Environmentally Friendly

April 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 8 Comments
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Another Arenanet blog post went up today, this time chronicling environment art in Guild Wars 2. I’m not much of an art person at all. Aside from posting cool looking concept art on this blog, and being disappointed by the plain looking art in other games, and basically talking about it constantly, art isn’t my main concern.

I did like this post however, because it really made me picture and imagine playing around in my spare time in Guild Wars 2. I want to see some of the things that Peter Fries describes.

Take for instance this.

Each map was prototyped by a level designer as a sort of rough, three-dimensional sketch, devoid of detail but with a first pass on placement of roads, villages, mountains, rivers, and seas.

And then this.

Early on, the changes were more dramatic—artists raised dizzying peaks, sheared off steep cliffs, and sank sub-oceanic trenches. Large-scale props were dropped into the maps and piled up to form cave systems or soaring, multitiered cities. Artists broadly applied lighting and climate approaches for the way their maps would appear in daytime, at night, and underwater.

I really want to make something in the Guild Wars 2 world builder now. Just let me design a grassy field or tidal zone. Ahhh how the Warcraft level designer comes to mind. This is why people play Minecraft. Design your own world, or at least, part of it.

They even go further in the rest of the post, but I am more impressed by this image.

Before and After

The 2009 version almost appears as if it could have easily fit in Guild Wars, the 2011 version not so much.

Sometimes Guild Wars 2 seems like the game to beat, not because of all the innovations, but because of the little touches.

It’s up to the environment team to fill our game with memorable locations worthy of that exploration. A series of broken stone columns turns out to be a jumping puzzle to reach a hidden cave mouth overgrown with vines.

Those who religiously read this blog, so all 3 of you, will remember that I love jumping puzzles.

So I’m not an art person, but this tiny little piece of hype Arenanet whipped up certainly kept my interest.



  1. It seems to me in everything (not just games), yes the big things are important but if you stack-up all the little things, they greatly outway all the big things, which is why it feels heart-warming that they spend so much time on it givine the fact most people wont notice a rust stain or a lack of mud prints, its like they go over everything with magnifying-glasses.:D

    • yeah thats definitely a detail about arenanet i like, taking the time to wonder why there is no rust stain might just be why dociu is one of the best men in the business.

  2. Increase the number of religious readers to 4 please

    …and movement puzzles do want. Sokoban comes to mind.

    • aksimet thought your comment was spam, but i’ve approved you! welcome!

      i can’t believe you just mentioned sokoban. somebody else knows wtf that is!?

  3. One of the things that my wife likes to do is wonder off in WOW. I have my wow-pro add on going and its pointing that way, towards the XP. I just sigh and off we go, doomed to eventually get slaughtered by some elite mob, or enemy town guard. We make all of zero experience doing so but to both of us, this is how the whole world should be explored. Nothing like a lovely open world to be flattened into a boring linear peice by lots of levels, and a questing system with ‘hubs’. I like the most recent expansions way of handing random quests to you when your wondering around, I expect to see heaps more of them in future wows to try and make up for GW2 stuff (though I am sure wow2, on the way, doesnt use quests at all either).

    • one of the most brilliant things i think anet did was make the vast majority of content in gw applicable to level 20.

  4. Anet is really pulling out all the stops, and they like to show it. As far as hype goes, they are geniuses that haven’t seemed to lose our attention for a second (other than that brief stint before they released the guardian profession and started the race weeks).

    • i don’t know if they’re all that concerned with losing our attention. in comparison to swtor that has a consistent weekly update, they don’t really measure up. but i am satisfied for the most part with their updates.

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