Category Archives: Art

A highly musical programmation

Dear devblog reader,

It’s been too long since we last read each other. I will not talk about graphics today, but about another artistic side of the project: the music.

Indeed, we’ve been working hard with a composer (Matthieu) since the end of last year, and more recently with a sound designer (Pierre), in order to create the music and sound identity of Energy Heroes.

It’s now with pleasure, and after many discussions and visits of the SCD Manta, that we let you have a little sneak peek at the main theme of the game.

 

 

You will be able to listen to the full track later, with many surprises! Dear reader, do not hesitate to react on social networks and on the devblog to tell us what you think of the musical style of the game.

I must go now, I have spacepony.

See you soon devblog readers!

Xarden, outer space sheet music.


The universe: a colourful sequel!

Greetings!

We’re back this week on the art planet to talk about the universe. We will talk about the two main factions present in the game: the E’Nyhm and the Qen’Ory.

In order to make the universe a main component of Energy Heroes, we’ve decided to make these two civilizations differ with two different colour codes: blue and red.
Furthermore, in-game elements and architectures are specific to each faction. That’s how the game’s art and universe are combined to offer the most riveting experience to the players. It also makes the difference between the two teams more obvious in game, which is a good idea, isn’t it?

Here are two new concepts illustrating the differences between the two factions.

The first concept depicts the E’Nyhm, red being their predominant colour and their architecture being massive and technological.

Devblog_Concept_TransRoomRedThe second depicts the Qen’Ory, easily recognizable by the predominant blue colour, by their ethereal and floating buildings.

Devblog_Concept_TransRoomBlue
We will be back very soon to talk again about the universe, but we’ll focus on sound this time. See you next week for new adventures.

Cactusrose – Coloured communication


Stairways to Energy Heroes

Hi!

Since the alpha, many modifications and improvements have been made. One of them may seem especially trivial, however it made our 3D modelers and UV unwrappers go crazy, and, even worse, it made SCD’s older mercenaries angry: access ramps have all been replaced by stairs.

At first, you could think it’s easy… then you hear modelers grumble about the “Art director’s stairs” and you witness the animators, covered in bruises through jumping right into the studio’s stairs in order to observe what happens when the human body fights its worst enemy: gravity (good thing animators are quite tough).

Devblog_Concept
Live testimony: “At first, I thought that it would be simple, that I just would have to duplicate steps. It’s only 153 steps later that I realised how wrong I was.” – Anonymous modeler

Escaliers
Eventually, when you’ll have the opportunity to gambol through the Stage375 firing at anything that moves, have a thought for the brave who made the 387 steps constituting the map’s stairs.

Breenoux – Special reporter.


A prickly issue: episode 2

Prepare for trouble, make it double! The studio’s pet cactus is back. [link]

Slier than ever, it escaped from the communication office and hid somewhere inside the game engine. It thought that we wouldn’t find it… but we eventually got our hands on it in a quite peculiar place: the brand new Stage375’s aquarium.

Cactus
In short, this spiky adventure was an opportunity to show you a new area of the beta map.

EH_MRAqualifeSee you next week for new adventures!

Cactusrose – The aquatic communication


Confusing terms

Hello everyone!

A promise is a promise! However, before showing you the very first beta concepts (just released from our artistic factory), I would like to focus a little on two terms used in the video game industry that sometimes lead to confusion: alpha and beta.

The difference? The alpha’s purpose is to test the gameplay (for instance: is the game fun?) and not to give a preview of the visual aspect. On the other hand, the beta must include stable gameplay and the visual aspect must rock as our art director would say.
Let’s get back to our artistic topic, we have decided to show you two beta concepts for the 3v3 map along with their alpha counterparts for the sake of comparison.

stage375_alphavsbeta_02_720 stage375_alphavsbeta_03_720
We hope you will appreciate these new concepts, see you next week! :)

Cactusrose – The confused communication.


Some energium for evolution

Hi there! We meet again to talk this time about one of the Energy Heroes gameplay features which will, without any doubt, spice up the game a little bit.

