The developers gave us first infos about a small village on the coast of northern Spain, far away from everything. They suggested the beautiful town of Cudillero in Asturias.
Cudillero has a very particular distribution of houses leading down the slope of a very steep mountain.
For example, here we can see an early sketch the developers did based on one of Cudillero’s photos to get a feel for how they might translate it into a style they could use throughout the game:
The developers quickly realized that this style and complexity would be difficult to maintain and reproduce, so they looked for other alternatives. After some changes to the script, the town was no longer near the coast, so they moved it to a more traditional town in the interior of Galicia.
For the style, given the scarce resources the developers had, they went for a very sketchy, simplified, conceptual style with a lot of emphasis on lighting. However, since the characters they got from their illustrator were very well defined, clean, and detailed, they had to turn to a more finished look, so the final style ended up being much more detailed and polished than they had originally expected.
Create a melancholic feeling
The story begins with a girl who has lost her memories and is trying to find herself and solve the mystery she is involved in. To match this sad and melancholic feeling with the lighting, the developers made sure that the sky over Antiquonia is cloudy almost all the time. The result is outdoor shots with very low contrast and saturation, and very soft shadows and colors. The developers think this gives the game a very different feel, away from the current trend of over-saturation and childish themes, and invites us to a more adult, calm and serene experience that fits very well with their very special point & click adventure.
Regarding the design of the backgrounds, the developers never thought there would be so many nuances and specifics to consider to make them coherent with the action of the story and all its phases. That is indeed a challenge in a point & click adventure game. Nevertheless, they tried to make them as less orthogonal and repetitive as possible, always looking for different angles and interesting camera positions.
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