I completed all the cutscene frames so that the game’s premise is set up and I can work on the later sections. I used a more detailed, higher-resolution pixel style to better convey what I wanted. I kept the shapes simple and focused on texture and colour in the landscapes and expression and body language of the characters, to hopefully portray a lot with a streamlined style.
The characters taking the lift up to the surface. I tried to show their individual feelings about going up to this unknown place.
Digby’s first view of the surface. I wanted it to look quite impressive but also pleasant and have an atmosphere of freedom and expansion.
The next cutscene takes place when a sandstorm hits the group, I wanted to show the unpredictable and hostile nature of the surface, that one minute it can be almost pleasant, the next it’s a dangerous, wild place.
The group make camp in their tiny tent and we can see the silhouettes of mysterious creatures behind, are they curious about the newcomers? or something more sinister? I wanted to silhouettes to be very feint and almost easy to miss.
After to the sandstorm the landscape is transformed and the tent is half submerged in sand.
Digby looks out at the aftermath of the sandstorm. I would like to include more close-up character cutscenes in the full game, but for the time I have, I need to complete more integral parts first, perhaps if I have time…
Digby realising that the landscape has changed. The sky has changed again and looks more calm and serene with the gentle purples and blues, to reflect the calm after the storm.
Here are some of my preliminary plans for how the surface map will work and which areas to create, and some sketches for the cutscenes. My sketches are really messy but I know what they mean : )
After expanding on my initial level plan, I started work on the remaining backgrounds using the same technique as I used when creating the backgrounds of my initial test build. I do feel that, as I have completed them, the later ones have gotten somewhat more detailed than the earlier ones and I will have to go back and tweak some to make the overall look more cohesive.
The hub room as the team first find it. It would get gradually more developed throughout the course of the game, with more homely touches and expansions.
This is the first stage of the hub room being made more of a home.
The team unpack some mushroom lights and sit around them. Sloan is already feeling quite at home, the others not so much.
Whilst Mal is off in the corner sulking.
The blocked passage that leads further into the cave. Otto can unblock the way if you ask him.
A little oasis found behind the landslide. Now the team have a thermal pool to relax in. This is where Digby first encounters one of the ‘creatures’, it appears to be dead though. I wanted them to be slightly robotic looking but also reminiscient of bugs and animals, whilst also looking quite cute when they are not massive with creepy glowing eyes.
The cave by the lake, with a nice view. The walls and floors are embedded with chunks of bright plastic. I wanted this area and the lake area to look almost picturesque but not quite right.
The water is slick with petroleum and the land in the distance is in fact a huge rubbish heap overflowing it’s banks and leaching into the water.
The key the player finds by the thermal pool will open the door to this more man-made area. I wanted it to look quite slick and ‘modern’ but a bit sterile and industrial. Is it a luxury minimalist under-lake house? Or some kind of facility?
Further in, the water above gets darker and murkier. I think I want to add a darker overlay for some shadows, so I will work on that later and see how it looks. I think it will probably increase the gloomy oppressive atmosphere, but we’ll see!
The creepy person-encased-in-molten-plastic room. I wanted it to look quite mysterious and like a tomb. The body is much larger than Digby and that should raise some questions and mystery for the player.
Just some dark tunnels leading to the rubbish tip above. The light is still slightly purple but very feint as plastic residue has built up above.
The final area! A huge rubbish tip overflowing with waste that hasn’t managed to decompose in all the years since the collapse of the past civilization. I used dull colours with some brighter accents for the coloured plastic, and some rather unnatural colours for the sky as I wanted it to look like it’s warped by fumes from the plastic.
In the distance you can see some of the large creatures roaming the desolate landscape. They are far enough away that they might not have noticed Digby, but that doesn’t meant there aren’t more hidden amongst the waste.
I wanted the final shot of the game to create more mystery for the player and bring up more questions. I chose to show the carcass of one of the beasts that looks part mechanical and part biological with the various bones surrounding it. I wanted the player to get a closer insight into the world but that might leave them more curious and confused than before.