Visual & Audio Styles
Sunflower Land employs a friendly and playful aesthetic. Even the ‘evil’ characters of the game are light and funny. This aesthetic flows into the visual, audio and narrative design.
Sunflower Land is set in the medieval age but puts a playful twist on the dark and gloomy that most games use. The game does not focus on the fantasy aspect, but does have an air of mystery and alternate universe concepts (i.e. talking animals, mysterious creatures etc).
The visual style was inspired by the base asset pack SunnySide by Daniel Diggle. When designing new gameplay elements we encapsulate a range of key aspects which made the asset pack our choice from the start.
This gives the idea of simplicity in the game. The less pixels the better. We are going for a pixelated effect, but not an arcade style.
To give a playful effect, the majority of objects and characters in the game are short and fat. You can think of characters in the game as ‘dwarves’. Buildings, trees and resources also follow this pattern and as a result often mean unrealistic proportions. A NPC for example may be the same height of a house.
Shapes are always whole in nature (no floating parts) and employ almost no negative space - I.e. the design should fill up the whole object without any empty space. For example, the tree shape does not have extending branches - instead it is compact and a single shape.
All objects essentially fall onto a chess-like grid in the game. This tends to the idea that objects should be squarish in shape and avoid rounded shapes.
Objects are distorted from realistic proportions to meet this style.
A tile is 16x16 and hence object designs should try fall within this size
Animations are used to breathe life into the game but not disrupt gameplay. They should follow basic animation principles and employ the physics of the game. Since players are stubby, they cannot jump high. The players are strong however and can throw around tools with ease.
Where possible, an animation should employ a sense of fun. Good examples are the farting goblin and chicken laying a massive egg.
This does not mean you must use only these colours, nor does it mean that using these colours means a piece of art 'fits the game'.
A piece of art typically picks 2-3 of the base colours on this palette and combines it with variations in shades and complementary colours to add interest. There is no strict colour guideline - most of the choices are based on a subjective feel of the art in the game and if it fits in to the overall style. The hue, saturation and shading must fit in with the current style used in the game.
Characters use a dark black border for their outlines to help draw attention to them. This is useful for NPCs and call to actions. Other objects such as resources, buildings and decorations use a dark coloured border based on the objects primary colour.