1. A Journey Through the Art of DEUS MINI (PART 1)

Hail and well met! Your dashing art rouge here, swooping in to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart: the Art of DEUS MINI!

This post was getting vvv big so I had split it up into three parts.

PART ONE: (you are here!) will be covering the Logos, 2D, and Graphic Art of DEUS MINI.

PART TWO: will cover early concept art and environment art.

PART THREE: will cover character and creature art.

Before we begin, it would like to note that DEUS MINI has gone through a LOT of iterations. It is not uncommon for games to evolve and change throughout development and their final product to be near unrecognizable from its initial concept. To say DM is no exception is putting it lightly. 

As you journey through, you will see a good amount of artwork that is absent from the final game, either because it is visualizing mechanics that have been scrapped, or it no longer fit the aesthetic of the game. 

One benefit of posts of this nature is that this art will be able to see the light of day in some capacity!


LOGOS and 2D ART

LOGOS AND TITLES

What better place to start talking about something than with the title? DEUS MINI started out the same way most ideas start: with a name.

Wait what? That's not DEUS MINI's logo!

When we first started out on development, our project was originally titled "Manifest". The original concept of the game was a hybrid of VR and non-VR civilization building gameplay.

The VR portion of the game giving the player the ability to "Manifest" their presence in the civilization they built as a deity. It turned out to be too ambitious a design goal for our meager tow man team and we moved away from VR and the civ-building aspects.

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The final nail in the "Manifest" coffin was another VR game that was coming out that shared the same name that eventually forced us to change the name to DEUS MINI.

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The name DEUS MINI is meant to be interpreted as 'pocket god', or 'god of a mini-civilization' since the core idea of the game, having the power of a deity in your pocket, is still the same.

One thing I forgot to mention is the trend that all of that most art ends up fitting into our current aesthetic of 2D Pixel Art blended with Low Poly 3D, or gets scrapped. The logo/title evolution is a good example of this, going through different styles until eventually settling in its current form.

UI/UX DESIGN

For example, this clean, linework based aesthetic for early UI is almost entirely abandoned in favor of keeping a consistent pixel art look and feel.

We won't go too into the evolution of the UI/UX of DEUS MINI because that deserves its own posts and I have more than enough wireframes and flowcharts to fill one with.

  Current sprite sheet containing not only UI elements, but various other 2D game assets.

Current sprite sheet containing not only UI elements, but various other 2D game assets.

COMMANDMENT CARDS/SPELL CARDS

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Another element of DEUS MINI that has changed drastically throughout development was the use of divine powers. This aspect of the game changed a lot mechanically, and with it, the visual design of this constantly evolved as well.

Commandment Card thumbnail sketches

Some early commandment card art backgrounds above. The purpose of these cards was for the player to collect then used to assign their villagers jobs to grow their population. For example, assigning a villager to be a woodsman and chop down trees.

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Shards and Runes

As the scope moved more in the direction of resource management, so did the mechanics and subsequent design of the cards.

Enter Shards, and the pivot from commandment cards to a modular deck building system to numeric parts of cards that granted the player one resource your civilization needed at the cost of another.

Right: Basic logic of gain and loss shards.

  Possible Shard combination chart

Possible Shard combination chart

Shards had a color and a rune that corresponded to their respective resource. Shards of any color could be combined, but only if they had matching rune halves.

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  Back of Shard

Back of Shard

  Possible Shard Combination - both shards have half of the "Wood" so they can be combined.

Possible Shard Combination - both shards have half of the "Wood" so they can be combined.

Here is an example of a shard combination where a player would exchange Wood resource points for Mana resource points.

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Here are a collection of special Shards that can be exchanged for resource points to perform a variety of specific actions.

The Shard system in its current form doesn't use any of these mechanics sans the combining to a small degree, and none of the visuals of these original shards are used.

The Shards' functionality is more akin to the original Commandment card system, with shards performing various specific spells to help you and harm your opponent. Just goes to show the crazy road game development takes, haha!

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IN PART 2...

We will get into the early concept art and environment art of DEUS MINI so stay tuned!

- Your Art Martyr, Warren