Build better environments
World building environments for video games has its fair share of challenges. Olly Lawson shares his pro tips to help get you started
Pro tips for world building from Olly Lawson.
For this workshop I’ll be bringing you my tips and ideas to consider when designing environments, from the researching and idea generation through to the final polishing stages. I’ll be taking you along the same process I used to generate these in-game areas, with some key advice along the way.
I’m tasked with bringing to life a long‑abandoned island palace, based on simple line art and boards of reference images from the client. There are many ways to approach this kind of assignment, but here I’ll show you a method I currently prefer for its consistent results and efficiency. I begin by blocking in basic shapes in Google Sketchup, rendering out in Keyshot to show the forms and add lighting, then finally painting over the result to add colour, detail and life.
Sketchup is free software from Google that has a very gentle learning curve, but as with any software, you get out of it what you put in. Lots of professional artists use it to quickly block in buildings, or environments. I like to work in it for simple laying-out because the software can be fast, it interferes very little with my intentions, and the limitations of it being a simple program stop me from getting distracted with adding details and materials. I use Keyshot to render out my images, simply to add nice bounce lighting and proper shadows, something sketchup can’t do without plugins.
These concepts are designed for Spell strike ( www.spellstrikegame.com), an upcoming independent strategy game that I had the pleasure to work for.
So, let’s begin building…