About a month ago, we announced our partnership with SquareHusky to publish Everafter Falls, our cute, story rich, farming sim where you rediscover the simple life– after waking up from a simulation.. You’ve no memory of this place, your quaint animal neighbors, the refreshing wind and fragrant flowers, the little farm you had tucked away just outside town, none of it.
You can wishlist Everafter Falls on Steam!
I talked with Ou Te, the designer behind SquareHusky and creator of Everafter Falls, and asked him some questions to gain some insight to share on the game’s iconic art! If you’d like to keep up with Ou, I’d recommend following him on Twitter!
Where did you get your inspiration for the art design in Everafter Falls?
When I started working on the art style for the game, a couple of preview trailers came out for another game called “Swords of Ditto”. I used this a lot for inspiration, and the final result was somewhere between that, and the best my art skills could take me.
Were there any art directions you consider going before falling on the current one?
There was a bit of an internal debate between going with pixel art, and the route I eventually chose. The final decision was made due to what I perceived to be easier for me to achieve. I absolutely love pixel art but know that to pull it off well takes an insane amount of time and skill.
What challenges did you face with the art design you picked?
It took a while for me to figure out the easiest way to achieve the look I wanted, and to do it consistently. I experimented with painting using a graphics tablet initially, but soon realized that a vector approach using Illustrator was the way to go. It took a lot of time to develop a style that was not too time-consuming, but had enough detail to look decent. A lot was trial and error
Do you have some early sketches or art progression of characters, environments, etc. that you would like to show off?
Here is a very early mockup I created of what I envisioned the game might look like. It was done before I committed to creating any of the final assets used in game, and I used it as a guide for how the game eventually turned out.
What is a step by step on how to draw one of the characters in Everafter Falls?
When deciding on how a character is drawn, you should first work out exactly how they will be set up and animated in the game engine. I set this up in a way that I could quickly create new characters by drawing the least number of assets possible. This was achieved by breaking the character components into only a head and torso component. This way, I only needed to provide front, back, and side views of these two assets. The hands and feet are simple shapes that I set up once, and used code to change the colors to match the character.
Below are some examples of character sprite sheets used in Everafter Falls.
What was your favorite asset that you created for Everafter Falls?
This fish fountain, because it is the only asset I had to redo from scratch after my computer crashed. I am normally very OCD with CTRL+S every couple of minutes. And illustrator is normally really good at recovering files after a crash. But both these things did not happen in this instance. I guess I must have been really engrossed in drawing this and recall working on it for a couple of hours before completely losing the first version, which I am adamant was much better than this one. After much cursing at the top of my lungs, and resigning to having to do it again, this was the result.
What are some tips you can give other indie artists?
It is definitely worth the time to try and flesh out a style early on that you are happy with, while also being feasible. Especially if you have a smaller team or are working solo, you need to be efficient with the time you have to dedicate to art. I feel that a cohesive and consistent look is really important and can go a long way to making your game more visually appealing. Be prepared to iterate often during the early stages, but once you have a style nailed down, the process should be frustratingly difficult or time consuming. If it is, I would go back and rethink your style.