One of my side projects in 2022 was experimenting with Camille C on various game ideas, more as experiments in visuals and feel than anything. I like the idea of trying to capture a mood, and her bright, vibrant style is much more exuberant and hopeful than a lot of the games I tend to work on. Quite an interesting experience trying to shift my familiar style into that kind of atmosphere.
This overhead map piece was probably the most enjoyable thing for me to paint in those tests - I was trying to create that essence of a downtown shopping district in the kind of game that might have been marketed at high school students in the 00s. The sort of affair where your activities might be shopping, hanging out with friends, doing homework, etc. I always thought that games like The Sims present an interesting and worthy alternative to the very dramatic and violent standard that we expect now, without shifting into the sort of look that might be used for a game aimed at children under 10 like Mario or Sonic.
For me, starting with a base of green, orange and purple made a lot of sense here. When doing Unavowed I started my tests with the “classic primary” colour palette of red, blue and yellow, and in my hands those colours tend to be very dramatic and sombre. Shifting into the “classic secondary” palette like this allowed me to get as far away from that as possible to help me kick things off in the right direction. I also like how this allowed me to bring in the teal and gold as really lively feature colours to help highlight things that I wanted people to look at, and working with clean, white outlines felt very vibrant and crisp to me, an attempt to match Camille’s very clean and punchy character style.
One element I did keep around was leaning into showing some brush strokes and not cleaning up too much. I do think that this kind of look gives so much texture and a sense of detail which bring a liveliness to a scene that very clean paint work cannot supply. This also highlights the sort of scene that I am very fortunate to be able to mockup in 3D and then paint over - I absolutely would not want to attempt this with a grid if on a time limit.
This is just a start, but I think it’s great to try and expand our styles. Every slightly new direction helps me flesh out my skill set! We plan to keep working on things in 2023, so expect to see more of this exuberant look!