Liesa Bauwens is a Senior Artist at Frontier and has been with Frontier Developments for over four years. She has worked on Planet Coaster, Jurassic World: Evolution and, most recently, Planet Zoo.
Releasing a game that allows the player to be as creative as they want is challenging, especially when you provide over 3000 assets. Liesa and IJke offer a retrospective on two and a half years of art development with a highly creative player base in mind. The lecture starts with the lessons learned from Planet Coaster and how they were taken on board for Planet Zoo. It’s hugely important to anticipate the needs of players and the concept stage is used to identify useful and versatile assets. We take a look at the popularity of certain types of assets, using telemetry from the live game. We also take a look at the unconventional contribution our concept artists made. They were integral to the look and feel of the game, and they used their knowledge of the assets to create in-game buildings and scenery. Our concept artists received a new responsibility in the production pipeline; designing and playing with the in-game assets. Having our concept artists play and build in-game gave us a lot of strong assets, and an insight into which assets were missing. Finally, we take a look at balancing the game to account for multiple player types. Our game is popular with building and management players. Some like to build a beautiful zoo, and some like to build a functional zoo. Those players have different expectations and we look at which solutions we found to satisfy both.
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Develop is a really great way to network, it’s also great for going to talks and finding that little tip that you didn’t know before and thinking – oh I’ll bring that back to the team!
There’s really something for everyone at Develop and the experience of being around like-minded people is really useful.
Develop is a very important place – it’s one of the few developer focussed conferences we have in Europe and that makes it very valuable.
I really like Develop, I really like the intimacy of it and I love the location.. there’s a good diversity of talks going on so there hasn’t been a time when there’s nothing I want to see.
There really is a huge mix of people at Develop - loads of peers that you can learn from and the perfect blend of every element of game development as well.
Develop is important – the networking is very important. And go to talks they’re inspiring and get your creative juices flowing, they can make you think and you’ll learn how other people do things.
If you really want to have a good interface with the British game developer community then this is the place to come.
There’s something creative about Brighton, so it’s the perfect place to have the conference.
A lot of the opportunities that come from being here are speaking to other developers who are doing exactly the same thing as you. And there are some good parties – it’s very much a pleasurable work experience!
Develop:Brighton is especially unique - it’s by the seaside and there’s a lovely relaxed tone that goes with that.The talks are cool, the networking is cool and having the opportunity to catch up with people – that’s always the excitement for me!
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