Triskell Interactive » The art of Lethis – Path of Progress II

The art of Lethis – Path of Progress II

02 Mai 2018
by Noodle

Hello everyone!

For this new post we’re going to talk (as it says in the title) about the art direction we chose for the game. With a few visual examples, we’ll show you how things evolved since the first game back in 2015.
Artistic direction is the result of the vision of the art director and its team of the game, in that case, that’s only me since I work alone on the graphical part. But it also depends on the technical constraints of the project.
We had a lot of constraints on the first Path of Progress game, most of them because we developed an in house engine.
Some constraints came for the fact that it was going to be a 2D isometric game.
For Pop II, we’re using Unity, it allows for a better ease of use and a lot more flexibility.
But the art direction is also closely tied with the gameplay, in our case it’s a city builder with a “push” system (Sinsem will talk about that on the devblog in more details) based around the mechanics of “walkers”. Roads and characters are a very important part of the city.

In Pop II, we want players to be able to observe every part of the city: we want details.
The universe will be much more developed and we want the visuals to give you information about the lore of Lethis. Propaganda posters on the wall of factories for example…
So we have to make buildings in higher resolution, and with far more details than in the first game.

Here’s a little comp of two buildings from the games:

We chose to give a desaturated and a bit dull aspect to the buildings of the first game in order to accentuate the “vintage steampunk” look we were going for. This time we chose more vibrant colors.
We didn’t want to go too flashy, but we wanted enough of it to make the city a living, and colorful entity.

Joy, innocence should inspire the graphical treatment of the city and its surroundings.
I also chose to treat the vegetation in a pictorial way, a bit like in Japanese animation (Ghibli mostly). This reinforces the impressionist aspect of the visuals, reminiscent of the presumed time period in which the game is set (impressionists were around the second half of the 19th century).
The idea is to make the city a living painting created by the player himself, their own piece of art.

Here is a comparison of the vegetation of the two games:

We are also going to treat buildings not as single entities, but as a multitude of interchangeable modules.
Thus a building is composed of several parts that we assemble directly into Unity to form many varieties of houses.
It is both an aesthetic and practical choice. As I am the only one to make the graphics of the game, I have to find tricks to save time.

Here is an example of what an assembly of different modules can give:

Magic had very little presence in the first game, it was through fairies and ghosts mostly.
It should have a more important place this time, and this should also be reflected in the visuals.

The architecture is not set on one obvious period, we don’t want to make precise historical references.
We’ll have houses that evolve in different architectures, while still preserving continuity.

In the first game, we had a two different sets of houses: the worker’s and the bourgeois, this will no longer be the case (but then again, Sinsem will talk about that later on).
From now on, the houses at high level must show a certain form of wealth, which translates into buildings with richly decorated facades.

I take my inspiration from what can be found in French medieval cities. In Brittany, in Dordogne but especially in Alsace.

The city of Colmar is a very good example of the atmosphere I would like to find in the game.
The buildings are shimmering, and have many varied colors. Vegetation has its place, as well as decorations, statues, squares, etc.

I also draw inspiration from many cities whose influence was evident at the end of the 19th century, such as Paris, Vienna or Prague.

Here are some inspirations for Lethis – Path of Progress II:

Thank you for reading and for your interest in the development of Lethis – Path of Progress II !
We want to make this Devblog a place of exchange so feel free to comment on the article to tell us what you think of the artistic direction chosen, we can discuss together.
Don’t hesitate either to share your inspirations, they can be useful to us!




  • Hashem on septembre 17, 2018 at 8:24 Répondre

    Hi developers,

    We haven’t heard any updates in quite a while. Really looking forward to Lethis 2. Hope to hear from you soon.

  • Goklayeh on mai 10, 2018 at 1:19 Répondre

    Bonjour, j’avais suivi le développement de Path of Progress, diffusé la bonne parole et contribué au Greenlight, et je suis franchement enthousiasmé par l’annonce d’un deuxième volet.

