Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Update #30

In case you've ever wondered how those crafty developers at Obsidian Entertainment create areas for their games, the 30th Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Fig update talks precisely about that. We get treated to an overview of the area-creation process, along with a series of accompanying screenshots. An excerpt:

The Environments of Pillars II

In the Pillars of Eternity series, we make sure our environments look beautiful. Our area designers and environment artists work hard to ensure every last detail is placed correctly, from rugs and thrones all the way down to tiny bowls of fruit. However, the environments aren't just something nice to look at; each area plays an important role in revealing the storyline and teaching you more about cultures of the people who live in these places.

A lot of work goes into making a scene in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, and we'll walk you through from start to completion. The scene we'll be showing is part of the Vailian Trading Company's headquarters. In case you missed it, you can read about the VTC in Update #29!


The blockout and design document is the first step to making an environment in Pillars II. An area designer will create a design document and provide all of the following information about an area:
  • Summary and background of the area
  • How large each scene should be
  • Visual descriptions with concepts
  • Creatures and NPCs present in the area
  • Quests that occur
  • Dialogue requests
  • Encounters or Scripted Interactions
  • Blockouts for each area
  • Examinables and loot
  • Specific asset requests for Art, VFX or Audio
After the blockouts are approved by leads, we have the concept art team sketch out the general feel and style of the scene if needed. We didn't need a concept for this scene, so it was passed directly to environment art to start work in a 3D software package. On this project we are using Maya by Autodesk.