Astral Chain Devblog Visits Some Beautiful Scenic Spots With Lead Environmental Artist
Astral Chain's latest developer's blog gives us a fascinating look into the various environments of the Ark, the main location of the game.
As you already can tell, the official Astral Chain developer’s blog has been chock full of great information, from the art direction to the music. This week’s entry tackles the environmental designs of the game through the environment artist Naoya Yokoyama.
This week’s blog post is filled with absolutely fascinating information on how the artist set up the backgrounds’ colors, composition, lighting, shadows, and more.
The first topic is on lighting and color gradient:
According to Yokoyama, “Here is a scene with no lighting. With no proper lighting, the background feels flat. First, I’ll add some lighting done in Maya and place a few light sources in the scene.”
“Now you can properly see reflections and make out objects and their silhouettes in the scene more clearly.”
“Next, we have the final version after applying filters and color grading. If you’ve ever used Photoshop, just imagine this is what the image looks like after tonal adjustment and tone curves. The image uses blue as a base with red for some embellishing touches. Here we can see how light and color give the scene depth and reality.”
Next Yokoyama delves into Ark, the main locale of Astral Chain, to give us a look at some of the distinctive areas of the game.
First up is Zone 33, specifically Harmony Square, the metropolitan heart of the Ark. Brightly-lit billboards cover every inch of the city. You’ll visit this location multiple times during your adventure, but it’ll appear different every time:
“I’m a big fan of the view of Harmony Media Center from this angle. There’s plenty to take in here, and pretty much any shot you take should be a good one.”
“Travel under the crossways and you’ll get some different vibes altogether. You might not find this area so easily by yourself. I took this shot right in front of the LARGER BURGER.”
Lit up with a myriad of Asian-themed neon signs. The buildings feel like they’re all squeeze tightly together and every shot should tell a different story:
“A snapshot right before the tunnel to Union City. This area has a strong contrast of red and blue.”
“Lots of Chinese and Japanese signs. I’m a fan of black and white filters, so I made three of them, but most everybody else on the team told me they all look the same :(” (AN: Yes the frowning face was part of the quote.)
This area of the city is built on the rooftops of buildings, looming under a gigantic wall. In the distance, you can see a few skyscrapers in an otherwise empty sky.
“The wall has so much presence, you just feel compelled to take a shot. This shot was taken right outside the entrance to the market.”
“Zone 9 also is well known as a junk district. I decided to use a more retro filter for this shot.”
As a parting gift, Yokoyama closes with some lovely shots of the city and the people that populate it:
You can check out the launch trailer for the title here, which gives us a good overview of the game.
Astral Chain‘s protagonists are part of a police force named Neuron. This means that not only must players deal with Chimera-related incidents, but you also need to do police work. The protagonist can control five different Legion with each one having their own specifications. There’s also a beginners’ mode and activating this mode allows players to automatize various actions, making gameplay much easier.
Astral Chain isn’t the first part of a trilogy unlike what was recently reported, as that turned out be an error on IGN’s part. There’s the full trailer, which touches on some of the RPG and explorations features, and a reveal of the game’s box art and size. Astral Chain launched today exclusively for Nintendo Switch and you can order it right now on Amazon.
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