Nøkken, 1887-92 (The Water Spirit)

Visuals, Inspiration and the whole look of the game

Hello there!
I’m Kenneth Eilertsen, Lead 3D on Through The Woods. And I’d like to reveal a little on the background for the visual style in our game.

Apart from my 3D Artist Bachelor, which I’m finishing up this spring, I also went to a Norwegian Arts school called NISS, studying at the Special-Effects Make-up program, creating monsters, zombies and other cool characters!
What gets me really invested in our project is that we get to do our own take on Norse Myths and legends. And trust me, our Concept artist is coming up with some really stellar designs!

Together with Torje and Mia, our other 3D Artist and Concept artist (which both will get the chance to introduce themselves later), we’ve put together a dark style inspired by movies, paintings and also music.
The look of the game is greatly inspired by a Norwegian artist named Theodor Kittelsen, he was a painter who painted a lot of Norwegian landscapes, but also mixed them with myths and legends like trolls and other beings.

The thing that gives his paintings a special feel, is that he usually paints his “monsters” inside of everyday things, like a mountain with a certain silhouette that looks like a troll from the right angle, or stacks of hay that take on the properties of a yeti-like creature. All this goes back to the feelings you sometimes have when you’re out in the forest, your mind plays tricks on you, a bush can look pretty scary at the right time of night.

Another Norwegian painter that has inspired the environment greatly is Lars Hertervig, his works conveys mystery and a sort of twisted reality that we really like.
The color scheme of both Lars Hertervig and Theodor Kittelsen will be apparent in our game, as they both are a bit spooky and dark.

With the release of Unity, Unreal and CryEngine. Working with the chosen game-engine has for the last couple of years quickly become easier for indie developers. As we get further into the project Torje and I will shed some more light on what engine we are using and how we are using pre- and self-written shaders, how we combine 3D models, textures and animations to make our game the best game it can be.

As for now I look forward to working hard in the coming times, so that we can give all you guys and girls out there the forest and the creatures that you deserve to experience from the dark corners of Norway.

And lastly as a little scary treat, an early concept sketch for one of our creatures.

4 replies
  1. John says:

    There are far too many B grade games on steam … please take a look at the screenshots and be honest. Also your writing could use work for example “Old Erik”, need I say more. For a group that promotes itself to be story driven it sounds like it was written by a child (and not in a good way). For a group called Antagonist you sure don’t make your first candidate believable one, He sound like a nice perceived as a bad guy even though it is just a misunderstanding, or a child molester. Nether should be promoted in a video game. Sorry for the negative response however I have become disgusted with steam and the junk games appearing on it , It is basically digital Junk mail.

    Based on the screenshots

    *water only reflects and refracts (add foam or waves or color or something….. make it look more then 2 feet deep, there is no threat)
    *your environment overall is too dark
    *your coastline ground overall is too bright
    *your Star Flairs are – too sharp (if that’s a style choice then go on to the next point)
    – too consistent (It almost looks like you could copy and paste the orange one pixle for pixle across screenshots)

    *Environment overall looks bland, Look at the last screenshot … it is GREY that’s it … a HARD HORIZON LINE, Cut to grey. Come on guys put some rocks in the thick mist make some interesting shapes falling off in the background get creative. Wall of Grey Is not aesthetically pleasing. You could ague the game will be good even if the visuals are dated (even dated visuals can be stunning when created creatively), this aside your trailer is basically your screenshots in motion with the addition of an animated light. That is not a game I want to play or recommend to anyone

    *the Forrest, You need Forrest reference I cannot STRESS THIS ENOUGH. There is No shrubbery no bushes No ground cover A Forrest does not consist only consist of trees and ground. If nothing else use shrubbery and rocks to hide your obvious geometry seams where the tree trunks intersect the ground plane.

    I write this in hopes that you will take some negative feedback on board and create something thrilling as I don’t believe this is your A game. Good luck

    Reply
    • Ole Helland says:

      Hey, John!

      First of all, sorry for getting back to you so late, but this was held back by the spam-filter for some reason. D:

      Anyway, thanks for the comment! We appreciate all kinds of feedback here at Antagonist.

      As for Old Erik, I’m not sure if you’re aiming at his name being bad or not, but the name comes from a Norwegian folklore name (“Gamle Erik”), or Old Nick as he’s called in English ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Nick ). This might have been a bit too vague on our part, but we wanted to give a small nod to the stories we grew up with, hoping that some, if not only a few would recognize it. I would like to stress that this is only the first teaser of our project, and we’ve barely scraped the surface of the story, so please get back to us when we release more, as I’d love to hear your opinions as we go along.

      I’m sorry that you didn’t like the teaser. We knew it was really early to go out with something of a visual tease, and we probably should have stressed this more in the preliminary text. So that one’s on us. We have a new teaser coming out soon’ish, and I hope you’ll see it!

      Reply
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