Been a while since we posted progress, but don’t worry, we’ve been working hard on trying to find an artstyle for our maps and its been quite a riddle to figure out, I think we now have a direction going on. First, we tried a style without textures, only using vertex colors and really low polycount.
But we realized that it didn’t look really nice without lighting and some more detail
After lots of playtesting and asking people opinions we decided to use more detailed maps with lots of polys instead of textures
And it was really expensive to put a small scene like this with only polygons so we ended up remaking the style from scratch.
We looked up some animes for reference like Soul Eater and lots of comic books, which is the style we were going for from the begining, and this is the result
There is still a lot of work to polish the style but I think this is the direction we needed.
Also I figured out how to make stylished outlines for the models
So yeah, we were quite busy working on all this stuff that I completely forgot to update haha, I’ll try to keep you guys up to date more often, promise!
So I think I posted about it at the end of last year, but my sensei passed away in November. It was a huge loss, as he was a friend and mentor (my “karate dad”)… but also because he was an amazing martial artist and instructor. I’ve been limping along at my home dojo and trying to connect with the other instructor’s teaching style, but it’s a bad fit… and I’m stagnating… and I’d actually go so far as to say I’ve lost a lot of ground in the last six months.
So I’m going to quit that dojo, which is very hard because it’s been “home” for the last four years.
So I have 3 options:
1. Switch to a new dojo in the same style.
2. Change styles and start from scratch.
3. Quit martial arts.
I’ve been trying out classes at another dojo, and I like them a lot… it’s a very sharp school and the sensei is very good. However, I’m very rusty and not performing at my level… and my anxiety is in high gear because of it. I am so self-conscious that I’m having trouble performing and enjoying the class. I think switching anywhere within the same style and being expected to perform at a black belt level would be the same ditch, and I’m not sure about the other schools in realistic driving range in terms of instructor quality.
Another option is to switch styles and start over, which would be much, much lower anxiety because there would be no expectations on me. However, I would be sad to lose my current style, as I don’t think I could mentally maintain two. I would certainly overwrite Isshin Ryu with whatever I chose (likely Kung Fu or Aikido). I also know that sensei would be pissed with me for quitting… and yes, it’s not like he’s around anymore but I would like to do right by the time he focused with me.
The last option would be quitting entirely for a few months in the hope that things settle out… and spend a few months with other athletic pursuits until I feel the right direction. However, taking a break my skills will atrophy further, and it will become even harder to go back.
I feel like if I can stick it out through the first few weeks of the new dojo, I’ll be okay… but it’s just… really, REALLY hard. It is so terrifying to switch schools, between social anxiety and just NORMAL stress over dojo switches. I haven’t even told my current school I’m leaving yet.
Anyway, fellow martial artists, any advice is welcome.
Pssst….guess what? Here is my first picture done in this style where I’ve gone from scratch, no references used :)
Levi is wearing Erwin’s jacket, way too big for him of course, and despite being tagged for ownership, he has absolutely no intention of ever giving it back. Also he secretly enjoys being property of Erwin…
Few days ago we published a new video on Youtube that shows the first few minutes of a game called Ambient.White. Many of you are probably wondering “What does that mean?! Where is Ambient.Prologue? What happened?”.
What happened is – there will be no Ambient.Prologue anymore. As our patrons and some of you already know, during this silent period of time, we have been changing our goals. Ambient.Prologue was initially planned as a “demo” with a short, unfinished story, amatuer level boring gameplay and hardly acceptable quality – the product I could’ve done myself at that time. However, a lot has changed in the last year.
About a year has passed since ALBD started working together. A year full of tough decisions, lots of experimentation and valuable lessons in game development and team management. The project we had planned before has transformed into something much more serious now. With the support from bronies, the help of our new, loyal, talented team, and the large amount of experience, we have redefined our goals and style from scratch. All of this so we could make a game with truly fun and interesting gameplay, a fully independent, emotional story and unique beauty in graphics and sound; and all of that is supported with good optimization. We set the mark of quality we could be proud of – one that can be called nothing less than amazing! At that point we understood: this game is not just a prologue anymore. It is the full, first episode/volume in the Ambient series – Ambient.White!
