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EverQuest II Style Guide

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EverQuest II's art style can generally be summed up as realistic-high fantasy. In a broad sense, our materials, color usage, silhouettes and scale are grounded more in realism than stylization, with occasional exceptions.

Here's some information that will help you create an item that works well in EverQuest II.

Overall

If you create an item and think it will look out of place within EverQuest II, then it probably will! Players will enjoy them more if they don't look too out of place. Try to match the feeling of the game to ensure your best chance at getting your item into the marketplace.

materials example

Materials

These make up the surfaces of our world and inhabitants. Our grasses generally look like grass you'd expect to find at a park. When players look down at the ground, we want them to be able to identify what they're standing on. If you're working with metal, it should show scuffing, nicks and patina rather than a clean chrome finish. Bricks look better when they are more hand hewn and imperfect. Grouts should be random and imperfect, etc. There are exceptions, particularly in the man-made materials, but in general everything should feel as if it was made with tools available in the technology setting of the game.

colors example

Color Usage

EverQuest II uses a wide range of colors. As the game has matured, so has the acceptance that grass does not always need to be green in this 'realistic' fantasy world. There is no right or wrong color when used in the proper context - meaning, Lucan wouldn't use pink, but Erollisi would. We usually stay away from the upper end of saturation to avoid a "too cartoony" look. Because of our lighting system, we're also cautious of using overly dark values across large surface areas. Staying away from too light or lots of dark will help an item look good in the many different lighting environments of the game.

silhouette example

Silhouettes

If an item has a unique silhouette, it can be identified from a good distance away and this is better for game play reasons. If there's too much information in the silhouette, it becomes muddied or even solid at a distance. A spiky creature is usually better off having a few notable spikes than being setup like a sea urchin with dozens of spikes. We try not to over-stylize our shapes and silhouettes to ensure they don’t come across cartoony either. For house items, shape and silhouette serve to further give items their personality. For example: Gnomish furniture with cog accents is easily identifiable. Dwarven items are simple, stout and thick with sloped surfaces, whereas human objects are typically right-angle and squarish in build and silhouette. As you're designing objects, be sure to stop from time to time to consider the silhouette from several directions and distances.

scale example

Scale

Most of the objects within EverQuest II are scaled to about human-sized. Adjusting the scale of the item bigger or smaller is used when the environment or creature calls for it. If there's no special reason to adjust the scale, a chair should feel like you can sit on it, a bed like you can sleep on it, etc. For house items, given the texture map size limitation, keeping objects sized consistent with humans in overall scale would work best to maintain good texel density.

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