From the beginning Northwind was always envisaged with a non-realistic style in mind, and we've finally nailed the technique we needed to achieve what we wanted!
Photo-realism in historical settings always stroke me as very dull and unaesthetic. Seeing as recounting history is telling a story I think it's good to underline the defining cultural facets of the era with stylized visuals, be it in movies, games or any other medium.
In Northwind's case that era is the Viking Age, which is incredibly rich in culture and myth. So I wanted a style that could lend itself well to the period! Enter Cel-Shading.
In layman terms, Cel-Shading is all about changing the way light interacts with geometry and materials to achieve an art style reminiscent of cartoons (and anime). An obvious inspiration here is The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and the more recent Breath of the Wild, both of which had stunningly excellent and charming cel-shaded visuals.
This non-realistic art style not only lets us be creative and highlight the cultural elements of the Vikings with stylized and vibrant visuals, it also lets us make use of simpler geometry without sacrificing visual quality. Which is of critical importance for a small team. All around a great step forward!
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