Today’s post is by Marianne. If you haven’t already read «Concept Development: The Art of the Island Village», we suggest you do so. It describes the initial design process that formed the base for all of the worlds.
After establishng the look for the Island Village, Philip and I moved on to the Fishing Town. Also working with us was concept artist Ørjan. We discussed how the people of the Fishing Town would differ from the Island villagers, while finding images for inspiration.
We figured that since the Fishing townspeople were not cut off from the main land, they would have greater access to materials. But they would still have some of that stubborn self-reliance. Drawing inspiration from fishing towns along the coast of Norway we began the sketching process.
The early drawings emphasized the quirky, experimenting with tall, unstable shapes. An idea formed that the people were inventors, creating the tools and machines they needed. This idea was explored but later discarded. It didn’t fit with the overall tone of the game.
As we refined the mood of the game we decided to make the Fishing Town gloomier. We wanted the place to feel damp and have a heavy atmosphere.
Along with the increased gloom came an even closer similarity to the Norwegian inspiration (there is probably a joke in there, somewhere). The final look has a dark and grim mood, and emphasizes the solitude of the boy and shadow. We are also moving them to a new unfamiliar area, increasing the sense of scale to the world as they leave behind the last bit of familiarity from the Island.