Turning Outer Wonders into pixel art

Turning Outer Wonders into pixel art

#outer-wonders #art

Hey, there you are again! So, maybe yo have read our previous blog post detailing how the concept and the universe of our game, Outer Wonders, were born in our minds, and you want to learn how we turned all of it into pixel art? Today's blog post is all about this!

First steps

When we started designing Outer Wonders, we knew we wanted to create a pixel art game.

Having already drawn concept art for the game (as shown in our previous blog post), Lyra quickly switched to pixel art for her research, using a tool called Piskel.

And brought Bibi's first looks to life.

Bibi's first looks, animated

This is also when the first visual assets (rocks, plants, mysterious entities) were added.

Rochers, végétation et objets mystérieux représentés en pixel art

Enter Batpoussin

At the time of making these first visual assets, our team was made up of only 2 people: Peacebringer and Lyra.

We had just joined an incubation program at Plaine Images, where we were made aware of the numerous tasks we would have to handle besides the making of the game in order to start our company. Tasks such as fundraising and marketing.

Although Lyra had the skills necessary to create the game's visual assets, her primary skills are level design and game design, i.e. the design of gameplay mechanics and the player's progression throughout the game.

As for Peacebringer, he was primarily a programmer; and as you probably know, the mind and the fingers of programmers are mostly tailored for the use of a keyboard rather than artistic creation through the power of a pencil or a stylus.

Hand drawing of Peacebringer and Lyra looking like Bibi

Luckily, we knew a bunch of artists who might be interested in collaborating with us!

For this reason, we made the decision to apply for a public subsidy to fund a collaboration with an artist (and we obtained it successfully!), so that Lyra could devote more time to designing Outer Wonders and managing its production.

This is how Batpoussin (Nicolas Leroy), a 2D artist who had already contributed to commercial games alongside with Lyra and Peacebringer in other game studios, joined the team as a partner for the making of Outer Wonders.

Modernizing the art style

With Batpoussin collaborating with us, the art style of Outer Wonders was overhauled.

We first introduced our artistic baselines to Batpoussin using a mood board, as well as the research we had carried out thus far, after which he started designing a new look for Bibi.

Here are some of the first looks that Batpoussin then came up with for Bibi.

First looks designed by Batpoussin for Bibi

After many iterations, we selected the following look for Bibi.

The look we selected for Bibi

When Bibi's new design became a reality, we knew we had made the right decision by partnering with Batpoussin. We already knew how talented he was, and the modernity he brought to Outer Wonders' pixel art style was exactly what we were looking for.

We will be pleased to tell you more about the process behind the design of Bibi's look in a future blog post.

As Lyra was refining the game's mechanics and Peacebringer was summoning the spirits of the binary realm to turn of all of it into a video game doing exactly as told by the players, we saw our cute round monkey's fantastic universe come to life. Through pixel art!

First scenes designed by Batpoussin

Upon seeing this, we were truly excited to carry on this journey. We're eager to show you more!

In the meantime, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even subscribe to our RSS feed. A Discord community server is also on the way!

See you soon!