When a game starts, both bases begin with level one entities which do not make coffee and simply do what is written on their instructions: towers shoot enemies, the Energy Gate powers up minions who then go for a little walk in the fields. The ship itself is at its maximal level from the start: pew pew, shopping.

Energium is what makes the world go around for the Qen’Ory and the E’Nyhm, and mercenaries will be sent on Syrh in order to take part in the conflict resulting from it. Jorvak engineers installed a module inside Stage 375 that simulates the conditions and situations mercenaries will face on Syrh. This module which is on the first floor is in fact a room containing a resource stockroom (and a nice space view too).

EntityEvolution_01

This resource stockroom produces energium during a game. Players may gather it and bring it back to their bases in order to stock it and unlock upgrades for their buildings. Beware, if the player is hit while carrying energium, he will drop a bit of it.

During a game, your team may be able to buy some or all of the available upgrades, and keep in mind: the last one is really powerful.

Here is the upgrade tree available for the alpha:

EntityEvolution_01

Of course, we worked hard to make all of these upgrades visually and easily identifiable in-game.

EntityEvolution_02

This already unlocked pack at the start of a game is comprised of 2 towers, one Energy Gate and a colonization module which can create minions.

EntityEvolution_03-2The tower’s core is upgraded, making the tower’s shots more powerful.

EntityEvolution_03-1Minions’ core are upgraded, their attack is more powerful when powered up at the Energy Gate.

EntityEvolution_04-2

The tower core is powerful enough to generate a shield around itself. This shield must be destroyed, beware though, given enough time it will replenish even if it has been destroyed.

EntityEvolution_04-1Minions’ cores are upgraded, making them more resistant.

EntityEvolution_05-1The tower core is so powerful that its attack now have an area of effect!

That’s all about entities’ upgrades available during the Energy Heroes alpha which will start in two days! If you have an alpha key, you may take part in it.

And by the way, someone dropped this on my desk, you might find a use for it! 😉 ALPHW1-G1CF-3HQ5-ESSV

See you soon!

Xarden, art stockroom


Technologic uplifting

Hi! The closed alpha is approaching quickly, and now it’s the perfect opportunity to talk to you about the new Energy Heroes’ entities. After the local alpha they indeed took the road to the factory.

NewEntity_Concepting

After the local alpha test, Lunder and I came to the conclusion that the entities were not relevant enough in regards to the Energy Heroes’ gameplay. With the help of the Art team, we revamped these entities around a new notion: Cores. It was also a great occasion to prepare the integration of a new feature: building upgrades.

Now, every destructible entity has a core which must be targeted to destroy the entity (whether it be a tower, an energy gate or the colonization module).

NewEntity_Cores

Those cores, made of pure energy, will take two different shapes: a destructible (the first on the image) and an indestructible shape (the second one on the image). Building entities must be destroyed in a specific order: if an entity is the first, its core becomes destructible while the following ones keep being indestructible.

Cores being the only objects destroyable during the training on Stage 375, we essentially got rid of the holograms and replace them with reusable structures which retract whenever their cores are destroyed! Technology is great. Here is a preview of Energy Heroes’ entities (alpha version) at their initial evolutionary stage. Do not hesitate to tell us what you think about it.

NewEntity_MinionsNewEntity_TowersNewEntity_EGatesNewEntity_Modules

See you soon, we’ll show you the buildings upgrade system with some new visuals!

Xarden, art factory



Interfaces

Greetings, it’s the second coming of the graphic’s side of the force. After a presentation of the matchmaking last time, here is a video with a piece of our animators’ work, today we will introduce you with another important side of Energy Heroes: the in-game interface.

In-game and out of game interface

The out of game interface, which won’t be approached today, will allow the player to manage his account, check his stats and successes, buy some stuff, prepare his games, and interract with the community. It’s a puzzle thingamajig on several points (even too much points).

