Monthly Development Update #2: Artists vs. Developers

Welcome back, traveler! 

It is time for our monthly developer blog update. So let’s dig into it straight away:

This month’s development insight will be about… art?!

Artists vs. Developers

While our monthly insight posts are called “Development Update”, the team behind Dungeon Full Dive consists not only of us the developers… but also of our awesome artists. Needless to say, our artists are fundamental to the development of Dungeon Full Dive: 

Everything you see and everything you interact with in DFD, you can be sure that our artists had their fair share of work to make it look & feel just right. So to not take away any of their credit, this blog post will be an insight into the art of DFD!

Stylized vs. Realistic

When we dive into our tabletop adventures, there is never just one mood or one atmosphere that we want to portray. Our adventures can range from cozy taverns to frightening dungeons and mystical forests. The general mood of the party can easily change from one environment to the other. Some environments are dark and scary others should be bright and colorful. So while conceptioning the visuals for DFD we are trying our best to adapt this flexibility into our art style

A cartoon knight vs a realistic knight... is there a middleground?

At the core, DFD is a stylized fantasy game as a stylized art style enables us to achieve high performance without sacrificing too many visual details. However, by bringing in some realistic elements like reflective metal, rough leather, or shiny glass (so-called “physics-based rendering”), we are able to give the game a touch of realism and bring the visuals to the next level. While we are still tweaking things here and there, we are slowly getting a more and more precise picture of DFD’s final visual art style. 

So how does this look like in action? Let’s take a sneak peek at one of our environments, that is in progress: The tavern of adventurers!

Concept

To start out we collected all the requirements that we had for this tavern: How should the tavern look like? How many rooms do we want to have? What objects should be part of the tavern? Which objects can be interacted with? 

Using this as a guideline we drafted the first concept model for the tavern:

Modeling, Level design & Iterating

Based on this first concept model we did various testing, redesigning, and iteratively added to the model until we were happy with the overall architecture of the tavern. Some (design) elements we created at the beginning didn’t feel right when playing or even felt confusing. Other elements were surprisingly fun to explore and we expanded on them.

first draft vs. final architecture
One of the most fun gameplay elements we discovered during the testing, was the ability to climb around in the tavern... just make sure you don't fall!

Interior design

After the tavern architecture was set, it was time to fill the tavern with life! For the interior design, we started with some basic props and interactables to make the tavern come alive. 

Are there some hidden magic items? Maybe...

Texturize & next steps

Finally, one of the last steps on the to-do list was to texturize all the assets and to adjust the environment lighting.

Now we are working on tweaking the last bits and we plan to add some awesome magic items, to give the environment the last magical touch (stay tuned for this!). Once that is finished, the tavern is good to go for the first real playtesting… exciting!

Alright, that is enough text for this update. We hope that you enjoyed this developer insight post and that you now know more about DFD and what it takes our artists,  to make DFD look just as magical as the fantasy worlds, that we want to play in. We are eager to check back with you next month, to share more insight and progress with you. So stay tuned!

Also, if you want to exchange with your fellow DFD fans, feel free to join the Discord here or check out our other social media (TwitterInstagram). We plan to post some sneak peeks starting mid August.

And as always

We are looking forward to seeing you inside DFD soon!

~Tom and Khang

P.S. If you haven’t already, feel free to fill out your Backerkit reward survey! If you are unable to find your reward survey & want to request a new reward e-mail or if you want to preorder DFD you can do so here: https://dfd.backerkit.com/

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