Rooty Isles Theme/Mood Notes
Rooty Isles' theme and mood was very important because it acted as a tool to guide players and the method for delivering the game's story. On one side of the map is the kindhearted Saladons, a plant people with a rich tropical environment. On the other side is the evil Thornsouls, a desert plant people with a dry desert environment.
Since the Saladon's isles are supposed to be rich tropical environments, I created their base isle with plenty of healthy plants ranging from small to large in size. They were also given huge curly trees that cast interesting shadows on the ground. Textures of healthy grass and fertile soil were applied to the terrain while the rock texture was used to designate the paths through their base. The Saladon's base isle became a warm inviting place that appeared more like a vacation destination.
The Thornsoul's had desolate desert environments that created a mood of despair and anguish. Tall rocky mountains were created to form sharp pointy shadows that ominously bared down on the isle. Ravines are carved into the mountains giving a hint to where water once flowed. Numerous rocks were placed across the landscape while plants were kept small and in low amounts. A dry sand texture and a stale rock texture portrays a desolate land that is slowly dying from neglect.
A unique environmental feature was created for both bases to give each isle its own identity and leave players awestruck with amazement.
Early in the development of Rooty Isles the team had decided to add waterfalls to the game. This became the defining feature that decorates the Saladon's base isle. I created large rock piles where the waterfalls would originate from and then I placed the waterfall particles inside the rock piles. This created a nice visual effect of water cascading over the isle's edges.
After the Saladon's received their unique environment feature, the team's lead artist suggested I use floating rocks for the Thronsoul's base isle. I placed a few rocks floating above the isle just to see how it would appear. The idea slowly evolved into a rock canopy that appeared to protect the Thornsoul's base isle like an umbrella. Although it can be difficult to tell at a glance, I placed the floating rocks to form curving paths in the air.