The in-game interface will allow the player to have at any moment information on the game at hand, his ammo, and his cooldowns (skill availability time).
It has to be practical, readable, usable in any circumstances and above all, it has to be compatible with the  BG-140 semantic comprehension module. Ah, I, … No, it’s not the same topic.

J0Interface

Space

We are doing a game which goes out of the ordinary. A mix between TPS and classic MOBA, a MOSS as we titled it. We need then a TPS interface displaying as much information as the MOBA’s one: a MOSS interface.

A reactive interface, which doesn’t become a timeout, or a drag. The in-game interface of Energy Heroes has been made in order to allow the player, in a blink of an eye, to see the information that he wants to see, whithout losing the battlefield from sight. Here is how we use the space:

HUD_ZoningIn gray are the permanently displayed parts (information on the weapon, on one’s own character, etc.) and in blue are displayed the foldable elements. These elements, or rather screens, are organized by category:

  • F1: Teams – It displays the players of the game, their objects, their life, energy bars, and some more useful information.
  • F2: Character – Where one has access to stats and objects of his own character.
  • F3: Map – Which displays itself in full screen for more readability of the map.
  • F4: Skills – It displays information on the character’s skills and allows to make it evolve.

 

In the end

Here is a little overview of this in-game interface, as it was thought. For the alpha, the interface may slighty change, but currently the teams are only composed of 3 players. Interfaces in Energy Heroes are propulsed with Scaleform and Unreal Engine 3. They are made under Flash.

HUD_D01_F1Team

That’s all we will tell you on the interface for the moment! It’s not fun if we spoil everything at a moment, so until next time !

See you soon!

Xarden, graphic interface


The Art behind Energy Heroes – Part 3

Greetings and welcome to stage 375 aboard the SCD Manta!

The Manta (also known as the manta ray) is a huuuuuge interstellar space ship of 8 x 5 km. Among a real intergalactic city, this ship hosts other things such as the training and simulating stages of the SCD, which allows to train new unaffected mercenaries on board this vessel.

SCD Manta - Concept

One of the many training rooms with a view of the interstellar void is the scene of a ranged battle of 3 versus 3. No material stakes in this pseudo-war. Every entity has been replaced with advanced holograms which have a tangible existence. The projectiles are stopped by their magnetic fields. The choice to equip the training rooms with holograms is mainly funded with the economic side of it: the bill would be salted if it was real equipment!

Concerning minions, projectiles and weapons, they are real. It wouldn’t be funny otherwise.

Entities

As previously explained, many entities are placed and mirrored on both sides of this training room: two Defense Towers, an Energy Gate and a Colonization Module. In order to make things easier, a color code has been established on both sides to distinguish the two sides: red for E’Nyhm and blue for Qen’Ory.

To avoid jealousy, the orange color has been dedicated to the SCD equipment and more commonly, to the « neutral » objects.

Therefore, it will be easy to see with a blink of an eye what side of the map we are on. Of course, it won’t prevent some bad-sighted Jorvaks to return into the wrong base for some shopping…

The environment

The SCD provides the mercenaries boarded on the Manta, geostationary orbiting over Syrh, its technical advanced training stages in order to prepare for incoming conflicts.

DreamDestination

If you like the cold contact of metal, solid armatures, purified lines and vast ventilated spaces, then stage 375 is for YOU!

These training stages also have a pretty view of the interstellar void and the Omega system. To reassure the most fearful of you, the bay windows of the Manta resist to any type of impact. It simply can’t have unforeseen issues during a training session, at least not of this kind. Anyway, for now, there have been no problems…

Reports affirm that a compartment full of J0 drone models have been, by mistake, ejected a few days ago. If ever, while in a training session you see a J0 take a walk outside, please quickly inform the Jorvak Manta’s engineers to bring them back in the ship.

See you!

J0_Space

Xarden, tour guide


The Art behind Energy Heroes – Part 2

Hi, here we go again on the graphic side of the force! Last time we skimmed trough Energy Heroes artistic guidelines, today will take a closer look on the game characters, which are the vibrant core of this game. We naturally won’t disclose everything not to spoil the fun (for ourselves).

