Dev Blog - Frozen Gazers

Thursday, January 5, 2023

DevBlog - Frozen Gazers

After exploring a bit of the history of Glaceforde, the Frozen Continent, it's time to learn more about the creatures that live there and survive the freezing temperatures of that island: the Frozen Gazers!

Fascinating creatures, the Frozen Gazers have adapted to the icy conditions of Glaceforde and may be quite different from those Gazers that you may find around Ravencrest. They are usually found in groups, and there are four different types of this group of creatures!

When you're walking through the frozen caves of Glaceforde, take care ー you might run into some of them! It's always good to know your enemies before meeting them, right?!

Living amidst the coldest temperatures, Frigid Gazers don’t seem affected by the cold as most other creatures are. Instead, these Gazers use the temperature to their advantage, coating themselves in pure ice as a form of natural defense. 


Another mutation, such as the more aggressive looking Icicle Gazers, have an innate understanding of the manipulation of pure ice and, therefore, can shape it to their will, even manipulating the environment around them 一 a feat any wizard can only dream of! 


In the frozen wilds of Glaceforde, daring to travel alone often leads to death — Deathchill Gazers have a special fondness for these kinds of solitary wanderers. Using tricks to isolate prey from their allies, these Gazers seem driven by the taste of fear that accompanies being lost and alone.


With the ability to absorb pure ice and turn it into energy, Frostspike Gazers are capable of creating blizzards out of thin air. With this power over the elements, they prefer to freeze their victims in a prison of solid ice while feeding upon their despair. 


Creative Process

There's no doubt that Frozen Gazers are very interesting and peculiar creatures that can make for really exciting battles in Ravendawn! But how are these creatures developed by the Design Team and, later on, by the Art Team? Let's take a look at the creative process that exists behind the scenes of Ravendawn!

“With the Gazers, we wanted to capture a feeling of cosmic terror, but maintaining an aspect that is plausible within the Ravendawn Universe. Instead of going for something that is completely disconnected from reality, which is one of the main characteristics of cosmic terror, we chose to exaggerate the composition of the creature's facial features. With the concepts defined, it was easy to fit a feeling of unknown dread behind this family of creatures. The variations of the family embody some of the different faces of horror; darkness and uncertainty, cold and loneliness, and drought and pestilence. Overall, the Gazers are creatures that enabled our team to subtly build narratives tangent with the environment, usually  trying to show the impacts direct and indirect effects of fear and dread."

Achilles, Game Designer.

The creative process is something that takes time when developing a character or creature. And for the concept to become Pixel Art and be implemented in the game, there is technical work that requires mastery!

“Initially, we thought about the main features that would be worked on. In this case, the eyes and tongue. However, to maintain the balance of characteristics, each one should have only one of these features. In the case of the eyes, the focus of the attack animation should be all on this aspect, and the same idea applies to the other variations. That way, it's possible to have multiple variations with small changes, while still maintaining unique aspects of each of the creatures."

Sivk, Pixel Artist.


But that is not all! The creatures of Ravendawn have even more to offer! After this process of creating and developing the creature, it will also receive its own Ravencard!

As mentioned in other DevBlogs, the visual style and purpose of Ravencards has drastically changed over the past few months in order to provide a much more dynamic and fun experience for the players!

Now, each creature has its own unique illustration, created by our talented illustrators. How about taking a look at the creative process of illustrating the Frozen Gazers?

“When starting a Ravencard, the illustration team receives a specific briefing from the creature. The briefing itself consists of the creature’s lore, the predetermined ability it should represent, and some text suggestions of possible scenarios and circumstances for the creature. Then the illustrators make a Pixel Art reinterpretation design. In the case of the Frozen Gazers, the base reinterpretation of the Gazers had already been done by the team, so we had to adapt them for the icy areas of Glaceforde.”

Yuri Guglinski, Illustrator.


“After that moment, the composition sketches are made. They consist of three simplified versions of the final possibilities for a Ravencard. Although they all focus on the Frozen Gazer, the story, environment and point of view, the ways of representing the Frost Bolt ability vary. At the end of this part, the options are shown to the team so they can choose which path to go. Nothing prevents the team from mixing ideas between sketches, if they think there is a better way of doing it. Among the Frozen Gazer sketches, the second version was chosen. In it, the creature stands imposingly over the viewer, its crushing eye staring back at them and charging the Frost Bolt conjuration.”

Yuri Guglinski, Illustrator.


From that moment on, with all the composition elements, colors and effects already defined, the illustration moves on to the element resolution part, such as the color palette which, together with the ice particles, causes a freezing sensation.


Did you enjoy learning more about the history of the Frozen Gazers and the creative process behind them? They are waiting for brave players who dare to explore Glaceforde in search of new adventures!

Thank you for your attention and see you in the next DevBlog!

The Ravendawn Team