Over the past month the art team (jack in particular) have been spending a lot of time concepting a new look for the game. The main reason for that change was that with the addition of physics on the branches, moving the amount of leaves that we needed to make the tree look real was becoming too intensive on even out high powered computers.
The first style that we looked at was a splotchy watercolour look that employed a lot of white negative space. This looked very cool in the concept images, but it wasn't until we started trying to get a test scene together that we ran into some issues. This style may have worked better if we had a locked camera but we found that when viewed from certain angles the striking outlines of the individual assets could get lost against objects in the background.
So running behind where we wanted to be at the time we reluctantly made the call to pull the plug on the whole style rather than spend the huge amount of time it would have taken to mitigate the outline conflicts in every scene.
After doing all of the concepts for the first two styles Trev decided to step down and let someone else have a crack. Meanwhile, he began to employ his artist/programmer wizerdry overhauling the UI based on some of the problems we had encountered during playtesting.
Jack stepped up to the plate and used the benefit of his fancy art school education to confuse the rest of the team with talk of different art movements that he wanted to play with while concepting. After some late nights toiling away in a sketchbook he had settled on a very vectorised western cartoon style. Bold shapes, colours, and gradients were now the name of the game.
After some further refinement he managed to distil his grand ideas down into some object concept art for me to start working with.
Now a few weeks on we have some assets in engine as we continue working with PAX prime on the horizon. It might take a few late nights and weekends but we are committed to having a polished demo to show off at PAX.