As the game took shape with our lore and our storyboards, we also took to our sketchbooks and tried to paint a picture of what the fantastical world of Mayari should look like.
We drew our inspiration from the tropical sceneries of Southeast Asian countries and attempted to recreate some of the popular landmarks such the statue of Buddha in Hong Kong or the hanging coffins of Sagada in the Philippines. The structures featured in the environment are mostly inspired by Islamic architecture and the wooden carvings on the walls are Maranao’s Okir.
For the character design, the clothing patterns were referenced from the popular streak of red and yellow that are very common in tribal costumes in Mindanao. The accessories and the fashion of the characters in the game are inspired by a combination of many of the prominent tribal costumes in the Philippines.
It took us a few tries to get to where we are now but it sure is fun to flesh out the world from the early concepts down to the minute details we had to painstakingly create to make the game as immersive visually as it is in story. Here are a few of the sketches of game environments that later found their way into the game and our first tries at levels and environments (most of which we had to let go with a heavy heart).