All images are credited to Indivisible‘s creator, Lab Zero.
Those who immerse themselves in the crowdfunding and indie gaming scenes are likely well aware of the trials and tribulations of Los Angeles-based studio Lab Zero’s upcoming platformer RPG, Indivisible. Against all odds, Indivisible reached its $1.5 million US crowdfunding goal on Indiegogo last December and was greeted with much Internet fanfare and jubilee. But as with most projects who reach their funding goals, Indivisible mostly vanished from the realm of gaming news, at least from an outsider’s perspective. Rest assured, though: Lab Zero has been hard at work preparing Indivisible for its projected 2018 splash in the world of gaming.
In an announcement posted yesterday on Indivisible’s Indiegogo page, team member Earl Gertwagen shared with fans the oft-unspoken process of pre-production, accompanied by a series of concept pictures dating from the project’s start to present day.
Pre-production is such an important step in the creation of a game that it can take up to six months alone, as is the case with Indivisible. During this stage, developers lay the ground work for their games. Concepting – the process of “zeroing in on how we [Lab Zero] want the final product to look and feel” – is a key part of this step, as is the production of new animations, gameplay adjustments, and alterations to the existing engine.
In particular, concepting is especially important for a game’s artists. After all, much of a game’s tone and mood is set by the environments that the player traverses, as well as the visual style of the game itself. Pre-production allows artists to establish the aesthetic anchors of a game that will later define the emotions they invoke in players.
Indivisible, for example, draws 70% of its artistic stylings from fantasy settings. The other 30% of the game’s visuals are inspired by the real world. Below, witness the transformation of the houses in main character Ajna’s home village from a photorealistic style to a more playful, whimsical style.
Southeast Asian iconography and architecture informs many of Indivisible’s stylistic choices. It’s a breath of fresh air in a gaming world filled with photorealism and Pixar-style visuals.
From there, the “pre-pro” phase transitions to implementing these drawn concepts into the game world itself. Pictured below is what Gertwagen calls a “target diorama,” which establishes the scale, proportions, and shapes that will ultimately contribute to the tone of an in-game environment.
Gertwagen stated that Lab Zero plans to shift to full production for Indivisible by September.
Indivisible is set to launch in January 2018 for Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. If you’d like to stay up to date on Indivisible’s journey to completion, you can follow its official twitter here. Lab Zero also streams Indivisible’s development process on its official Twitch.tv channel each week. And if you’d like to get yourself a little more familiar with the game itself, you can download the prototype here, which is also available on PSN and the Xbox Games Store.