TLDR: Later this summer, we’ll launch our next event called Bilgewater: Burning Tides. As part of the event, the temporary Butcher’s Bridge ARAM map brings Bilgewater to life for the first time in game. Read on to learn more about the new map and the creative storm at Riot inspired by the possibilities in the teeming port city.
Bilgewater: Burning Tides sails into port later this summer, but content from the event starts hitting PBE over the next few weeks. Consider this article a spoiler-free sneak peek, but you may want to avoid Bilgewater-related news until the event kicks off if you want to follow along with the story.
Bilgewater anchors the latest lore-inspired event after the Shadow Isles, the Freljord, and Shurima. Teams all over Riot felt it was pretty obvious the bustling port would make an awesome setting for an event for a while now. Narrative and world-building teams laid groundwork for an overlap of cultures and styles that’d scuff up the image of the place, and help the gritty black market come alive.
WE’RE HEADING TO BILGEWATER
We ended up choosing Bilgewater when a dev team built a Bilgewater-style ARAM map from scratch during one of our Thunderdome hackathons. Everyone’s enthusiasm at seeing Bilgewater realized in-game drove the overarching thematic of the event. After the jolt of creativity sparked by Thunderdome, tons of teams across Riot banded together to deliver a Bilgewater experience with a wide swath of content–including a re-imagined evolution of that Thunderdome map.
A NEW ARAM MAP
Butcher’s Bridge brings Bilgewater to life in game. In the new map, the original native culture of Bilgewater and the outside influence from across Runeterra meld together, showing off the stratified melting pot of races, cultures, and creeds.
We’ve incorporated blends of ancient and modern Bilgewater imagery on inhibitors, nexii, towers, and scattered around the bases. On one side, boat houses flank a temple door, and on the other side a giant ship hull sits ensconced, ringed by temple carvings on the sides of the cliffs. Rotating cannon turrets launch heavy artillery fire along with other small details designed to put you inside the pirate bay.
We’re focusing on the visuals in this blog because the gameplay for ARAM isn’t changing at all; you’ll still experience the same frenetic all-random action. It’s just that now, given the nature of the slaughter-docks, you’ll be fighting on what is quite literally a murder bridge.
TAKING ANOTHER LOOK
With the overall event goal to deliver an in-depth exploration of the world, we had to rethink exactly what it means to be a denizen of Bilgewater. Our explorations into the pirates, smugglers, and shanty-dwellers led us to an indigenous island society when it became clear the city had existed for centuries.
From those suggestions, artists evolved the architecture of the islands with vibrant colors, uniquely textured shapes, and decorative motifs. The native culture took on a bigger role in shaping the look of the environment, emphasizing the hunting and harvesting trade the indigenous peoples had made of sea monsters.
SEA MONSTERS AND SEA-FARERS
Sea monster hunting and harvesting is a common way of life in Bilgewater, and seeing behemoths rise from the deep is just part of a normal day for grizzled veterans of the criminal haven. As a result, you’ll see sea monster iconography all over the event, as part and parcel of Bilgewater’s unique appearance.
The bustle and grind of a busy port betrays the wide variety of influences on the city. Between inverted Freljordian longships against the carved cliff-faces and the slow evolution of indigenous carvings and hints at other regions of the world, the depth in the narrative behind the streets and the culture finds new forms of expression.
We named the new map after the massive dilapidated bridge looming above the slaughter-docks. Once an ancient stone bridge that led to a temple entrance, it’s been kept up haphazardly and now makes the perfect battleground for an all-random fray.
As Runeterra’s biggest black market, keep your eyes peeled for clandestine, coded messages, illicit hextech pilfered from Piltover, and other easter eggs hidden amongst the shopkeepers’ wares and the assorted scattered items around the scene.
MORE TO COME
We’re putting Butcher’s Bridge through the wringer on PBE, and it’ll be moored up there just a little while since we still have some work left to make her seaworthy. One last note on the map: while Butcher’s Bridge is replacing Howling Abyss as your go-to destination for all-random assault during Bilgewater: Burning Tides, we’re still exploring post-event options.
Share your first impressions of the newest ARAM map and the upcoming event in the comments below or over on the boards. We’re excited to hear what you think, and can’t wait to join you for Bilgewater: Burning Tides, the next League of Legends event!