Exploring Africa

What is the allure of a project like BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION? It’s that we’re creating an undiscovered world for players to explore!

With our game inspiration in our own backyard, we have a unique opportunity to visit and engage with the very environments we’re looking to construct. So, recently Nic and I packed a bag (and our camera equipment) and headed to a mountainous area – surrounded by beautiful farmlands and rivers – to record, photograph and photoscan.

During these few days, we took thousands of photos – capturing everything from construction equipment and barrels to the aftermath of smaller rock falls and large muddy puddles caused by recent rains. We aren’t using large equipment to do our scans (picture me with a camera and hiking shoes), so we can reach fairly inaccessible places to capture interesting environments.

Not only did we capture photographic elements, but also the sounds surrounding us at different times of the day – this way we can hopefully bring you a natural and believable slice of the world. Birdsong, the sounds of wind and water, walking down gravel paths, the frogs that come out at night – all of these layers of sounds will be brought together.

Going out into nature also helps us capture the essence of an area – and hopefully that will translate into unique places to explore in our African DESOLATION.

The Interface

Apart our trek to the veld, we are at the early design phase of interface implementation. Interface design is extremely important and plays an important part in setting the tone of this world.

With STASIS, we were inspired by the diegetic UI design of Dead Space – something which felt right at home in a horror game. From John’s Quantum Storage Device to the computer PDAs – everything in the game’s interface was designed to keep you inside The Groomlake and form part of the scene.

BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION will see a skeuomorphic interface inspired by the real-world designs of the 70s and 80s and the interface design of Fallout. Wooden panelling, chrome inlays and vacuum-formed plastic have replaced the harsh metal and blood-stained wires of STASIS. However, the idea remains to always keep the player grounded in the game world and sprinkle in some classic game nostalgia to boot.


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