View Full Version : Thoughts on the dev build art direction.

10-24-2011, 01:47 PM
So, after having managed to luck out and get me access to the dev build (thanks Shan), here are my thoughts!

The first thing that occurs to me is that the art direction reminds me a lot of that used in Torchlight, and Sphax's PureBD texture pack for Minecraft. This is no bad thing.

The base for this was laid out in World of Warcraft, I'll admit that and I'm no fan of WoW myself (sorry WoW fans!), but WoW did a number of things wrong with the art style. For one thing, before Cataclysm, WoW's art direction was very washed out. Sometimes it was pastel almost to the point of being greyscale. So while you could say that WoW was cartoony, it was a very dull sort of cartoon.

And the textures weren't really high enough of a resolution to pull it off. So it never came together for WoW and it ended up looking really ugly (and ugly in a bad way). But with games like Torchlight and the utilisation of newer technologies, you can see where that art direction is going.

It's very simplistic, stylised, and one evolution over WoW that Torchlight made (that Cataclysm built upon) is the use of brighter, more distinctive colour palettes and sharper lines. With an art direction like this, being distinctive is important, and even being a little exaggerated helps, too. It can't be mushy or blurry anywhere because that'll kill it (as it did for WoW, due to the engine not being able to realise it back then). But if you manage to get that sense of it being a cartoon down just right...

And I think Toki Tori does. It's simple, clean, fresh, and very sharp. It's definitely cartoony but I think that style suits Toki Tori perfectly. Moreover, it's a natural evolution of the first Toki Tori, and a very modern approach. The original Toki Tori was one of my favourite games, and artistically it always reminded me of what a HD version of what an old console game would look like. and to go up from there? This is the right direction.

The only thing that I might suggest is that perhaps some shadowing could be done to make Toki Tori himself feel more a part of the environment. I'd say that TF2's style of phong shading might do it. That or perhaps a more cell-shaded approach, I'm not sure! Anyway, I know this is a very early build and things like that aren't being looked at just yet.

That said... I really like what I see. It's really nice and very stylish. I look forward to seeing more of it.