Location Concept Art

Posted on Posted on in category Categories Concept Designs, Locations

With our first post of the year being a big one, we didn’t really get a chance to update you on general progress. So before the post begins, a quick update.

Our New Year’s resolution this year is to get our posts out on time, and do some more gosh damn game work. We’ve cleaned the 2018 targets off our whiteboard and it’s time to start afresh with new goals.

Already there’s a lot going on in the background that we’re sure you’ll eventually get to see but isn’t quite ready to be shown. The new version of Unity has offered us some new toys, so we’ve been playing around with fancy super power effects and pretty lighting. We have new in game models that we showed off briefly in our battle system videos, they’re still not final but they’re improving with every iteration. Menus and core game features are taking shape and starting to display all of the information needed to make a game of this scale keep on going. And, of course, we still have 2 new characters to announce. We’ve already teased one in our past posts but we plan to unleash her very soon.

Now, let’s kick off 2019 with something that we can show you, concept art!

This time the focus is on locations. Manchester has been one of our big talking points, but we think we’ve told you enough about the city for now, it’s time to show you other locations that will feature throughout the game. We’ll start with the more mundane.

Plotting and revelations take place tucked away in the corner of a small cafe hidden just off the main street. As you grow your group and take on missions you find a place to meet, the cafe becoming a familiar backdrop for side missions and group discussions.

From humble beginnings (and not so humble in the case of some) the group work their way up to lucrative missions. Despite how much we talk about Manchester, some of the game takes place further afield, overlooking London whilst infiltrating a high end function, as an example.

Even further afield, the locations of Atropos aren’t limited to England, or this plain of existence. Weird and wonderful locations appear throughout, twisting familiar surroundings, or creating new environments.

We wanted to start to show you our process, even though art isn’t our strongest point, it is the easiest to showcase. This is the first time-lapse of hopefully many, but you may notice that a lot of the time lapses start with some progress already made, because Kadan forgets to start the recording software until half an hour into work, if at all (remembering things isn’t a strong point, they’re working on it). Expect more processes for in-game art and models, and more original music to come!

– Kadan & Dan – Team Atropos

Dev Update 1 – First Videos

Posted on Posted on in category Categories Characters, Gameplay, Locations

Today we’ll finally be showing off some in-game videos! We’ve got two to show today, with more planned for the near future (We’ve just got to actually finish some things first).

First up, meet Agi and Marid in game!

And second of all, the most important gameplay feature of all, PIGEONS!

After all, we did promise pigeons! The pigeon was modelled by Kadan (as were Agi and Marid, but they’re not important right now) and remains unrigged and unanimated by Dan. Here’s the very highly detailed reference file Kadan worked off of:

image

Look at that beautiful round boy or girl! We’re not ahead on gameplay or anything, we just wanted to make pigeons, and I think that’s quite indicative of our development style…

Oh well!

We’re planning more videos very soon, included a demonstration of our battle system. Hope to see you then!

– Dan & Kadan (But mostly Dan this time) – Team Atropos

The First Ingame Screenshots

Posted on Posted on in category Categories Characters, Locations

Alright, we’ve been holding back on showing any actual game stuff for a while, partly because we’re in super early stages, partly because we’re very busy. In fact, because we’re so busy, we can only really show you pictures for now. Don’t worry, we’ll get a first preview video out once we have something more substantial and less horrifyingly buggy. Anyway, here are a couple of early character models and a really blocky city!

Agi

image

Here’s a preview of the initial model for the protagonist, Agi! Here you can see that we already have a semi-cel shading style going on, as well as what the characters would look like in-engine. Now there are clear parts where the model can be improved – this is just a first draft after all – but this model helped ground our ideas, and make the whole game actually feel real. She is animated, and has some facial rigging set up (She can blink and scream at things!), but I’m afraid we won’t be showing that off until a little later in the dev cycle. She probably won’t have her shirt sticking through her jacket shoulders then either! Remember, early days!

Marid

image

And now for the next member of the team, Marid! Once again, this is a first draft of the model, so expect things to improve massively as time goes on. We created Marid to have a proper companion character to work with, and to aid in the development of the companion system as a whole. Like Agi, he’s animated, although he is lacking facial rigging for the moment – his stare definitely creeps out Kadan! For now, Marid is also filling in the role of a bunch of other characters that we’ll eventually have modelled and ready to show you all!

Manchester – Picadilly Gardens

image

Our final image for today is a super early prototype of the open world part of Manchester – specifically the main hub, Picadilly Gardens! Currently, it’s primarily in early blocking out stages, obviously, and there are large parts of Manchester also blocked out that are out of view. We’re aiming to get the basics down in most places, add some functionality, then add all the details to bring it to life. You may also notice the satellite imagery on parts of the ground. We’re using that to ensure that everything is as accurate as possible without resorting to actual real world blueprints (Although we will use real data wherever we can, with some embellishments representing the near future state of Manchester.)

On the technical side of things, since Manchester is a very large area, we are using level streaming techniques and will be building the level in blocks.In fact, one of the blocks on the top right of this image unloaded while I was placing the camera for this shot – go figure. Manchester, having many straight roads, will also be modelled significantly far away from the play area, and you may spot some landmarks that are otherwise outside the playable area. It’s safe to say we have a lot of work ahead of us.

Anyway, that’s all we have to show for now. While we do have a functional battle system and other parts of the game, we’re going to keep that under wraps for a future post (And so we can polish out the REALLY ugly bits). Signing off for now.

– Dan & Kadan – Team Atropos

Manchester

Posted on Posted on in category Categories Concept Designs, Locations

We recently decided to do something that we’ve been putting off for a while and took a trip to Manchester, the primary location of Atropos. The weekend we went was Pride, hence the rainbows, but despite the colourful celebrations we were there on business.

Looking over our photos from the weekend, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to let you guys know a little more about the setting and expand on Manchester and why we chose it.

 

We both have very close connections to Manchester and wanted to inject a little of Northern England into gaming. The game features the City Centre and Northern Quarter heavily, but with the changes that a few years and an alternate reality could bring. With that in mind, the city features not only as a backdrop, but as a part of the story. Iconic and recognisable parts of Manchester can not only be visited by the player in the semi-open world aspect of the game (similar to the Yakuza series, you are able to explore a large portion of the city) but also appear in the combat aspects of the game. However, differing from our influences and more true to life, the odds of getting attacked in the city centre in broad daylight are incredibly slim.

Of course Manchester is a bustling city, and we really want to encapsulate that and make it feel like you’re walking through the centre of a busy city filled with people, and it’s common feathered residents. We want it to adapt with the time of year, with altering weather and varying amounts of sunlight, bringing events such as Pride and the famous Christmas Markets. As the story adapts so will the surroundings, events and decisions may find the city feeling more bleak, or it could bring unexpected encounters with newly found friends. We’re hoping to make the city feel alive.

– Kadan & Dan – Team Atropos