Developing In-Game Locations
The initial test version of ShelfLife was put together in GameMaker using 4 colour sprites and small simple tilesets. We will be adapting these assets into a combination of higher resolution sprites and low-poly 3D objects.
Below are some examples from the first area of the game - the protagonist's student flat housing. These mockups will be further developed into 2.5D environments to match our new, slightly more ambitious art direction. We're looking forward to honing our 3D skills and becoming more comfortable with software like Blender to achieve the aesthetic we are after.
ShelfLife owes some of it's influence to late 90's / early 2000's Role Playing Games, and when it comes to how we are devising our environments we have looked for inspiration in titles such as Capcom's Breath of Fire IV, Game Art's Grandia and Atlus's Persona 3.
All of these aforementioned games feature an isometric third-person perspective, and combine a fairly succinct overworld map with more elaborate 'featured' locations. These locations are selected from this map like options from a menu.
With regard to these late Playstation 1 era games, we are fascinated by the combination of pixel-art sprites and 3D / 2.5D backgrounds, and hope to implement these features for Shelf Life (admittedly due to a combination of nostalgic appreciation and technical limitations).
That being said, it's probably time for us to crack out the ol' PS1 and smash through some Grandia for 'research purposes'.