Welcome back to the blog! :p Since we talked to Mikhael last week about how the dev team was doing, we only thought it was fair to hit up Audrey (our art director,) next to talk about how Spiral’s art style was created, where the art team is currently at and what Spiral’s art style says about Bernard’s journey. Ready? Let’s get into it!
Where do you find inspiration for Spiral’s art style?
My approach to creating the art style is like the artistic process a traditional artist would have. I’m taking our concept, the vibe and the message we want, and then I create a reflection of how we can translate that with the colors, the forms, the material and the space.
The main idea was to represent the fading memories of a mind that has difficulties putting pieces back together. We decided to use shapes and colors that don’t define reality but stay near it because our minds rarely remember things as they truly were.
Of course, I’m inspired by many artists, styles, artistic and current video games and life in general. Some games that inspired us were: Sea of solitude, Journey, What remains of Edith Finch and Ghost Giant.
3 words to describe Spiral’s art style?
Colorful, Winding and Hazy!
But, colorful needs to be taken with a grain of salt here because even as we go through the memories, colors will change and desaturate, it’s still an essential part of our artistic direction.
What programs are being used to create Spiral?
We are using a lot of software, but the main ones would be Blender, Substance Painter and Unreal. The modelling is made in Blender, Substance Painter is used for the textures, and unreal is our game engine.
What is the art team currently working on?
The Art team and I are currently working on a brand-new level for Bernard to remember. The new level will take place in a new environment during another season. The scene will be shorter than the first two, but we are also going to meet new characters! Bernard will be 8 years old, and the gameplay will be completely different than what we’ve done in the last two scenes.
What has been the hardest / most fun part of creating Spiral’s art?
The hardest part is to learn how to create an entire game all by ourselves, and the most fun part is to learn how to create a whole game all by ourselves! 😛
What I mean by that is, it’s inspiring to have our first big video game project ever at Folklore Games, but it’s also nerve-wracking! We never know how it will be received, and we have to find our own solutions to all of the obstacles that come our way in production.
Personally, it’s my first project being the Artistic Director, so I have to communicate my ideas to the team and be clear and understood, so that our vision is well represented. I also need to wear many different hats for all the visual things we have to work on because we are a small team. Sometimes, I’ll do 3D stuff, textures, or marketing assets while directing the artists in their own tasks.
How will Bernard’s environment reflect his story and his mind?
The environment in Spiral will reflect Bernard’s story and memories by being all scattered. We want the memories to be there, but it needs to be clear it’s a memory and not what actually happened back in the days.
It’s like when you dream, you know what you see and who you see, but it’s not exactly what it would have been in reality. It’s a mix of multiple realities blending together. It’s how we try to translate Bernard’s memory. We want you to feel what he felt, but we also want you to understand that he can’t put all this together anymore because of his condition and the fragility of his mind.
. . .
And so, there’s a lot more to Bernard’s environment than first meets the eye – which is why we knew everything from the color palettes chosen, to the feel of the rooms Bernard walks had to be designed carefully. That’s where Audrey and the rest of our art team’s magic touch comes through! Even though we’ve still got a lot of work ahead of us, we can’t wait for you to experience the colorful, trippy and weird world that is Spiral! 🙂
With that said – stay safe and see you next time!
-The Folkore team