Behind the Wheel Part 3

Last week’s ‘Behind The Wheel’ took a look at some of the creative types responsible for the design, look and feel of our upcoming longboarding game Downhill Xtreme 2. This week we are talking to Nick Dent, Distinctive’s Creative Director and Andrew Pritchard, 3D Artist who give us more info on the exaggerated art style and what more we can expect.

Nick Dent – Creative Director

I’m the Creative Director here at Distinctive Games having worked here for over 12 years. I’ve been in the games industry for 20+ years, which I think falls into the veteran category (groans).

My role on DHX2 is to work closely with the programmers, artists, designers and producers, to develop the game to a high quality released game. Aspects from overseeing any high-level decisions that affects how the game plays, looks and sounds to the quality and style of the gameplay, artwork and audio.

Also for this project I am heavily involved in working on the game flow & menu design/layouts of the game.

Early menu sketches WIP
Early menu sketches WIP

From your point of view, what do you think has improved the most from the first Downhill Xtreme?

I think pretty much everything has and will be improved from the first Downhill Xtreme. The devices have got more powerful, the software we use to develop the game has improved allowing us to be more creative from both a technical and visual aspect and the people on the team have learnt more skills and tricks over the years to bring it all together.

How do you hope to showcase the ‘exaggerated reality’ art style in game?

To show the ‘exaggerated reality’ we aim to enhance the colours/saturation on all the visuals. Really make it vibrant and make an impact on screen. We have researched a number of games that we feel achieve this really well and will help us spark ideas and inspire.

What do you think has been the toughest challenge so far?

Without a doubt getting to grips with Unity. Previously we’ve all be using our internal tools and engines. But, as a team we seem to have overcome the majority of issues and teething problems that comes with learning new software and now looking to roll onto the finish line with an amazing game.

Menu screen WIP
Menu screen WIP

What are you most excited for about this game?

That’s a hard one to answer at this stage as there are so many improvements and new elements going into the game. So I guess bringing it all together and hopefully seeing and hearing that gamers and the longboard community are enjoying playing the new game the same or ideally more than the previous version.

Andrew Pritchard - Lead 3D Artist

My role at Distinctive is Lead Artist, with some technical know how thrown in! I’ve been doing this for over 14 years in the current company, but also worked for the company in it’s console days. I have a good mix of art and technical knowledge, which is a big help when it comes to getting great artwork onto devices with limited technical specs.

What is the biggest challenge that you have faced during the game’s development?

The biggest challenge has been moving to Unity from the old in-house developed Phoenix environment. Unity is a great development platform, and has a lot of depth, and of course different ways of doing things to get to grips with. We have been developing a Wiki based on our experiences of how to get the best out of Unity, which should help to inform DHX2, and also other projects going forward.

What kind of style/direction are the environments and scenery taking for this game?

For DHX2 we are creating an “exaggerated reality” style, full of vibrant colours and interesting visuals to distract the boarders as they race down the fiendishly designed courses we are constructing. Look out for obstructions, and interactive elements too!

DHX2 WIP Tracks
DHX2 WIP Tracks

What are you most proud of so far?

I am most proud of the way the DHX2 team has worked together to overcome all the technical and artistic challenges of our first Unity project. It’s been a thrilling ride so far, and a testament to the level of skill and quality of staff we have.

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With all things art and design covered, we’re moving on to the TECH side of things next week, so make sure you keep your eyes on our BLOG, FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Alternatively, sign up to our AWESOME NEWSLETTER