For most of January I continued working away at more background revamps. Similar to last month’s dev blog, I shared some in progress images, though for the following backgrounds I want to show a bit of a before and after first:

BEFORE (River jungle)


BEFORE (Graveyard at night)


For the first background I did a similar style of blocking where I grabbed some reference images and drew some shapes in to make the environment a bit more interesting. Definitely loved working on the waterfall for this one and getting that water spray effect just right:

In the graveyard background, I changed some things quite dramatically to make it a bit darker. My main point of reference were photos of the Paraguayan Chaco at night where certain roads can really look pitch black.

I didn’t make use of as many images in the background itself like the others, but doing this initial color blocking felt quite nice.

I’ve also started working on revamping the next background which is where the fox-wolf mech is situated. The main thing here is that the time of day changed narratively, so you actually access it in the middle of the day vs at night (which is also why I wanted the mech to be more visible in the previous graveyard background).

On other development notes…

I’ve been doing a bit more gameplay research for the mech route, which up until now has been a weird blend of dungeon crawler and first person exploration game. It’s been tough trying to figure out how to re-approach it since I definitely don’t want it to be a “mech simulator”. I mostly watched videos on YouTube and searched games on itch to see what people have been cooking up, until I finally realized I was basically (and accidentally) recreating Myst. Which is very funny to me, because I still haven’t gotten around to playing it! Regardless, I’ve found some other examples as well (like Legend of Etad and Shining Darkness) which make use of some interesting camera/dungeon crawler mechanics.

With backgrounds being closed to wrapped up, the next thing I’m going to be focusing on will be re-doing some of the UI and character profile art for the game, and also start sketching out some more cutscene art. Lots of stuff going on visually.

See ya next month!

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