art design

The Repopulation shows off the improvements coming to its UI

There are a lot of things that the new owners of The Repopulation want to change about the game, and some of those are both visible to players and under the hood at the same time. Case in point, the UI. According to the latest update from the development team, the current UI relies on outside components for much of its functionality, which is somewhat incompatible of the development vision to keep things within the Hero Engine… especially when those outside components result in some system lag, to boot.

Of course, the changes aren’t solely about removing outside files. The rework is also meant to improve functionality and clean up the interface, fix longstanding issues like bugs when scrolling lists, and ensure that every part of the UI can be moved and resized instead of allowing some parts and not allowing others. There are also plans to allow for UI customizations to be saved by character or account as players prefer. Check out the full update to see if these are changes you’re excited over.


Neverwinter takes you on a tour of Port Nyanzaru

The eponymous city is obviously the main port of call for players in Neverwinter, but there are other cities worth visiting. The next major update, Tomb of Annihilation, will see players heading to Port Nyanzaru, a very different city from the one Neverwinter’s adventurers are accustomed to experiencing. So why not take a tour of all of the best parts of Port Nyanzaru, seeing the sights to catch (and the important vendors to chat up) before you go there in the summer?

But perhaps you’re not interested in the lore tour, just the art side of things. Good news; there’s a new piece about exactly that, covering the challenges of making the city look distinct and novel with a very short amount of pre-production time. It’s useful for lovers of game production and concept art, and it shows how all of the locales you’ll visit on your tour came into existence.

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Star Trek Online details the creation of the Tzenkethi

The Tzenkethi are coming to Star Trek Online, which should make any franchise lore nerd at least moderately happy. No television series has ever featured the Tzenkethi in the flesh, but they were discussed extensively in Deep Space Nine; we knew that they fought a war with the Federation and weren’t necessarily friendly. So the designers of the game just had to create a design for these aliens to make them a credible threat while also differentiating them from all of the other threats players have faced in the game over the years.

What we wind up with is a race of four-armed reptilian creatures that have a very different silhouette and profile than other alien races. The Tzenkethi employ modular and adaptive technology, but they tend to favor the same strategies time and again, and the designers stress that your first encounters against them should prove the most difficult. So they’re going to be a different sort of foe on all levels, not just in the sense of looking different. Pretty good for a species we only heard mentioned in the background by Captain Sisko.


Here’s how Rare is building Sea of Thieves’ outposts

Ever wondered how it is that game designers actually build the locations you’ll be tromping all over in MMOs? The latest Sea of Thieves video from developer Rare gives a glimpse into just that process, with a focus on the outposts hinted at in the last video on islands.

Environment Artist Joe Bradford shows players how the team begins with a design requirement for an outpost, which then goes to the concept art team, and then the environment team turns it into something workable, from a low-res block-out to a terrain-sculpted, properly asset-filled scene.

“The outposts are a really important part of our game,” he says, “and we spend a lot of time hand-crafting them so that they’re the best experience they can be.” Watch along below!

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WildStar promises players more quality-of-life improvements

Say, whatever happened to the last time WildStar players talked with the developers about features they’d like to see in the game? Did anything happen there? Yes, it did; it’s been a long time coming, but the development team has responded with a compilation of the most-requested features. While there’s no official timeline for getting these upgrades in the game, players can rest assured that issues like stackable runes, account-wide toyboxes, name organization, and cross-faction mail will be addressed in the future. The devs are indeed listening.

Another preview has also been provided for the upcoming Redmoon Terror encounter, albeit not one that’s focused around lore or mechanics. No, this is all about the art design for the update, showing how the art team took simple concepts and expanded them into finished designs. It’s a nice look behind the scenes as well as a glance at what players will be encountering within the depths of the raid.

It’s worth noting that WildStar’s financial results were up in the last quarterly financial report for NCsoft.


Star Trek Online details the art design of the Tier 6 flagships

Every Star Trek series has its iconic ships, and for Star Trek Online, the factional flagships fulfill those roles. Those flagships have recently received an upgrade to Tier 6, allowing players to fly around in the iconic ships of all three factions. But how has the changing landscape of the galaxy affected the Scimitar, the Odyssey, and the Bortasqu’ classes? A new entry on the official site details the changes made to the stylings of all three ships over time.

The Bortasqu’ received the biggest update, giving the designers a chance to allow more variable pieces and let captains really customize the look of this iconic Klingon ship. The Scimitar, meanwhile, was redesigned to appear more traditionally Romulan compared to the original Reman lines of the design, and the Odyssey itself was given comparatively minor changes to reflect the state of the galaxy. The silhouettes and shapes of the ships should be recognizable to players who have been away from the game, but the new styling will provide more design options while keeping the aesthetics modern.


Crowfall posts an art fly-through, discusses money and stretch goals

Crowfall has been sporting a pretty distinctive art style from the word go, which is to its credit. The past few big updates on the game have been all about the combat, and that’s all well and good, but it has meant that stuff like art has been shuffled off to one side. But the most recent update from the studio is all about, well, art, which you probably guessed from the headline.

Two new videos from the team are available down below – a flythrough of the greybox model for the game’s castle structures and an interview with one of the members of the art team, Allison Theus. Even if you’re not sure if you’d like the game itself very much, you should go ahead and watch them if you’ve got any interest in the elaborate and lovely concept paintings the game has put forth thus far.

Earlier this week, Crowfall also published a founder’s update discussing its plans for licensing overseas, its upcoming rules of conduct update, and its finances, its new $80,000 stretch goal to make permanent its video contractor,.

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