I just wanted to drop a line and give you a quick update on where we are at with the game design. We have been reflecting a fair amount on the look of our game and we just weren't quite happy with how things were turning out. The forests were lackluster with not enough natural variation, the landscape materials were okay- but not stellar, and overall things didn't look as realistic as we were aiming for. So what does this mean? It means we completely overhauled all the foliage we had placed and all the landscape painting we had done so far.
We started by creating a new landscape material with textures that looked more realistic to us. Overall, the difference between things like the forest ground isn't too different, but things like the grass and gravel are night and day different.
The next step was to get more variety going in our foliage. If you take a close look at an older screenshot of our forests, all the trees (except the pine trees of course) as well as the bushes have the same type of leaf! This definitely doesn't feel natural in the slightest. After getting some new textures pulled together we now have 4 species of trees and 4 species of bushes to add a more natural look to our forests. We also completely overhauled the ground cover foliage. We needed more color so added a few more types of flowers, and we added in some higher resolution foliage such as grass and ferns. Now that we have all these different variety of foliage, it's time to build the forest to look realistic.
Due to Covid-19 and having fewer hours at our day jobs, we got more time to take some walks and get some photos for inspiration. This gave us a really good stepping stone for what a natural forest should look like and how we should approach building it. It's taken numerous attempts to create realistic looking paths and a wooded area that is natural looking. It's been important to make sure the forests are not too dense for game play while still maintaining that overall real feel. That being said, we are starting to take steps in the right direction. Over all, we feel we have come quite a long way in this journey and the proof is in the screenshots. Take a look at the work we have done recently for yourself!
I think that about wraps up this update for now. Thank you all for the continued support and let us know what you think of the changes we've made!
Until next time, game on!