Mapping, planning and finding my look

Three Gobbeling heads; post header image

Going solo on an adventure game like Project-DS has some disadvantages. The biggest one is working on everything at once.

  • Art style
  • Image composition
  • World map
  • Individual adventures
  • Overarching story
  • History of the world

Each of these informs the other, sometimes one part is blocked because another has not been decided yet. I’m happy to say that the map is final and the story points are starting to find their homes. I spent ages trying to do this in software and ended up co-opting the door.

Sticky notes on a glass door

Planning something huge when your monitor is just not big enough.

The area of Wymol known as ‘Far Up’ The first couple of chapters start here. After which, the story moves to one of the two peninsulas; Tumpspin and Blackspin or into the Far North.

There’s lots of fantasy mapping software on the market. I wanted to make it a real map first and a fantasy map second.

The Wymol map has been built in Genbrush using wind and rainfall simulation to create the lakes and rivers. It’s come together naturally to feel authentic and lived-in.

I’ve also found the right post-processing to make the rendered scenes pop.

This painterly effect blends the characters into the scenery a lot more effectively.

The effect also fits well with the painterly texturing that Josh O’Hala has done on the models, effectively applying the same look to the scenic elements.

An AI-generated face

And finally, as a visual person I needed to put some faces to the names for my characters. I’ve started some biographies and it didn’t feel right with just the text.

Artbreeder has rescued me. I’ve generated a bunch of faces for the project. While these images may not be final, I can now put a face to the names.

Artbreeder has even put a little random personality into each one too; smiling, frowning, etc. That’s been enough for me to add colour to the profile.

Official Teaser for Project-DS

Three goblins in a forest

It has been a long time between posts here. We’ve been working with artists on the designs for Project-DS. This may be our magnum opus.

Light goblin 2D concept drawing

From Joe’s initial 2D designs, to Josh’s rigged 3D models, to the test scenes created with Flowscape; we’re seeing the characters come to life.

There is a lot of work still to do in Project-DS, but we wanted to share this render that has us super-excited for the future.

Project-DS will be a DM-less branching adventure in same setting as our one-page RPG Wyrmbones: The Border. Experience three generations of the second gobbeling war on the island of opportunity; Wymol.

Three goblins in a forest
Charlie’s picnic was not going well.