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Boomzap Interview Series - Environmental Art in Boomzap games


When you think of casual adventure games with awesome artwork; Boomzap is surely one of the very first developers you going to think of. With a number of games released to date; Boomzap has taken us to a variety of wonderful locations. With a team full of creative, talented people, let's take a little look behind the scenes.


Is it difficult to design locations that are unique and different?

Edwin Sablaya: Yes, sometimes, because you have no idea what will it look like and you have not seen it yet. But, it’s so fun to do because you're going to create your own world. 

Caroline Dy: I think what’s difficult with designing locations is making them look believable. Things in the world have to make sense with the story: from the landscape, the architecture, and whatever props you find in a scene all need to contribute in telling the story.

Greg Martinus: It sure is challenging. Especially if we have to create a fantasy environment, where we have to make the non existence place looks believable. The hardest part is keeping the consistency of the style. Our games are developed by 5 to 6 artists per project and it is hard to keep the style consistent.


Each of your franchise features different themes. Which one is the hardest to design?

Edwin Sablaya: For me, outdoors with mountains, trees, rocks, grass, brooks is always fun to do and I find indoor scenes a bit harder to design. 

Greg Martinus: Indoor architectural environment is always harder than outdoor where perspective is very critical.


Do you think visual is an important part in a casual game?

Edwin Sablaya: YES! It is very important! Most of the people I know judge things by how it looks. So if they hate the cover they will not bother to know the gameplay.

Caroline Dy: Definitely, or else I’d be out of a job - lol. Good art helps a lot with immersing the player into the experience. 

Greg Martinus: Yes. no doubt about it. lol @ carol. Sometime players dont read the text, they mostly looking at the visual of the game to understand the story bits.


Character Art VS Environmental Art – which is more difficult?

Edwin Sablaya: I love both but it depends on the theme. I love creating characters especially monsters and creatures but hate creating cute humans. I love environment art especially if its outdoor with mountains, trees, grass, rivers but hate it when its indoor with walls and architectural stuff.

Caroline Dy: For me, I find character art easier to create. When creating environments, there’s a lot more detail you need to pay attention to. You have to ask a lot of questions: “What time of day is this scene?”; “What’s the weather like?”, “what type of plants grows in the environment?”; “who lived here?” and the like. Characters can be made believable through dialog, but environments are purely visual: once you see it, it needs to be believable.

Greg Martinus: I find them exactly on the same level of challenge. Both have their own pros and cons. 


If you can choose only one scene from all of your games to admire. Which one will you choose? Why?

Caroline Dy: I think I will always have a soft spot for the floatplane in Antique Road Trip 2 - because I made it!

Greg Martinus: Moonfell Wood’s Griffin Eyrie, I got to design the Griffin too as a bonus! 

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

Edwin Sablaya: For aspiring artists, just paint, paint and paint. Find the things you like to paint and paint it. Find images you love and try to visualize how they did it. If you're lucky and it has a tutorial then watch and learn from it. Stay in love and passionate about your craft. If there are things that happen in your life that makes you unmotivated, unfocused, and depressed, that's normal. Recover from it by enriching yourself more. Never use that reason to stop, Use that reason to work harder and prove to yourself that you're strong. Strive for progress not perfection. And lastly, Fall in love with your craft. If you're in love with what you do and you keep learning new things, I'm sure great progress awaits. :)

Caroline Dy: Never stop learning, and don’t limit yourself to just one style. 

Greg Martinus: Keep learning, don’t ever stop! Ask for people’s feedback even if they're not Artists.



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