A ransacked children’s room – by Amie Landry

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Amie Landry is an artist/animator on ZPOC and she has been designing the world of ZPOC….

  The theme of this room’s prefab was ransacked. After I decided that I would make the room a child’s room, I thought of what kids would do while their parents ran around collecting what they needed. I pictured the parents explaining to their children what was happening in a very gentle, endearing way. I imagined the parents saying that monsters were coming to their home and eating it up, which is why they had to leave and couldn’t come back. I then thought of how children might relate “monster” to the monsters that haunted the darkest parts of their room. So I placed a box of toys in front of the door leading outside to reflect the innocence of children’s imagination. That a simple box of toys might be able to fend off the monsters and keep their house safe.

New Game play music from ZPOC

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  The music you are listening to is one of the songs during game play. While recording and producing this we wanted a very gritty and raw feeling that would compliment the art style. As I was going through the production process I wanted to convey what it would be like if you were wandering around a town looking at death. How does your mind survive that? What does that sound like?

For ZPOC I have been using Acid Music Studio 9.0 and a little bit of the Ableton.

The beginning of ZPOC


Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The beginning of ZPOC

By Mark Stefanowicz Studio Art Director

 Shaun Nivens is the true creator and inspiration of this ZPOC tale.  He would often bring up a couple of games he was interested in making while we would be at lunch. One of them was ZPOC, Shaun wanted to bring the Dwarf Fortress inspired sim genre to the zombie apocalypse – something that seemed like such a natural fit but had yet to be done. He’d been bouncing the idea around with different teams over the years (since 2009) – but hadn’t found a chance to get a group together that were passionate for the style or genre. The recent successes of games such as Rimworld and Prison Architect had finally begun to open up more conversations about the sim niche and the audiences that were interested in these types of games.

 Even with the more recent examples in the market, frankly I still could not see the image in my head so honestly I dismissed it as an artist.

 When we formed Lost Boys Interactive in 2016 we were wondering what type of game to make. I told Shaun we should make his ZPOC game. I still did not have a visual direction but we decided to go for it.

 When I work on a project or a painting I have to be able to see it in my head first, then  I can execute on it.  In this case I thought of the environment and the people that live in this world. What do they do everyday? What do they smell? Eat? How do they survive? After all it is an Apocalypse game.  This was the very first look dev we did for ZPOC. Once we evaluated the production costs and time it would take to create this we decided to go in a different direction.

XPoc

 We did some digging around for some assets to try and get the game and a visual look done faster. Do we really need to go in a realistic style to create a good Zombie Apocalypse game? What if we went with Cartoon, Blocky or 2D? So we needed to set a goal for the look

 The goal of this image was to try and capture the look and feel of the game in one image.

1. The art style had to encompass

Dark

Gritty

Horrific

Relatable

Mood

Simple

2.  Think Walking Dead meets Minecraft

The image below is put together in Maya and was a simple render. The scene has a teddy bear and a shotgun in a kids room with a pool of blood.  What happened in the room? Well, ZPOC is your story, you decide…

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   The second image below is a touched up version in photoshop. We painted in some god rays and haziness for mood. We also adjusted the colors and gave it an eerie warm glowing feel to it. Our first reaction to this stage was it had the simplistic, dark and moody look we were going for but it was not quite there yet.

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 The next image was the final look. I really amp’ed up the brightness and contrast in photoshop. Then we added in some grit and grime and paint crack overlays as well. We were able to fake bloom with some artistic trickery. Shaun and I both looked at the image and thought “That is the look for ZPOC” and we never looked back.

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Welcome to the beginning of  Z-BLOG

  Stay tuned for the next blog to see how we created the trailer for ZPOC and other posts from our internal art, design and development team at Lost Boys Interactive while they create the game.

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