A brilliant blend of tower defense strategy and bursts of arcade action, Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break sees opponents rolling massive boulders toward each other’s castles while building defenses to protect their own. For the first time in the smash hit series, commanders can now design their own stages through an intuitive in-game level editor and share them with the community. With nearly limitless possibilities for original works along with local head-to-head and online four-player multiplayer support, Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break provides an avalanche of fun for creators and players alike.

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In this new series of blog posts we are going to describe aspects of the design and development of Rock of Ages 3. In this first one we are going to look at some of the new art styles and places we looked at for level designs.

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Dev Blog: The Art of Rock of Ages 3


Hello Again! In this new series of blog posts we are going to describe aspects of the design and development of Rock of Ages 3. In this first one we are going to look at some of the new art styles and places we looked at for level designs.

From the first Rock of Ages, the idea for locations is that the player goes through different geographical (and mythical) locations, but these locations were also representative of different art styles. For example, the Greek levels not only levels took place in Greece, but also looked like ancient Greek Red-figure pottery paintings. Other obvious associations were Italian themed levels associated with renaissance paintings, or Gothic art being used for… well, most of Europe.

This time we wanted to expand the map to other continents. Central America, China and India are now going to have their own characters and levels!



For gameplay reasons, Rock of Ages is full of very steep mountains. Lucky for us there is a whole category of Chinese art dedicated to landscape painting with fantastic protruding mountains. These mountains can be over clouds or water, and do not necessarily represent a real place.

If you are going to pick one style to represent Chinese art, you won’t go wrong choosing something that has been around for thousands of years.

One of the sources we use to find reference material (or just to learn about an art style), is the ‘Google Arts & Culture’ project. It is a really great place to find high resolution images of art from museums, and get good context information about what you are seeing. The goddess Kali is one of the new characters in Rock of Ages III, so it was particularly fun to dive into traditional Indian Art to find references for the characters and landscapes; you’ll find a lot of vibrant colors and exciting scenes from legends.


For the Aztec level belonging to Moctezuma II, it was not as easy to find original references from the time period. Very few painted works from before the conquest have survived, and more than landscape painting you can find the codices, which are books full of symbols, pictorial calendars and deities.

For this level we have buildings from the ancient city of Tenochtitlan, but made sure to take cues from the color palette of the codices (a lot of reds, yellows and greens).

For the image of Moctezuma himself, we decided to make our own composite using drawings from the codices rather than use representations done by Spanish painters much later in history.


His face was taken from a drawing of him, the body is from a different figure, and we made sure the feathers on the headdress were green Quetzal feathers (though we couldn’t find the historical accuracy of this, it is typical of Moctezuma drawings).

Just as it was really fun for us to learn a bit about these art styles to make the new areas, we hope you will enjoy them as a backdrop for your level building and boulder powered destruction!

Make sure to check out the different art styles available in our Closed Alpha starting on Jan 10! You can sign up on the Rock of Ages 3 official website!

— Edmundo Bordeu

Closed Alpha FAQ.

Check out this new dev diary video about the beginnings of Rock of Ages!





Rock of Ages 3 Website


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Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break
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ACE Team
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Modus Games
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