The Look and Feel of Vegas Prime
I was tasked with creating a unique visual language for Vegas Prime Retrograde that conveyed a utopian world through a dystopian lens. The look and feel needed to break the mold of what is expected of sci-fi indie games while still being a hat/tip to its predecessors.

Contributors Stuart Templeton, Thomas Hurtt

Created At Open Form Games

Role Creative Director, Lead Designer, Developer


The Challenge

The project had several challenges, both financial and creative, and provided an exciting area to explore visual language in games in an unorthodox way. Open Form Games had limited financial resources and was building software for console hardware with equally limited resources.

The language and design had to be established on a budget, with limited hardware resources in mind.

The Solution
I decided to explore an abstraction of the protagonist's personality and design, presented as a visual aberration. I used Clara's PTSD condition (called Brain Burn in the game) as an opportunity to dramatically reduce graphical memory overhead while simultaneously establishing the character and reinforcing the narrative.
Shaders, Textures, and Post-processing stacks -- OH MY!

Using an elaborate combination of shaders and textures, I was able to get the basic look of what we wanted: A black and white, non-grayscale presentation that pushed past film noire and into the comic bool realm, yet falling just shy of "wire frame."

This got us part way there. I also wanted extremely bright patches of neon to litter the frame when the player looked around. I wanted this to be bright and sharp, almost to the point of being distracting or painful. This decision pulled the character and narrative into the field of vision.

Result
The result is a poignant and visually appealing player experience that abstractly conveys the character design, reinforces the narrative, and enhances the player's sense of exploration and wonder.