Failsafe Devlog V: The Concept Art Workflow

Hi everyone! My name is Noe Leyva, I joined the Game Over team to help out on the art side of things as a concept artist for Failsafe. I’m going to talk a little bit about the process used in the creation of the concept art, as we narrow in on the aesthetics that will define the final look of Failsafe.

Most video game projects undergo a series of visual changes from the moment of inception to the very last stages of their completion. It is not very often that the consumer gets an inside look at these “visual steps” throughout the development process. Part of what makes it exciting to work for an indie game company is the transparency in which games are made. From a fan’s perspective, I consider that having an inside look at the game making process is a treat and a great source for education.

When I first joined Game Over, I was asked to create a piece that would serve as a point of reference for the mood and visual style for Failsafe (shown below).

Although, in its current state, Failsafe features a somewhat different appearance, many of the elements featured in this image are still called upon in the creation of current art.

If you check out past development logs by our awesome crew, you can see some in-game footage of Failsafe. What you see there, is a much more stylized appearance. In developing the aesthetics for Failsafe, taking inspiration from animated films and nailing down a more stylized animated appearance is a goal of ours. Although none of the art seen here is final, we hope to achieve a look that complements the narrative and scope of the project.

When creating a concept art piece, I often call upon the help of 3D aids to set up a scene. This is something that is commonly used and provides many advantages for artists and helps others visualize a 3D space in a clear manner. Shown below is a proposed waterway scene, that is quickly built in a 3D program. Here I can play with the camera angle and lighting, until a composition is decided upon.

3D scene

3D scene

Final composition

Final composition

After I choose a composition for the image, I export a screenshot from the 3D program and into a photo editing program where I add various details and decide on a mood that the scene will take.

Final concept scene

Final concept scene

As you can see, most of the elements were in place from the 3D render. By adding some environment details that further portray a sense of decay, as well as adding our main character for a better sense of scale, we can consider this image done.

It is both a pleasure and a source of great fun coming up with images that directly affect most aspects of the development process in Failsafe.I look forward to sharing more art as we continue work on Failsafe!