One again, the following dev blog comes from developer Koichi Ishii...
- when creating a new world, Koichi Ishii always starts by defining its rules
- when creating a fantasy world, he asks himself the following questions:
Is the world a planet?
What elements is the planet made of, and what is the general concept behind them?
What about the climate of the various regions?
What kind of creatures are living there?
Are human living there?
If yes, how do they live?
What about the races?
What kind of tools are they using?
What kind of impact does the passing of time have on them?
- using the answers to those questions, he starts creating a map of the world
- some people may wonder if going into such fine details right from the start is really necessary
- Ishii says by working this way, having all those details about the world set in store early on is pretty important
- all the details and ideas reverberate in even the most minor lines of dialogues and the various items you find in the game
- he believes this makes the whole game much more convincing
- this method also allows all those separate strands of information about the world to converge
- in turn, this allows the players to properly envision the world the way it was imagined by its creator
- this game's setting is an “Egyptian Fantasy”, and the starting point of it all was “a desert world”
- Ishii asked himself the following questions:
What was the world like originally?
Did the desertification happen because of a weakening of the spiritual power?
What caused that weakening in the first place?
Is it in any way related to the rationale of the world?
- once the setting was set in stone, the art team came in to bring the world to life
- the team created quite a lot of concept art
- Vistrahda may be a desert world, there is still quite a lot a variety when it comes to environments
- there’s areas with brown sand, others with white sand, caves, and more
- Vistrahda wasn’t always a desert
- in the past, there were many oasis around, and lush greenery all over
- now it's completely covered in sand, and only a few traces of that past are left
- the giant urn seen in screens/art may very well be a remnant of that past
- one piece of concept art shows what looks like a blue river running through a cave, but the river is actually sand
- when creating a world, it’s essential that everyone involved with art have the same image of the world in their mind
- Yasuda (Concept Art Lead) asked himself how he could accurately transcribe into a pictures the world inside Ishii’s head
- background modelers had a hard time with shapes, due to all the really fine details
- the whole art team that was frequently in a pinch, something that definitely amused Ishii
- you get to expand your Oasis, and naturally, the art team had to create art for all the stages of that expansion
- Yasuda hopes that players will pay attention to the changes and note the various interesting designs they came up with
- he also hopes players will try and collect all the elements to see the differences for themselves
- another area the art team struggled with is the dungeons and the field
- it was pretty hard for them to express the individuality of each area and avoid everything looking the same
- the night / day cycle has an impact on how the world looks and greatly changes the atmosphere
- Kikuoka (concept-art) explains that they had to design fields and dungeons, plus various items, plants, gimmicks, and more
- for any given “item”, they could have from 5 to 10 ideas
- Kikuoka hopes players will take the time to stop and look at the various elements that make up the world
- there’s quite a lot of characters and shops in the game, each with their own design
- in-game maps show you where to go for quests, which is used to keep the experience from becoming stressful
- Ishii hopes players will take the time to look at the sky, go to unique locations for materials, & listen to townsfolk
- if you take some detours, you may see some never-before-seen items, and discover an unexpected side to your partners