About the style in general
We are aiming for a style that is contemporary yet historical; visually inviting, but still allowing historically accuracy especially for those who are at home with the wargame genre. This we have done by drawing on elements from WW2 propaganda, but delivered through a modern, intuitive and minimalistic approach.
The game is not overly stylized, but we are moving away from photo-realism for both practical and aesthetic reasons. Partly because of the scope of the game with its enormous terrains, but also in order to provide visual clarity, we feel a certain level of simplicity is required. Purely stylistically, we think fewer details and a more deliberate choice of shapes and colour palette looks better.
The aim is really to produce pleasing and coherent visuals that allows for easy and non-confusing interaction.
About the environment
We are happy to share with you where we are with the style. Though, please be mindful that the screenshots do not represent the final quality as it’s still work-in-progress.
It’s our intention to create an environment that - although not photorealistic - looks rich and lush. However, we recognize that it’s important for the gameplay that the terrain doesn’t become distracting to the player. We want the player to be able to distinguish between the battles and the terrain and so manage his troops effortlessly.
There are a few more things left on our list to do, such as adding clouds, more particle effects and improved terrain data.
About the UI
While many WW2 RTS games offer much in way of detail, it’s our feeling that the genre in general hasn’t evolved that much visually. We think there is no reason why pleasing visuals and a modern interface can not coincide with accuracy, detail and deep engaging gameplay. What this means practically is that the user may feel free to access all details of a specific Panzer II Ausf. C that is part of his 1st Medium Panzer Company, but the information will not have a permanent home on the screen. The UI is very much context sensitive. It is our goal to allow the player to choose details to his liking, or play the game entirely top level without any fiddly micromanagement. This ties well into our hierarchical control system.
In a word, the gameplay experience, along with the UI catering to this experience, is putting the player in the commander’s seat. It’s up to the commander to choose how to best lead his troops to victory; whether this be hands-on management or focusing on the bigger picture. The player may freely and seamlessly do both.
Our plan is to support both pictorial and NATO symbols. What we can say about the UI is that we aim for it to be modern and clean; smart and easy to grasp, and that it carries inspiration from WW2 propaganda.
We hope this gives you some insight into our development of the art style and as ever we welcome your questions and feedback.
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