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When the Light Dies » Project Update 3: Art Direction Spotlight

Welcome back!

After having given you some insight into what inspired us to create When the Light Dies as well as its unique survival mechanics, it is now time to shine the spotlight on the game’s suitably grimdark art direction!

We caught up with Liferson, Lead Pixel Artist at Electric Monkeys and Harrison, Lead Producer at PQube, to talk about their inspiration and references for the game’s unsettling art style.

Check out their answers below and don’t forget to wishlist and follow When the Light Dies here on Steam so that you don’t miss any updates and important announcements! Enjoy!

  1. What were the references for the game’s art style and art direction?

    Liferson: When the Light Dies’ art style combines Victorian foundational elements with Art Nouveau adornments and ‘Lovecraftian’ details. This is particularly apparent in the UI which helps to reinforce the game’s setting and overall tone.
    To get to a result, after checking and gathering appropriate references, I try to sketch something out of it, sometimes fusing certain characteristics between the gathered images, then I show it to the team for their approval and continue working on details and final touches before beginning the animation process.

    Harrison: The art direction came with the mid-19th century setting. We knew our protagonists and narrative and wanted the art style to evoke period features. This isn’t an easy thing to pull off in pixel art, but Liferson did a wonderful job with some high-quality designs and animations.

  2. What was the inspiration behind the enemy designs? Could we look at a few enemy examples?
  3. [/b]Liferson: Most of the enemies are inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s works, with cosmic creatures invading the human plane, while others appear as deformed objects from the Victorian era having been warped by the strange otherworldly nature of the game’s setting. Harrison: Our world features an unknown contagion that affects humans and animals alike in addition to otherworldly Lovecraftian horrors. Players will encounter rats, wolves, and humans who have been killed and resurrected and creepier, tentacled monstrosities. Our intention was to lean into the horror themes of fighting off the impending darkness and “what lurks outside the safety of the lantern light” so we wanted our monsters to be creatures you wouldn’t want to meet in the night-time, to say the least.

We hope you are enjoying checking out our regular project updates, we have got much more exciting content coming your way soon so stay tuned!

Until next time!

PQube & Electric Monkeys