This article describes design decisions that will be rediscussed before their implementation in the future, and as such are not final.
For the microbe stage, the background will generally be the oceanic floor. Depending on the biome, its visuals will change. Thus several different background textures are required.
All backgrounds must feature a tiling pattern with no discernible gaps between panels. The patterning itself needs to be complex but inconspicuous, and doesn’t necessarily need to look completely natural. While no in-game microbes can become colonies until the end game, backgrounds can feature biofilms or similar biological structures, but no macroscopic organisms. Everything should be at a microscopic scale, with the foreground appearing to be only slightly raised from the background.
As the player swims, the background should remain stationary (moving relative to the field of view), so it appears that the player is moving across the seafloor. There may be some slight movement to give the illusion of parallax, but this will have to be calibrated to give a realistic distance between the foreground and background.
A background must be sized so that its tiling isn’t clear, even when a player has zoomed out to the maximum extent.
Transitioning between biomes will gradually fade the backgrounds of the two together through transparency.
Some examples of effective backgrounds for different biomes:
Between the foreground and background is the midground, which shows the paths of water currents and compound clouds. Water currents are distinguished by slight variances in water shading and lighting to give the impression of ripple or waves. The water is mostly transparent other than these tints.
The midground may also have a few organisms in it (as microbes don’t necessarily travel over a single plane), but the player and other foreground microbes will be unable to interact with them. All midground objects must be obscured by the water currents and heavily blurred to show this distinction.
This is the layer that the player is on. This layer will be populated by cells and so will not need any image art.
We are always looking for more backgrounds, so feel free to start working on any using the guidelines above. If you really feel inspired to make one in a different style, however, you're free to do so. As long as it's appearance fits the microbial background style we're looking for we'll use it.
Post your submissions to this thread: http://forum.revolutionarygamesstudio.com/t/backgrounds/239