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  • Crafting Nightmares: Othercide's Art Direction

    [03.12.20]
    - Alexandre Chaudret

  • Gears of Fear

    One by one, the rules of Othercide's art direction were set, always in adequation with the gameplay and the lore. It was very important to keep those three aspects tied together: gameplay driving the art direction, the art direction building and inspired by the lore, the lore influencing the two others... It is a creative cycle, going through iteration after iteration until the whole game stands cohesively on its own.

    A good example of those rules are the Daughters themselves: replicas of an original legendary heroine, these fearless sisters follow some strict guidelines. They all have white hair, are thin and agile (in contrast with the more "tanky" silhouettes we can sometimes find in the tactical genre), and wield giant, white ethereal weapons. A red scarf around their necks creates a vivid red "scratch" in the black and white world they wander. Each time they take a hit, the scarves grey out slowly... until they vanish, swallowed by the dark waters of the Void. This is a way to flavor a gameplay mechanic (health, permadeath) through the art direction (red colour, contrast) and the lore: the Daughters are the last spark of light in an ocean of darkness.


    Illustration by Sébastien De Louvigny / Art Direction by Alexandre Chaudret

    The battles of Othercide take place "in between two worlds", where the laws of space, time and reality don't always occur. We didn't want to settle on a "grounded" universe, so as the lore evolved, we literally "shattered" reality: what was a city inspired by Paris architecture (our studio is in Paris) became the Dark Corner; a flooded world where it is constantly raining, where pavements and subways meet clay and organic flesh. Giant statues draw shadows on this mirrored world, trapped in the mind of the Child. Some odd aspects of reality can also become a great source of inspiration. For example, did you know that some people dream exclusively in black and white?

    Crafting (with passion) a video game is never an easy task. It's a long iterative process, a pirate ship sent through a foggy ocean in hope of finding a great treasure. Each member of the crew has their role, from the captain reading the map, to those who are holding the sails or pushing the oars. We set our course, we try to hold the direction, even when the wind is bad or when the island seems far, far away.  

    I can't imagine that we are getting close to the end yet. We are sailing the last miles before shore, and the ocean is rougher than ever, waves crushing our boat and lighting storms up ahead. But I am sure that we will be proud in the end.

    Because that's what pirates do. 

    Thanks for reading! If you want to find out more about Othercide, feel free to check our Steam page for the game!

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