Development Profile - The Government Environment
Welcome to our next installment in our Development Profile series. This time, we’ll be taking a look at Mirage’s wealthy and opulent Government district, home of the Bashrahni Emirate!
Each of the environments in the game will represent a distinct piece of the world of Nankur, our setting for Mirage: Arcane Warfare. Our goal was to ensure that each of the environments had its own architecture, flora (plant life), mood, and colours, allowing the world to come to life around the players. Other details like birds, insects, blowing dust, and waterfalls will help to further immerse players into the world of Mirage. The Government district is one of many environments we have created for the world of Nankur, which will be featured in future Development Profiles!
In Mirage: Arcane Warfare, each of the environments will be used for various maps and game modes, from Team Objective and beyond.
As with the world of Mirage itself, the Government district in the city of Bashrahn was heavily influenced by the grand architecture and palaces of ancient Persia, Arabia, mixed with contemporary Islamic architecture. Minarets, domes, huge scale, and highly detailed accents would be featured and arranged to give players the sense of a well-planned, organized and very wealthy habitat for the ruling class.
Once the concept was solidified, we could begin work on level assets and environment art. White marble, gold accents, detailed artwork, and royal purple banners flying the Bashrahni emblem adorn the walls, while lush red gardens, and golden fountains can be found inside and out.
With the environments in Mirage, there is a strong emphasis on the silhouette of assets, since the materials fade to flat colors at distance as a way to reduce visual noise. This also means that strong, bold color choices were made with a limited color palette to keep with our goal of clarity. We work with the the level designers to enhance combat spaces and use the art to help drive players towards objectives.
Lucas Annunziata - TBS Environment Artist
The spacious interiors are home to detailed tile-work, gold-trimmed Persian carpets, mosaics, and lavishly embroidered tapestries that line the walls and floors. Decorated alcoves filled with small but detailed items such as books, cushions and personal items helps express that these areas are where people live and work.
One of the unique challenges we have faced with Mirage is the way we place props to create a world that feels ‘lived-in’. While doing so, we have to be very aware of how players can interact with the objects through vaulting and movement abilities. This means we need to be very careful with our placement and take extra care to make nice collision as well.
Tyler Brenot - TBS Environment Artist
TBS Artist Lucas Annunziata tinkers with level objects in Government
Gameplay and Level Design
The layout of the spaces is split between believable architecture and making the level function in-game. Making the layout purely for gameplay detracts from the sense of structure and habitability of the world, though we still need to consider our fighting spaces; these need to be interesting to fight in while providing enough floor space to avoid feeling cramped, and provide access points and flanking routes. Practical gameplay artifacts like platforms, ledges and catwalks that allow access to different areas are blended with the environment in the form of ramps, staircases, or decorative garden ledges and fountain heads.
We often divide major combat areas by distinct walls in the center. Those walls create separate spaces which are shaped to a medium-sized combat zone to encourage both team to have a tense and fast fight.
The first stage is built around the outdoor space of the government area. We combine this with structures on either side to create the different fighting spaces for players to flank the center area.
The basic idea for stage two of our main Government level is a “Pocket” design. Pocket design means relatively narrow entrance and exits, with a wide and open space in the center area called a pocket. There are secondary paths inside the pocket space to create enough space for players to gain quick access to high positions to ambush or to sneak around. And there’s flanking paths close to the exits in each pocket. Basically, an entrance and exit will create good chokepoints in the pushable game mode, so the flanking paths can provide quick access for attackers when they are stuck in the chokepoints.
Mingfei Yang - TBS Level Designer
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Our next Development Profile will reveal another of our character classes! If you want to learn more about Mirage: Arcane Warfare, be sure to read our Frequently asked Questions page.