Environment Design Process: Ardath Hotel

The Ardath Pub is a characterful establishment where a motley crew of artists, thieves, and thugs congregate to drink, play darts and get up to mayhem. To bring this place to life, Sara Laubscher, Lead Environment Concept Artist, worked closely with our Narrative Director, Leanne Taylor-Giles, in order to maintain an authentic ‘Aussie vibe’. Through pokie machines and a pool-table-turned-impromptu music stage around the back, we aimed to demonstrate the rowdy charm of the Ardath way of life.

We heavily referenced the real-life Ardath Hotel pub, which Leanne had personally visited. Sara created the concept that served as our blueprint, using isometric illustration techniques and photobashing renders of props we had already made for the game, in order to get the main ideas, mood and structure of the environment across as efficiently as possible.

Here are some images of the real Ardath pub:

Art Lead Bianca Roux expertly translated this room’s design into a 3D model using Maya and ZBrush to add the sculpted details:

Following this, Sara textured the scene in Adobe Substance Painter, maintaining the game’s painterly style by applying gestural paint strokes in the grotty corners of the room, peeling paint and some graffiti on the walls for added authenticity.

Finally, Ryan Gee brought it all together in Unity, meticulously set dressing the scene to match the concept art and infusing it with additional environmental storytelling and mood-enhancing lighting. This collaborative process ensured that our interior scene not only remained true to the unique charm of the game’s narrative but also added depth to our post-apocalyptic Australian world as a whole.

We’ll have more to show soon in the September 2023 Update. You can also catch the Drop Bear Bytes art team on a live stream as part of the Melbourne International Games Week Steam Event live at the following times on Wednesday, 27 September :

5:00pm (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane)
3:00pm (Perth)
9:00am (Cape Town, Johannesburg, Barcelona, Warsaw)
8:00am (London)
3:00am (New York)
12:00am midnight (Los Angeles, San Francisco)

Thanks for reading. We hope to catch you on the live stream and answer any questions you may have!

– The Drop Bear Bytes team

Wishlist Broken Roads on Steam

We hope you’re excited for Broken Roads’ full release later this year! As always, if you have any content to share or questions for the team, please feel free to reach out. You can stay in touch with me and the rest of the Versus Evil team by joining our Discord and following us on our various social media channels.

~ VS Trippi