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Faces of Revachol: Meet Evrart Claire

If ever there was a cat who got the cream, it’s Evrart Claire, foreman of the Dockworkers’ Union of Martinaise. Known locally as “the Union boss,” he wields power that far exceeds the powers granted by his office.

This should come as no surprise in Revachol, a city provisionally governed by a coalition of nations less interested in governing than in casual exploitation, where even law enforcement – and that includes you! – has little authority. People like Evrart who know how to be something for everyone flourish in such circumstances. You’ll find that the citizens of Martinaise either love him or hate him, but all of them are forced to reckon with him — and with the members of the Dockworkers’ Union, who think of themselves as the real police in Martinaise.

Upon meeting him, you’ll quickly realize that Evrart is a man of great ambition and few scruples. But he’ll always welcome you with a smile and insist on talking “man to man.” You may find yourself thinking he’s just a mob boss putting up a congenial front, but, then, who and what is there apart from organized crime and corporations (arguably interchangeable terms) to keep the peace and attempt steps toward progress in the region? Surrounded by apartment buildings still bearing the marks of the failed Revolution of half a century ago, you may be tempted to hope that a fat cat whose primary motivations are to increase his power and line his own pockets is an appropriate leader.

And while you may not trust him, you’ll have to reckon with him, just like everybody else. He knows things. He has people.

Oh, and Evrart also has an identical twin brother, Edgar, who is up to pretty much the same things. They’ve taken turns running the Union. Which is to say: the Claires have been an institution unto themselves.

Let’s not forget that Evrart’s also just a man, though. He likes his black coffee. He likes fishing. And he’ll work with you, whatever your political leanings, however odd your behaviour – and he’ll do it with his signature smile.

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Press Round-Up: 2019 Anticipation Lists Edition

Remember when we did that post of games we’re looking forward to in 2019, and we mentioned that we had been included in several lists ourselves? We linked to 5 pieces back then, but it didn’t stop there! While we posted about them all on our Twitter and Facebook as we found them we thought it’d be nice to organize them all in a single post, including those previously mentioned ones just to keep things tidy. Thank you to all the writers and publications who took the time to showcase us!

We were included in lists curated by Gamereactor, VideoGamer, Il Blog di Lollo, Sick Critic, A Most Agreeable Pastime, Stuff, Niche Gamer, Gamers Decide, incrdbl, Afro Panda, bit-gamer, and Nitchigamer. PC Gamer was kind enough to write about us four times! “15 new PC games we’re excited for in 2019,” “The 2019 RPGs we’re looking forward to” “How does 2019 look for PC blockbusters and exclusives?” and “The PC Gamer 2019 Fantasy Draft.” We were also mentioned by the The Telegraph.

We’re not gonna lie, all this support is really motivating for us. We hope you’ll keep cheering us on as we work on Disco Elysium. We’ll sign off this week by leaving you with some fresh art celebrating the lunar new year. Happy Year of the Pig!

 

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From Render to Paintover

In this post I’ll show how we give more life to our world by mixing realtime objects with the hand-painted background.

Everything that is animated, is possible to pick up, or appears only in certain times will be added to the game in realtime instead of being painted into the background. That includes NPCs, vegetation, collectables, particles, etc.

Since our backgrounds use rendered heightmaps, we can use a flat plane that uses a special shader for sea. That gives us a nice coastline with some fading on the edges. But it still looks bland! It looks the same in both in shallow and deeper areas, so we’re going to add more detail on it.

Since there’s a tiny creek, we should separate the the sea from the creek. By adding and extra layer on top of the seaplane we get a warm gradient (nr 1), which color can be changed. Adding an orange tone there makes it look shallower, murky and more rusty from the surroundings. The new plane will also contain a flow map which fakes the effect of water flowing in desired direction.

By adding plants like weeds (nr 3), kelp (nr 4), or moss, we make the sea look more welcome and give it a feel of depth where taller plants like kelp fade into the abyss. Since the camera angle is always the same, the plants are hand-painted on a transparent background. I have made sets of plants with different density and colors. So every plant thats in the water is basically a transparent plane with some distortion effect to make it look like the surface is bending the photons of light. I also use the same shader to create colored ripples and flowy lines (nr 2).

For the final touch I will add swarms of fish circling (nr 5), creating ripples on the surface of water (nr 6), icebergs that wobbling in the waves, and seagulls flyings over the scene.

Same goes for the land. By adding different variations of reeds, bushes, trees and even garbage like empty bottles, tin cans or trashbags that rustle in the wind, we get a movement in the static background.

This method is applied to all over the Martinaise, but every area has been manually composed and thought through to distinguish it from one another.