Dev Diary - Project 3: Creating a Useful Art Bible

As project 3 is coming to a close, we can look back on our documentation to see what worked and what didn't. Since we had 6 animators working with us this time around, creating an art bible which conveyed the visual style of the game and all the assets was vital. Looking back at ours, I can see what went to plan and what didn't.

In my mind, what's necessary for an art bible is...

  • Understanding your platform.

Knowing what device/s you're making the game for can help you in deciding on a style. For us it was voxels, so deciding between small, detailed voxels, and large ones depended on our platform. Since we were publishing mainly for mobile, we later decided on making the voxels larger so that there is less screen static. Unfortunately this was later on in the project and we didn't get around to actually implementing this new style into the game.

  • Conveying a visual style.

Many games have their own distinct visual style. For ours, we went with a saturated, red/brown/green look. In the art bible, referencing other games, movies, paintings and more is great for conveying that visual style to your art team. Explaining what you want out of each image and what you don't, can create a solid ground work for the final product.

  • A good colour palette.

In the same lines as the visual style, a colour palette can make a game what it is. You need to visually show the style of colours you want in the game. How saturated? Bright? Colourful? Having a colour palette followed by an example image of anything is also a great help. You want your art team to be creating the same looking assets that follow the colour palette and visual style closely.

  • Animation style.

Still following with the art style, animation style is quite important. It can determine quite a lot about your game. Do you have bouncy, big animations? Then you're probably conveying a fun or action game. Do you have tight, direct animations? Then this could be a serious strategy game. We didn't take animations into account until later on, yet doing so earlier will make the game you're working on more streamlined to a certain experience.