Krikey is very excited to launch our new game Yaatra. In this game you play as Maya, a princess who is banished from the palace to the forest and must fight a monster army in order to regain her place as queen. In this blog post we are excited to share a behind the scenes look at the making of the game and characters. We have an amazing 3D modeling, art, design, animation and game development team that has made this ambitious project possible!
For the character of Maya, our artists did a lot of research for specific cultural references such as: traditional clothing, sculptures, patterns/symbols, and region specific designs. In particular, for Maya, we spent a lot of time thinking about facial expressions and how to connect her character with the player. These were categorized into nine universal facial expressions that research shows exist in every culture in the world: Idle, Sad, Confused, Surprise, Disgust, Fear, Happy, Determined, and Angry. To make these movements not only accessible to all characters but fluid as well, new digital artistry tools were used such as the Substance Painter. Substance painter allows texturing that makes it easier to manipulate how each character may change with their expressions.
For the making of the Monkey King, the fur on his head required a lot of geometry. The way that the fur connects around his head was placed specifically as an illusion. The actual process meant that the creation of his head and of the fur had to be seamlessly put together although they were created separately, and the fur was added using a toon shader. A toon shader is a tool used to make 3d animations look as if they are 2d once they are converted.
The artists found a lot of inspiration in Indonesian artistry and animations, especially for the facial design and expressions of the monster army. Traditional Balinese masks were used as a reference to create the mask monster expressions. The monsters are differentiated by their legs and wings, which gave each individual monster its own interesting silhouette. The design is modular so it is easy to create new monsters by rotating limbs!
The environment style our team was aiming for is stylized and minimal so that the focus would be on the player standing still in the center aiming and shooting in all directions around them. As the creation of the palace came to be a lot of inspiration was taken from numerous ancient palaces that had distinctive arches, columns and complex patterns that we in turn had to simplify for the game. The idea of the open palace ceiling was to maximize the AR experience by turning what would be a predominantly closed environment into an open one with transparent pieces which came to light in the open ceiling.
Team Krikey is so proud to share this game with you and have produced it with a lot of passion, hard work and care. We invite you to play the game today and hope you enjoy sharing it with friends and family!