BEAST aims to deliver a unique blend of 2D and 3D graphics with a strong focus on believable designs and heavy stylization. The story is brutal, unforgiving and often tragic, so our aim as an art team is to convey it through visuals. But more on that later, now let’s take a look at the setting!
Even though BEAST is a fantasy game, we want it to be set in a familiar yet unique environment. As the setting we chose a middle-eastern part of medieval Europe. The time period spreads between the XIVth and XVIth centuries with heavy influence of Greek Orthodox Catholicism (shown mostly through architecture). This setting allows us to use designs every gamer finds familiar - like full plate armour and gothic architecture present in most games and mix it with less known but widely used designs such as lamellar armour, plated armour and more. It all builds towards a unique world where western medieval culture blends with eastern catholicism and the muslim world. We want our designs to be believable but we do not aim to recreate any specific epoch, as it is in the case of Kingdom Come: Deliverance - we all love some over the top stuff here and there and we feel we need to have space for that, so restricting our setting to a very precise time and place in history could restrict our imaginations.
Having that freedom to create we can now focus on art style. The game will consist of 2D gameplay with a strong focus on storytelling and decision making, and 3D gameplay, where players will resolve missions in tactical combat. A huge part of the work are hand-drawn illustrations taken straight from the storyboards our animation team prepares and then animating them often using stop-motion techniques. We want the game’s art style coherent in all aspects, so 3D assets are using hand drawn textures and custom shaders to resemble 2D art as best as possible. The art style is brutal and nonconformist with heavy use of lineart, sharp light and shadow transitions and huge amount of minute detail. You can imagine it takes time to make all those handcrafted assets come to life, but it’s totally worth it, because story and art should complement one another.
Thanks for taking the time to read this short intro to our work. In the upcoming weeks, we will be sharing more insights into our project. We hope you’ll find it interesting.
- Sebastian Zakrzewski, BEAST Art Director