I've probably mentioned it before, but Life's Impetus takes place in a shopping district. Normally, I would say "not any shopping district!" to sound dramatic and stuff, but it's not really true; the game's shopping district is supposed to be nothing out of the ordinary. That said though, I will be sure to make it looks as attractive as possible, and that's what I'll be talking about this devblog.
What and How
How is a shopping district supposed to be like? Good question. There's no really set standard, since in the end it's just a place with shops. But, the above pictures show pretty well what a nice district looks like (Königsallee, for those curious). There's mainly two things I'm aiming for with the shopping district I'll be creating in game:
- Lots of green/nature: I like trees, bushes, rivers and... stuff. They compliment urban constructions perfectly if done right, so that's something I want to aim for. I'm not entirely sure if I'm going to add a river, but I'm sure there will be trees, flowers, and grass. The only problem here I can predict is perspective; the game will be played from 3/4th, not unlike Pokemon, so a badly place tree might obscure the player's view.
- Classic Architecture: Not really sure if I'm using a proper name, but to be exact I want something that's the opposite of "modern", although not too old looking. I like a lot of European shopping districts because they manage to exactly do this.
Now for the question, how do I plan to do it? I'm pretty sure that I want to do a tile/asset based approach. That is, to make tiles for the floor and make assets I'll use many times for the props like trees. For the actual shops, I hope to combine "custom made" shops with standard shops which will be built from a mix of pieces like doors, windows, walls, etc. One important point I've mentioned in other devblogs is that Life's Impetus will mostly take place in one location (the shopping district) for the whole game, so there isn't really the need to make the assets very reusable. The thing is, I don't want to make them reusable, I want them to be flexible. To be honest, I haven't decided the layout of the shopping district, and I think I'll constantly be changing and improving it during development, but I feel like now is the time to make the assets. The idea is to make something that can accommodate being changed a lot easily so that I can test different ideas without having to make specific assets. And in the end, if I really do feel the need to make then unique, I'll do it once I've set the design in stone.
And, uniqueness takes time... Took me forever to make this little test, and I didn't even like how it came out (proportions don't feel realistic)
So, that's all for this week! For now I'll be concentrating on art assets, so expect a lot of things to show.