At the very beginning of this project, which already means a while ago, we decided to settle a few racial archetypes so the characters will take place and act within more or less numerous nations and cultures. Out of this saga in unknown space came three races, today known as Humans, Nelmas and Jorvaks.

Humans

Humans from planet Layem are visually just typical ones: Humans settlers originally from Earth, they belong to the most significant of seven existing colonies. As conditions between the two planets are alike they remained identical to earthlings in their appearances and customs.

Arch_SizesIf truth be told this archetype was the first we created, we used it as a reference.The others were drawn from this first example. For now they are the shortest out of three species, Jorvaks are actually the most husky ones and Nelmas are in between.

Nelmas

Nelmas first took place on Nelmo. Tall and slender, they’re known as spiritual intellectual mastering advance technology which enable them to explore space.

Their distinctive feature is to link themselves to a mineral during their teenagehood. This requirement comes out as an initiation ritual where the young Nelmas got to choose a matching stone before binding with it. Cornalyx for example chose a sharp and fiery rock discovered as planet Vhotz was getting destroyed. From the ritual on, mineral outgrowth are a part of Nelmas just like hair on human body.

Arch_NelmasAnother characteristic of this race is their blue toned skin which go from light to dark blue, sometimes with darker marks.

Jorvaks

Jorvaks are natives of Planet Jok, no kidding. Known as kind of dumb but skillful craftsmen able to transform pretty much anything into (not always) useful items, those muscular Cyclops are usually employed and sometimes used as workforce. Murky slavery business painfully stains the history of this otherwise peaceful specie which slowly evolves through creative trance.

Arch_Jorvak

Forceful but non threatening, they got horns, small ears and a three joints articulated jaw.

Hinori used those racial archetype to produce concepts of characters (Elyah, Azura, Larho …). Down the road there will be other races, but for now only those three are unveiled.

Here ends this focus on characters, their origins and the art behind it! Next time we’ll meet on board of SCD Manta the SCD spaceship with its training room for advanced mercenaries.

Xarden, stylus tamer

J0Famille


The Art behind Energy Heroes – Part 1

Greetings! Today we are going to discuss the artistic side of Energy Heroes. We will talk about what we want to do with it and the direction we are taking.

Our computer graphics team is composed of four artists with many technical skills, some even make coffee. This team pursues all of the visual production of the game with joy, happiness and over-motivation (sometimes helped by energy drinks).

GraphdevBlogThe concept artist was exploited for the sake of this article.

Generalities and the graphic universe

Energy Heroes is a game we want pleasant to look at, immersive and entirely spectacular. The graphics must not be a break to the gameplay and the pleasure felt by the player.

Coming from the geek knowledge of the 90s and 2000s, we fish in a lake of sci-fi inspirations, going from Star Wars to Stargate, Star Trek or Dune. With gamer souls for most of us in the studio, everything is good for us to take as inspiration in order to realize the named Energy Heroes alchemy, with one main will: create an original game which the universe is based on sci-fi.

droiddevBlogWe can summarize what we want to do with Energy Heroes to this: our game has to be coherent with the scenario and the proposed gameplay. Although are able to go farther and say that the graphic production of the game will have to enrich the scenario and the gampelay, or at least to enforce it or to justify it. It is, for example, unthinkable to put a cactus in the middle of a big room of a spaceship. Having said that…

cactusdevBlogBeing an indie video game studio, we made the choice to realize comics-like graphics. Our will is absolutely not to risk ourselves in realistic graphics, which are yet often made for TPS. We want to show fun and a universe that is ours, not a reality replica.

The sum is then colored, concrete, and creates a proper identity to the game that will become Energy Heroes. Concepts, screenshots and our progression will be revealed as we go along with the production.

There it is for a first approach of the artistic plan of Energy Heroes! Next time, we’ll speak about the characters and their respective appearances!

Xarden, Art Dictator

J0devBlog