Giant Squid Studios' 2016 underwater exploration game Abzu was, if nothing else, visually resplendent.
At GDC 2017, Giant Squid's Matt Nava gave a behind-the-scenes look at the processes he and the Abzu team developed to create it.
According to Nava, the game's vibrant underwater setting presented many technical and artistic challenges uncommon in most games, such as animating vast amounts of fish, simulating huge dynamic kelp forests, and modeling undersea lighting and atmospherics.
Additionally, the team needed to devise a method of creating artistically authored terrains that were visually integrated with the variety of objects in a given scene, yet pliable enough for near constant large scale revision.
His talk was interesting because he explained the solutions/tricks he and the team devised to tackle these problems, sharing examples of from various stages of development.
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