Game Dev Blog: Aboravin Jungle: Trees, Wildlife, and Light

I’ve spent the last few weeks working on Vitrerran’s jungle level, and holy crap am I happy with how it’s turning out. Also, holy crap is what I’m doing time consuming! I think you’ll like this one though.

jungle3

The Aboravin Jungle is somewhat typical of jungles in that it’s big and spread out, with most people living in more compact villages than large, industries cities. The trees are big, the wildlife is varied and sometimes dangerous, and the foliage is thick and uneven.

What sets the our jungle apart from many other jungles, however, is that its divided vertically. There are two floors to the Aboravin Jungle, not one.

The ground level is where most people live, however, long ago, a major split occurred within the Aboravin people, causing a large group to flee into the trees where they’ve built their own cities into the thick branches. Narrow walkways connect everything, and while living in the canopy is dangerous and seen as crazy by many on the ground level, those above prefer their closer proximity to the sun, which they believe gives the jungle its strength.

There is no war between the two groups though, and in fact, travel between is fairly common. Each level has something the other needs.

I’ll be honest, I don’t have as much lore or narrative aspects done for the Aboravin Jungle as I have for other regions of Vitrerran. My original concepts no longer seem as fun as I once thought, and I’m in the process of rewriting and repackaging everything. The canopy itself is a new addition to the jungle, and one that’ll be interesting to work with as I bring more characters through.

The place is infested with witches though! That wasn’t in the original concepts, which were clearly flawed since they lacked witches.

Design wise, the level is coming along really nicely, but it isn’t 100% finished. We need a custom tile sheet for the trees, particle effects for the water, and some more concept/custom items for the canopy itself, which is still in its early stages.

But dang, when this area is done, I think it’ll stand out as one of the best in the entire game.

But enough talk! It’s time for pictures.

jungle5 jungle4 jungle2 jungle1

As with every area of Vitrerran, the goal was to make the Aboravin Jungle as distinct as possible without needing too many customized tile sheets. The uneven landscape was Joe’s idea, and one that looks really good when put together properly.

My idea was, instead of making a few big maps with multiple paths, to make a ton of little maps with more linear paths, giving the place a sprawling feel. I want the jungle to feel big, and I want it to seem hard to traverse.

So far, I think I’m getting it right.

For more information about The Regret of Vitrerran, please visit http://www.dualwieldsoftware.com/

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6 thoughts on “Game Dev Blog: Aboravin Jungle: Trees, Wildlife, and Light

  1. I really like the art style! Can you let me know how you are creating that visual style? Is it full 3D with half-transparent textures? Or some hybrid isometric custom logic? I’m curious how you are doing the rendering, textures, and lighting.

    Thanks

    1. As someone who isn’t a programmer or artist, I just copy/paste what my brother said (he’s our programmer/artist!)

      “It’s completely 2d. The glass texture is primarily made through some filters and other photoshop effects. Lighting is taking the screens output and rendering it over and over again at larger scales (offsetting it in the direction we want it to fall)”

      1. Thanks for the info. I thought it looked really clear and unlike normal 3D rendering.
        Good luck w/ your project! If you need help play testing let me know (:

      1. I went to your site and it looks like you only support PC (windows), and since I am on mac I can’t play it ): I did have a PC, but it broke a few weeks ago and not sure if I am getting a new one.

        I saw the video though, and it looks great. Overall the visuals are awesome, but I think maybe the effects (like the ‘light shining one’) are a little overdone and could get annoying after awhile. Also, I feel the character design (and the screen at the end where you drag cards to it) are a bit over simplistic and could be refined to look a bit more professional.

        But awesome job so far!

      2. Yeah. We’ve been paying a lot of attention to how bright the game can be with the lighting we have. There are options to tone it down or completely turn it off, so that’ll be up to user preference.

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