Hello blog friends! It’s been a while! Real life has been crazy, but we’ve been chugging along on the game! [EDIT: holy heck, this post has been sitting in drafts for like, a month! I completely forgot to post it, aaa] Last time I posted, I wrapped up on talking about the starter Phantoms in the game. Now it’s time to talk about where all of the Phantoms, NPCs, and the Player live–the different worlds and environments.
I’m going to let you in on a secret 👀: I don’t particularly like doing environment stuff. Yep, crazy. My drawing passions lie with character and creature design, not quite UI and backgrounds. However! I do really like learning about new things and drawing inspiration from places I’d never thought to look before. So, I spent a lot of time looking at architecture from all over the world and used my newfound love of houseplants to fuel my sketching! (I have… too many houseplants for someone who just got into the hobby a few months ago 😅)
The Forest 🌳
You’ve seen the forest a lot, and you’ve probably even seen the concept art I’ve done for it in Claire’s posts! But I’m going to touch on it briefly just because it was the first environment we figured out and the first one that the player will see upon entering the game.
So, this is what the forest looks like in-game at the moment! A lot of darker colors, with a few pops of bright colors with the mushrooms. I did all of the textures for the trees and ground that you’re seeing here, with no bump mapping, if you know what that means! Basically, it just means that I painted them completely flat, with no computer magic to create actual 3-dimensionality in the game! Just good old-fashioned shadows and highlights 😉
We used a lot of purples and dark greens, with a fairly strong blue tone over both. Cooler colors feel naturally a little less cozy and, well, warm than warm tones! We wanted to get a somewhat creepy vibes without making everything too dark to read.
And here’s the concept sheet I did for some props for the area! Some big mushrooms to platform on, some greenery to fill in the forested parts you can’t get to, and more!
The Desert 🌵
This is the hub world of the game! The second place the player will visit! There was some apprehension about the idea of a desert world in the game, since the deserts in many other games are pretty… barren. Monochromatic. But I think there’s a lot of room for color and beauty in a big sandy expanse too! My favorite biome in Minecraft is the painted desert, so it kinda influenced a lot of my colors choices here 😅
This is my colored sketch for the environment. A lot of larger than life succulents, painted terracotta and clay buildings, and color! Lots of color. I referenced a lot of African architecture (among others, the painted village of Tiébélé in Burkina Faso, Ndebele house painting, and the traditional architecture of Morocco and Mali), plus a few references from India and… the Tatooine set from Star Wars. The stairs are cool, okay?
Some of the images I used as reference/inspiration are below!
I’m pretty… wary of borrowing inspiration from cultures I don’t know personally, so I tried to be respectful about my approach. I won’t be using any specific buildings as a mold for ones in the game, and I’m making an effort to establish my own set of rules for patterns and color palette in this area. This isn’t just for aesthetics, but so that I don’t accidentally grab parts of the culture that hold significance that I’ve missed. By the way, if there’s ever any part of these blog posts or art that I’ve done for the game that you think isn’t culturally sensitive, please message me or comment! I want to include influences from various cultures within my art, and I do research on all of it, but I’ve only been deeply entrenched in the cultures I grew up in myself so I’m bound to miss certain nuances.
Anyways! I have 2 more environments to share in a future blog post, so look forward to that! Until then, stay cool, make good choices, and… uhh… don’t do drugs ok bye!!