Creating the pixel art environment has been a bit of a challenge to come to a style that the team is confident in creating and happy with visually. Continuing to pull inspiration from games like Kingdom and Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP, we’ve wanted the environment to appear simple and colourful while not too busy.
The original sprites were useful for outlining the composition for the islands and how the layout of the pathway will work but the detail in the sprites caused the scene to appear far too cluttered and ugly. It also gave us an understanding of how best to build the scenes, using layers of sprites painting together in the Asprite instead of using individual sprites to build in Unity. Still, it gives us a good idea of how this game will start to look!
It is important to replicate certain aesthetics that exist in the natural world into the artwork of the environment in order to portray as realistic feeling as possible. While canoeing and walking through the forest, the player needs to feel like they are deep within nature, so creating a backdrop that portrays this is important.
To create the background treeline, simply using one single fir tree design copied and pasted to make a row of trees which can be layered and masked to represent a dense forest. Including unique trees to add a change of colour and highlights. To tidy, cropping the transparent mask layers out, ready to be placed along the river.