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Worlds From Wolfthorn

A Snippet On the World Design Inside of Wolfthorn, the Role-Playing Fantasy Game

From January 2022 to Present Date - Unreal Engine 4

Wolfthorn is an open world fantasy RPG game that has been in the works by Aerix Art Games for the past 2-3 years now, with its name having stuck around a bit longer when earlier versions of the game were first announced in the public. This mini-post highlights a bit of the world design process for each worldspace we create in the game, and how we connect everything together to make each one an interesting world that you as the player can find yourself getting lost in for hours on end with new discoveries around every corner.

For this post we’ll keep it short but answer a few common questions about the worldspaces and how they are designed in the game.

  • How are Worlds Organized, and What are Worldspaces?

Worlds are sectioned by country or major region indication, and there are currently over 53 of them being actively worked on in the game! All of them are present on the central continent of Arden, (image shown below) and are also individually referred to as “worldspaces” throughout the game’s development.

On to the next question!

  • What Gives Each Worldspace it’s Identity, and How do they all Interconnect?

Every worldspace in Wolfthorn has it’s own unique feel and are typically depicted on a basis revolving around the universe’s lore, story, and of what other primary design choices go into creating them. Some of the questions we may ask when creating them would be the following:

    • Is this worldspace civilized or is it uncharted / unmarked (uncivilized) territory?
      • If the region is civilized, what role does it play in the Ardenian economy?
      • Are there main cities present in the area?
      • What about the kinds of people living there? Do they practice strong religion, work in certain fields, or have a set form of governing they live under?
    • In either case, what prominent factions govern or take ownership over these lands?
    • Is the worldspace a country or natural region (sort of calling back to the first question)?
    • What kind of events and quests would be present in this worldspace?
    • Does the main story influence this worldspace? If so, where would the main story fall into play in this region?
    • What biome is this region located in? Is it snowy with arctic fauna and little plant life? Is it temperate with mixed fauna and diverse plant life?

That’s just to name a few of the questions we might come across when thinking about the overall design of these worldspaces, but I think it gets the point across enough.

Since all worldspaces in Wolfthorn are individual worlds connected by world borders, it was tricky at first to visualize the bigger picture. That being a massive, sprawling continent full of mystery, exploration, perils, and wonders all throughout the lands. When we finally started to grasp how the design process of the worlds should be done, or what worked for us more importantly; backgrounds and world vistas started to play a huge role in the interconnectivity of each worldspace.

Each worldspace would allow the player to travel to their borders by foot or mount to the next adjacent region or country, by dragon, travel carriages, or just plain ole’ fast travel itself. Major design choices like main roads, mountain passages, and various kinds of natural landmarks would also play a big role in this method of making the worlds feel seamless as they should.

  • Are the Worldspaces Procedural or Made from Scratch?

All worldspaces in Wolfthorn are made from scratch, and hand crafted from the ground up. This means the landscapes are sculpted by hand, the landscape layers are painted manually, and every location on each map is made by hand. Foliage layers are often painted manually as well throughout various world biomes all throughout the lands.

That’s all for now, but we aim to create many more posts like this one to give more insight on the design process of the magnificent worldspaces of Arden, in the mighty world of Wolfthorn.

Thank you for checking out the post!

– Connor from Aerix Art Games

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