Welcome to the IndieDen, home of the SP Ent Team Blogs. Here you can find a growing body of writings from various members of SP Ent. on many subjects, including game dev, games, and entertainment. Our blogs are organized into Dens, for instance, the ArtDen, and, the CodeDen. There are also two special blogs: Paw Prints, which contains writings and musings about development and running an indie company from our Executive Director and Executive Producer Chris McKillip, and The Periwinkle Paw, which contains the written perspective of indie wife, Lead editor, and assistant producer, KC McKillip. Please read, comment, and enjoy.

What’s with All These Nature Pics?
SP Ent Admin
/ Categories: DesignDen

What’s with All These Nature Pics?

Research Trip Photography for Raptors’ Realm

When most people think of game development, they imagine a person hunched over a computer, working away at code or 3D art. That’s definitely an element of game development, one which we usually discuss in our Dev Updates, the next of which will hit The Game Den soon. For this post though, we thought it might be time to step in and discuss a different part of development, specifically related to those pictures we’ve been posting. Lately we’ve been posting a lot of images of plants, animals, and landscapes of natural places. Followers might wonder: what do these nature pictures have to do with game development?  We think it’s time to explain just why we’ve been gathering these images from a design perspective and why we like to post them.

Up a Tree Picture

As we work on any game, we do various types of research beginning from initial design and running until final coding and animation polish, including bits of level and art research. Level and art research are a bit like doing location research for a movie, only the locations inspire the creation of game elements and levels. To aid in this, we do a type of research which is meant to help us learn more about area types, objects like plants and animals, and in the case of Raptors’ Realm, seasonal effects on those things. Since Raptors’ Realm attempts to recreate the look and feel of certain environments in the real world, we travel to areas where we can gather information about that look and feel. Once we’re there, we observe. What kinds of plants and wildlife do we see? What do we hear? What does the area look and feel like? While doing this we also take many pictures so we can remind ourselves about what we experienced, so that we can share the look and feel of the area with the team members who weren’t there, and so that we have data for our photogrammetry pipeline. This helps us to recreate the look and feel of a particular area within the game. In Raptors’ Realm, this is helping us to create levels which look and feel much like the real-world habitats of the birds you will play in the game.

There’s also another set of benefits we gain out of these trips and all the pictures we take, and that’s that we can share them with our audiences. We can share them on social media, on our site in various ways, and for some of the best ones, as prints which you will be able to purchase soon. All of this helps us with our development in numerous ways and allows us to give you a look into what we’re working on, and what our inspiration and guiding visuals are looking like. For the foreseeable future, we plan to continue to post some of our research pictures to social media, add to the picture gallery we’ve added here, and add to our available prints. We hope you continue to enjoy viewing them as much as we enjoy gathering them!

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