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The Forest of Akeron

Hi everyone, it’s Claire back at it again with some fun environment art updates! We’ve been working to flesh out the world of Akeron, and I wanted to share some art with you that we’ve made for the first section of the game. (Also get ready to see a lot of our lost soul taking in the scenery!)

Our current environment for the first chapter of The Phantom Keeper – a work in progress!

When you begin your journey in The Phantom Keeper, you have just fallen into the land of Akeron, in a forest just outside one of the major cities. While some paths exist, they aren’t often travelled, and there’s a lot of exploring to be done – and a lot of Phantoms to find!

Since this is the game’s first impression, we wanted to make sure to nail the feel and aesthetic of the area. After doing a very simple color pallete sketch, Sera did an awesome concept sheet full of trees, plants, and mushrooms and the two of us got to work implementing it.

Once we had these sketches, Sera and I worked together to create everything needed. I used blender to create the models, and we split the task of creating textures for the models and for the ground. While we still have lots of props to go, we’re happy with the overall look of an other-worldly forest.

In addition to the props, it’s important that there be some amount of movement in the background. It is a forest after all, it’s alive and moving! Having all objects be static can be distracting for the player, and make it feel unrealistic. So I decided to try my hand at developing a wind shader!

A shader is essentially a piece of code that tells the game where to put the pixels at any point in time. I added some noise to the shader’s code, so that it warps the image based on a set of numbers that can be easily adjusted, as seen in the gif above. This shader is applied to all of our plants to create some idle movement in the background. It was fun to make, and you can see it in action below!

He’s just vibin in the forest

Aaaand that’s it! Thanks so much for checking these out, be sure to hop into the discord server or comment below if you have any questions! Till next time! 🙂

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