8th Sea is a marine exploratory game that I made in a team of 7 people over the course of 13 weeks. The idea we pitched was to have players explore, collect, and ‘process’ different kinds of fish in cooperative gameplay.
For this project, I did the look development, models and animations for characters and fish, and designed and modeled the environment. Here are some concept renders I made for our production materials.
In early phases, we looked at games like Overcooked which uses simplified shapes to create clear silhouettes. I decided to try an extreme low-poly look for this game, with a heavy reliance on triangular faces.
As a collecting game, we also wanted the world to look really vibrant to encourage exploration. The characters and fish utilise unlit materials in-game to make them stand out against the background. The unlit materials were hand-picked colour gradients by the artists (myself and one other person).
We wanted the playable area to be 3D, such as the lab and the submarine, but players would be able to control the submarine in 2D axes for exploration. I designed the submarine to look like an animated fish for extra cuteness, and kept silhouettes simple to declutter the screen space.
To achieve a beautiful, open-ocean effect for the 2.5D environment that we were making, I combined light ray sprites with limited realtime spot lights and programmed a slight movement to mimic light shafts and caustics from surface waves.