#3 — Game Dev Blog: Two Paths Final Artwork

Process of creating the artwork for our final game project.

Final artwork sketched out by Avery Creed, inked digitally and rendered by me.

Two Paths is a visual novel/puzzle game that follows the story of Aisling, a young girl who loses her mother at a very early stage in her life and grapples with this loss through a set of Tarot cards that are passed down to her. This blog post will cover the process that went into developing the final artwork of our game created by myself, Avery Creed, Chan Myae Khin, and Jamie Yuan. Our final choice game engine choice for creating this demo was Twine.

A shared Google Slides amongst the group members used for storyboard concepts for the game.

For our storyboarding phase, we created a separate Google Slides doc that contained screenshots of every dialogue screen of the game. Collaboratively we began adding notes and images to concept the artwork for each scene and also created preliminary sketches as well.

Preliminary character concept art created by Chan Myae Khin.
Preliminary concept storyboard art created by me, Jenn Liv.
Preliminary concept art of the Death tarot card by Avery Creed.

Our main goals were to create a style that could represent all of our artistic talents in a consistent and unified way. We also wanted to create a style that felt like a picturebook while telling its narrative, with a focus on simple clean linework and a black and white aesthetic. One of our major inspirations for this was from another Twine game called ‘The Temple of No’ by Crows Crows Crows, which effectively uses simple yet charming black and white graphics combined with interactive text to tell a compelling story.

More rough storyboard sketches by me, Jenn Liv.

The final process for creating our artwork came down to using a pipeline method amongst the group members in order to maintain a style that could run cohesively throughout the entire game. We also decided that some of the game’s narrative would be told more immersively without images. Keeping this in mind, we were careful to select which gameplay screens would include images and which ones would be more effective with having only text.

Sketches for the Tarot card designs created by Avery Creed.

All of the final artwork was sketched out and designed by Avery Creed. The designs for each art scene were based on the gathered inspiration and preliminary sketches created by the group. Avery also intentionally created her sketches to mimick the simplified art style that I had used in one of our preliminary concept artwork creations. Afterward, the sketches were passed onto me using them as a base to be cleaned up and rendered for the final web game. I experimented with adding watercolour paper textures in Photoshop, to create a more ‘hand-drawn look’ to the artwork (again heavily inspired by The Temple of No).

Final art for the Fool, Death, and Hermit Tarot Cards in the game.
The Star Tarot Card.

All the final art was sketched and designed by Avery Creed, then inked digitally on Procreate and rendered in Photoshop by myself.

Final Thoughts: This process was a great way of discovering a solidified approach that combined all of our unique styles and methods into a unified and cohesive art style. This pipeline strategy of having each person handle each stage of the art development process proved to be an effective way for all of us to come together collaboratively as a group.

— This blog post was written for Emma Westecott’s Digital Games course at OCAD University.

Jenn Liv is an award-winning Chinese illustrator based in Toronto. Currently she is a MDes Candidate at OCAD U’s IAMD Program. http://www.jennliv.com