. It carried into lighting, color treatments, and even level design, deciding how we would lead the character through the levels and cue them in to important elements. Concepting also included some 3D work, considering how we would build the paths and terrain in unity and what types of assets would be necessary. Pictured below are some concept art and design samples from my involvement in the process.
A large inspiration for our visuals, gameplay, and narrative came from Hayao Miyazaki's work for studio Ghibli. We strove for a similar impressionistic approach to our color choices and a very painterly approach to our environments. Another large inspiration for our game came from the Veitnamese caves of Han Son Doong--caverns so expansive, forests grow within. Considerations included how to make the environment feel otherworldly while kitbashing and including existing elements from nature, as well as building a space that told the old owl society's story in as few words as possible.
After the concepts were approved, a number of assets were created amongst the team. My personal tasks involving asset creation were texturing the environment (stones, doors, props, digital sculpting, and hand painting character textures in photoshop for an aesthetic that mirrored the concept art we created both in style and execution.
Branding and Polish
Our last and arguably most difficult task was to brand Everend. We decided to stick with our working title all the way through creation, finding no other alternative to convey the beautiful, yet foreboding and seemingly endless expanse of the world of Everend. Knowing our title, we iterated on a few title designs and logos, incorporating important elements of our game and story. You can see the 'breakout' watermark throughout the bottom of some images, as well as our finalized logo designs for both the game and our studio.
Also included in the PR and polish tasks, we needed a poster. Everend's finalized poster design was compiled of rendered assets from the game including modular rock assets and our character model, and then painted over in photoshop for the final, polished look. Also included is our color and mood concepts placed beside finalized screencaps from their respective levels.
Content © Emily Dillhunt, 2016