Design a game environment
Tony Zhou Shuo creates an atmospheric environment for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, using light and shadow
With Assassin’s Creed artist Tony Zhou Shuo.
This piece was created to establish the mood and important gameplay elements in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s Tower of London mission. The theme of the image is player versus the environment and in this case, it’s the new playable character and master assassin Evie, versus the Tower of London.
The colour palette used here is complementary: specifically, mauve and pale yellow. The mission is a stealth mission, hence I knew it was important to create a clear difference between light and shadow in the environment. As a high-level conceptual design, the main focus of this artwork was to establish atmosphere and reinforce the art direction. It’s a great tool for level artists, lighters and level designers to visualise the space we have.
We wanted to focus on the big picture instead of fine details. At first, I came up with a few quick composition sketches, trying to find something epic and showing the scale. Once we had chosen one that we thought would work I produced a few lighting sketches, trying to capture the atmosphere we wanted.
Fortunately, it didn’t take us too long before we realised our vision. From there on it was simply tweaking, blocking in and painting. For efficiency purposes, I mostly used photos, a 3D mesh from the game and my previous boat illustrations to block in contents.