News of a new map being created by EPIC came as quite a surprise to many. Since the announcement they've continued to roll out blog posts detailing the reasoning behind the venture. The new blog post details how EPIC iterated on the original map and what the new map involves in terms of feel, style and verticality. It's a really interesting blog post and it's brilliant to see the alpha version of Agora. Take a look at the full post below.
Hey Paragon people,
This week we’re looking at the art and visual design changes for Monolith. It’s all a part of our series previewing the new map for Paragon. You can read our previous blogs announcing the map and outlining thesafe lane. You’ll see “Legacy” referenced below, which is what we’re calling the map you’re playing now.
So, let’s talk about art.
Everything here is still very much a work in progress but we want to give it to you as soon as possible. So as the saying goes, this is how the Paragon sausage is made. Enjoy.
Looking Back, Moving Forward
As we’ve said before, we’re trying to show you things early and iterate on Paragon. With Monolith we’re taking it even further by showing things very early while we still make changes and develop the art style for the map. We’d like to show you some examples of the visual progression you’ll see as we develop the map.
Here’s some old footage of Agora when it was at a similar place in its life. You’ll see that most surfaces are solid colors and very blocky. By keeping the geometry simple this allows us to make quick and drastic changes to the design of the map based on playtests and design goals.
As you can see here, we’ve come a long way in creating a lush, vibrant world.
To Dusk And Dawn
One of the visual features of Monolith that excites us is giving each team’s side a unique feeling and architectural style. First, we’ve given each of the teams a uniquely designed side of the map: Dawn and Dusk.
The Dawn side will have colors and architecture you’re more familiar with on Legacy. There will be lively greens, yellows and blues. Lush plant life covers the terrain while the architecture will be more round with brighter materials. Here is an early concept of what’s being developed for the Dawn side.
The Dusk side utilizes architecture with sharper edges and more metal. The colors will be warmer, with oranges and browns covering the terrain and structures. We think this will give you clearer landmarks as you move around Monolith.
Next, here’s a look at Monolith’s safe lane. In Monolith you’ll notice we’re using more refined models that have some texture information, this helps convey speed and scale a little better than the basic block meshes we used in Legacy.
While the design team iterates on the layout and size in the playable map, the art team starts creating concept art and iterates. We take a small portion of the map, shown above, and push the art as far as we can in a short amount of time to get an idea of what the level could look like. Below we have an example of the same area you see above, that we’ve continued to iterate upon. To be more specific, this area is near the river looking toward the Dawn side’s safe lane. The art team took the current design layout and focused on the visuals in this area to get an idea of how the rest of the map could be developed.
One of the most unique features of Paragon is the full 3D verticality of the MOBA playspace. We want to make that as good as it can be in Monolith and everything we do going forward. There are some vertical elements in Legacy that are so high that some Heroes can’t take advantage and can lead to some lopsided combat interactions. We have been working to really figure out what healthy vertical gameplay looks like. What is “high and feels cool” but not so high that it’s a huge disadvantage to those on the lower ground? We continue to explore this a lot and have some new ideas in Monolith for you to try out.
We hope this gives you just a little insight on how we’re approaching art and art design. Next week we’ll give you a closer look at the mid lane. We can’t wait to get Monolith in your hands as soon as possible!
- The Paragon Team
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