Animated Vegetation: A Closer Look
The Call to Arms update arrives on March 17, bringing numerous major features and quality-of-life improvements. Among the latter is animated vegetation, which brings Albion's flowers, grass, bushes and trees to life across all five biomes. We spoke with Art Director Marcus Koch and FX Artist John Schroeter about this new feature.
What was the goal of this visual upgrade to Albion's plant life?
These improvements will give players a much greater level of immersion while exploring the world. Traveling through a living, breathing environment feels far more natural and rewarding than experiencing a static one, and in many cases the visual elements of the biomes did not quite live up to what the audio was suggesting.
The effect is especially striking in vegetation-heavy biomes such as forests. What were some of the steps you took to make the movement of trees, bushes, and grass more lifelike?
We realized that having everything move the same amount would distract the players' attention, especially if huge trees (which are closer to the camera) were shaking too much. That's why vegetation closer to the ground, such as grass, moves more forcefully than the treetops do.
Ultimately this helps keep the focus on the player character's level, where the game's action takes place.
For more details of everything coming with Call to Arms, check out the update page.