Hello, Jon here, our lead artist!
You’re reading our first ever blog post! How exciting! To kick things off I wanted to talk a bit about how we arrived at the artstyle for our upcoming game The Great Sassanelli.
The Great Sassanelli takes place in central europe during the beginning of World War One, so right around 1914. We took a look at what kind of art movements were around back then and also what circuses were doing to promote themselves. Then we considered how we could represent the themes of the story and how to mix everything together create a personalized artstyle. First, a touch of history:
Art Nouveau was the leading art movement at the turn of the century. It was being used for everything from interior decorations, to architecture, to marketing illustrations and was adopted by the circus scene as well.
The swirling, golden oppulence on display in much of art nouveau was something that meshed very well with our idea of how Madame Gloria’s circus would have presented itself, so we knew we wanted to bring that aspect into our game’s visuals. We incorporated it into the UI elements aswell as the design of the circus wagons and characters.
By 1914, Art Nouveau was already kind of on it’s way out, being replaced by Art Deco, but we figured that our Circus would still be rocking the “old” style since it would be tough to stay up to date and to revamp the look of the circus while also being out on the road, barely scraping by.
The Great Sassanelli takes place during one of Europe’s darkest chapters but the story never loses touch with a sense of hope and a kind of underlying magic in the world. There’s a lot of wonder mixed in with all the darkness. To support these themes in the artstyle we looked to more modern artists like like Graciela Genovés and Vitalii Kulikov, that use colour and shape in a much more playful and abstract way. That’s how we wanted represent the more optimistic aspects of our world.
To tie these influences together we decided to work with some aspects of impressionism, specifically the way colour breathes through layers of paint. Impressionism’s focus on the subjective experience of the artist is also something that works well to support the themes of our game.
How it came out
After much interation at the beginning of the project, and a non-trivial amount of artistic growth during the course of development we have what you’ll see in the game today, that is, in the trailers and screenshots of course.
I hoped you liked this little peek into our thought process and we’ll see you in the next post!