The overall theme is, of course, Viking. I wanted to make something from a culture I was interested in and last year I read the book Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman so I felt particularly interested in learning more about Norse Mythology and the Vikings. I watched a few documentaries about Vikings and did some personal Google Searches too. Come to find out, I actually have no idea how to make Viking Art. Most people know the runes of the Vikings and the gear (axes, shields, horned helmets, and such) but what about their art? I stumbled across a great resource by Jonas Lau Markussen and it truly changed my perspective on Viking Art. It was fascinating for me to learn about how Viking Art changed through time and the materials used to make this art drastically changed when they adopted Christianity. After some more reading I decided I liked the Mammen style the best so I found a bunch of inspiration from that.
During this project I went through my Pinterest Board on colors and it turns out I really like the color Red, Orange, and Blue. I picked a few of the images I saved there and made some color palettes. This step of the process was more towards my original idea of Cyberpunk Inventory but I still tried to stick to the palettes to make something not many people have seen before. Going into this I knew I wanted to make something more on the dark side. Not dark as in blacks and greys but more adult and grim. Like Loki broke free from his chains and brought forth Ragnarok.
Here are a few explorations for the different UI components. This step in the pre-production process was after my greybox wireframe and during my shape study wireframe. It took the most time to get the border between the world and Inventory to look natural. I spent a lot of time there because that border should be a perfect blend between the in-game world and the UI world.
These are a few environment tests to see how my style and shapes would hold up in different places. I tried to use backgrounds that I thought were dark and grim. Somewhere I could see the Viking player going to. I knew that they might not go to a tropical beach or a rain forest so I didn't get background in those styles.
Credit to the artists who made the backgrounds in the captions.