-- The Art of UHR-Warlords
The Art of UHR-WarlordsAUTHOR: Øyvind Lien // CATEGORY: Art Comments Off
My name is Øyvind and I’m the Art Director at Turbo Tape Games. The last year I’ve been working on the visual development of UHR-Warlords, in cooperation with Demonaz. This post contains a description and some details from various aspects of the production.
The visual goal for UHR-Warlords was to create a dark fantasy universe. One early inspiration that came to mind was Frank Frazetta, where I mainly drew inspiration from his backgrounds.
I started with a mix between a monotone and duotone color palette. I used more black than I traditionally would and added some “Lost edges” were dark shapes bleeds into one another.
To create more color variation I added hints of purple and dark orange. Certain elements were designed toward the borderline abstract, then tweaked toward a familiar shape. This was done to move the style away from a familiar Earth environment, toward something unknown and different.
The 6 battlegrounds featured in the game have their own distinct theme. Those that serves as home to the Warlords has one very dominant color, with the exception of Taakhejm which is darker and contains more fog. The textures were made with high contrast, detail variation and elements of noise. This was done to create a tougher more crisp look. Iron and Stone are keywords that stuck from the pre-production.
The area where the creatures can move was toned down and darkened. I avoided adding to many distinct elements in the backgrounds, since I felt this would take focus away from the creatures and interface.
The battlegrounds were hand painted in 2D. This was done since we always displays the same view of the battlefield, with no camera movement involved. This made the overall look and texturing easier to manage, but added some challenges in matching the creatures and other 3D elements with the background.
Early discarded battleground concept
One of the biggest challenges was the limited foreground and background space, combined with the low “field of view” on the camera (almost isometric). The main area of the battleground has a top view, while the foreground rocks and background skyline has a standard perspective. This creates a secondary false vanishing point, that needed to be balanced out.
The interface would also block some of the background, so I needed to pay attention to the placement of details. The foregrounds are made up of some very dark rocks, clarifying the interface ontop. The original sources were created in 16:9, then cropped to match the resolution on different devices.
This is how it looks in different aspects
There are 8 Creatures in the game. Skirmisher, Shaman, Ranger, Assassin, Wizard, Beast, Giant and Warrior. Each of them have 4 different designs. The are generally the same, with variations in the texture. The colors on wrist straps, buckles, armor plates indicate which Warlord they belong to. Weapons and helmets are also varied.
Test with glow shader on the Warrior, this was toned down to avoid a sci-fi look
The Warlords draws on the same elemental reference as their battlegrounds, and has their own unique personality. Kriegh from Volcaniir (Fire), Hornar from Helmerah (Ice), Wanihr from Taakhejm (Darkness) and Arghan from Villfahrd (Forest).
For Wanihr a yellow color were chosen, since black by itself wouldn’t work in comparison to the other Warlords. The elemental colors is a theme throughout the game, visible on the map and in the interface.
In the paintings the goal was to have the Warlord in focus. I prioritized their silhouettes, making them distinct then adding details on top. They have a neutral pose, watching as if guarding their territory. Backlit with hints of details, standing on the edge of light and shadow. Their backgrounds are borderline abstract with hints of sky and environmental details. The dark foreground almost swallows their feet. They also have unique weapon designs that differentiate them from one another.
Kriegh from silhouette to final
For a closer look at the other Warlords, check out the Wallpapers section. That sums up The Art of UHR-Warlords. Thank you for reading, and be sure to follow us for more updates about the game in the future.
May the Uhrgods be with you always!