    Avec ses superbes animations Lethis PoP a un sacré cachet avec un charme incroyable, mais présente quelques désagréments au niveau de l’expérience utilisateur ainsi qu’un léger manque de profondeur au niveau gameplay.
    J’espère vraiment le succès du projet à venir, et souhaite savoir si vous êtes intéressés par du feedback et des suggestions à propos d’ergonomie et de game design, éléments sur lesquels je pense pouvoir vous être utile.
    Je suis fan de la série des Impressions Games et y retourne encore de temps en temps.
    J’ai un bon niveau en histoire et littérature pertinente avec votre période d’inspiration (Hugo, Zola, Verne, Dickens, etc) tout comme des production culturelles plus extraordinaires – steampunk inclus – littéraires comme visuelles, ainsi que de bonnes notions culturelles, architecturales et artistiques.
    Passionné de narration et de game design, je suis entré en contact ces dernières années avec plusieurs studios de développement, et mes retours et réflexions centrés sur le public cible et l’utilisateur leur furent profitables.

    Si cela vous parle, n’hésitez pas à me contacter.
    Bonne journée, bon courage et bonne chance.

    • Sinsem on mai 13, 2018 at 2:10 Répondre

      Hello !

      Nous sommes évidement toujours ouverts aux suggestions, il y a un channel dédié sur le discord que nous surveillons avec attention pour permettre à la communauté de s’exprimer. Cela étant dit, nous avons déjà pas mal d’améliorations en tête donc nous ne recherchons pas particulièrement de consultant sur le sujet.

  • Nemetys on mai 8, 2018 at 11:07 Répondre


    Pop 2 sera t’il sur GOG?
    Bon courage pour le développent, le premier m’a enchanté.

    • Sinsem on mai 13, 2018 at 2:01 Répondre

      A ce stade, aucune idée.

    • Goklayeh on mai 15, 2018 at 10:28 Répondre

      Merci pour la réponse.
      Pas de souci, je passerai par le discord pour mes quelques suggestions.
      A bientôt.

  • Horace Verne on mai 6, 2018 at 10:28 Répondre

    Etant fan de l’architecture type Dordogne, de myasaki et du steampunk, l’attente de Pop II va être longue 😉
    Par ailleurs, il est aujourd’hui très plaisant et courageux de faire un jeu « sans violence » objet rare et intelligent. C’est une gageure! Encore bravo! Vivement la suite!

  • Rui Deyllot on mai 3, 2018 at 9:47 Répondre

    Absolutely agree with your decision to go with Unity this time around. Developing your own game engine becomes very time consuming for a small team.
    The art samples look really good to me. Like you say, more vibrant colors but not too flashy.

    I really like the idea of creating the buildings from a variety of parts. A question, will modders be able to use those parts and/or create their own parts to add more building models to the game? That would be a way for the community to increase the variety of models in order to reduce the « building repetition » effect on their game.

    • Noodle on mai 4, 2018 at 1:46 Répondre

      The modding is a possible thing, but it would give us of the extra work.
      Thus it is necessary to judge the utility to make tools of modding.

      • QuidamAzerty on juillet 16, 2018 at 4:30 Répondre

        I found one utility.
        You have interchangeable modules. If you manage to put it in a modding tool… All kind of buildings will be built and uploaded. Just need to put a use of these buildings by choosing among existing ones and that’s it. You can build your very own city. And why not create a custom map with custom goals ?
        But I guess that’d be very difficult without completely rely on Steam Workshop… And so no GoG compatibility…
        And I know I won’t use this modding tool (at first) because of my lack of inventivity and my wish to play the game as you designed it 🙂

  • Guillaume Chau on mai 2, 2018 at 7:37 Répondre

    When you write « In Pop II, we want players to be able to observe every part of the city: we want details. », does this means we could see the inhabitant of the buildings living their life and interacting with the walkers in some ways?

    • Noodle on mai 4, 2018 at 1:49 Répondre

      It would return the more alive city but would raise big problems of visibility, I think.

  • Guillaume Chau on mai 2, 2018 at 7:29 Répondre

    It looks amazing, I love the changes. Keep up the great work! (Now I’m even more impatient to play PoP 2!)

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