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MAU Artwork

Making MAU Artwork

Creating a Style


I used Color palettes and created my own design rules when making art. Our team wanted to go for a simple clear vector art style when first ideating how MAU should look. I worked with my team lead to make a core color palette for me and the other artist to pull from. From there I set in place rules my art should follow to keep consistent and form a style. 

When creating the MAU style I started with a core color and then a tint and shade of it to define shadows and highlights. I did this to create depth and hue shift my tiles slightly to make the lighting we made stand out in the game. Since I was in charge of making the game tiles, ground clutter, foliage, and so much of the environment I made sure to stick very close to my design rules I set in place to make sure my art all homogenized well. 


Being the lead artist on the project led to me taking on many different artist roles form VFX to UI and Font Design. Finding a style that worked for all of these areas wasn't easy. The basic ground tile alone had 21 different concept pieces until I reached the one that we as a team loved. 

Making multiple pieces of art that are designed to be placed side by side took a lot of testing of colors and designs. Designing the custom MAU font dealt a lot with this. I have never designed a font before, but I have taken Graphic design and have knowledge of good typography. When making the font I took inspiration from my tile work and ways I created jagged lines. The mix of fast turning strait and jagged ends led to a lot of my letter design. I wanted letters to have a chiseled feel with a little bit of a blocky nature. After a lot of time hand making each letter and symbol I love how it turned out and it fit really well with the game assets.


Designing Smart Assets

I designed my assets in a way to make them reusable and fit in everywhere. Due to the extremely limited timeline of a college semester I had to be very smart when designing my infrastructure for this project. I made multiple variations of tiles, ground clutter, and much more. Having many variations allowed me a lot of freedom to use each asset to its max. By using the Unity tools I could hue shift, rotate, stretch, and change the depth of my art. Knowing this I made my assets interesting at many angles which meant that they took on very different feelings when angled certain ways. Along with this I made a lot of generic and room specific tiles and ground clutter which served to tie the map together. Seeing familiar rocks, tiles, and so on helps create environmental connections. Having unique room specific materials and assets helped make rooms stand out from one another while building soft lore. 


It was not easy designing a lot of assets for wide area use, but it was definitely worth it in the long run. Making variations different from one another, but not too different so that the player doesn't see a connection was a hard task. For example, I designed a lot of rocks and rock variations. When doing this I made many variations with numerous rocks together and made small shape edits from variation to variation. I made sure not to change the rock color to keep the connected feeling. 

Making core base tiles helped a lot with level design and its success stems from all their variations. I designed tiles to work in a variety of lit areas by having simple cast shadows and highlights. By making numerous slopes, blocks, staircases, columns, and more of these core tiles it made them highly versatile. Due to the tomb aesthetic, keeping the same core tiles made sense and kept the game feeling consistent.


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