Editor’s Note: For the next couple of weeks we are going to feature a set of articles that should shed some light on how Legend of Grimrock was made. The articles range from graphics and animation to sound design and programming. For gamers or hobbyists we hope to give you some idea what game development is about. If you’re a fellow game developer hopefully these articles will give you some ideas for your projects. Without further due, let’s give the floor to Juho! -Petri

Legend of Grimrock has a storyline running under its hood and to help it get it moving we needed an intro sequence in the beginning of the game. Naturally some fancy big money cinematic was out of the question, so we had to come up with some more down to earth type of solution. Pretty quickly we narrowed our options to still images with overlaid text. That was relatively easy and fast to do, but allowed more freedom for the player to watch the images and read the texts in his/her own pace. Intro sequences’ main purpose was to set the mood and setting for the game with the help of iconic tune by Stakula (which we talked earlier in here).

In this post I’ll show some tricks of trade on how the intro images were created. The images were mostly made with the same techniques that are used in movies to create so called matte paintings. They are a combination of photo manipulation, painting and rendered 3d objects. I used mostly my own photo library of various things I’ve photographed during trips and vacations over the years. Majority of the mountains are from Lapland and north Norway I visited couple years ago with my wife. We had to stop the car all the time when I saw something cool I wanted to take a photo of.

 

Final image showing the airship approaching Mount Grimrock.

Initial sketch and couple of examples how I used photos I shot during my trip to north Norway.

 

Inmates walking towards their doom and the Great Statues Magister Alarast talked about.

Initial sketch, some textures used to build the rocks and Olli posing for the character reference.

 

The Gaping Maw and the final trial.

Sketch and 3d scene to block out the composition.

 

Inside the Maw.

Sketch, example of a rock texture used to build the cliffs and 3d characters posed for reference.

So, that’s it. Just slab some photos over each other, twist random color knobs, trow in a little virtual paint and bam, you got a matte painting. :)

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