Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing with you the making of our game ‘Momo Ichigo’, from level and character design to sculpting game assets and creating the game’s soundtrack. We’ll be uploading asset renders, screenshots, gameplay and speed-modelling videos, as well as a look into some of our design documents.
In anticipation of these devlog posts, I wanted to take a moment to share with you the inspiration behind the world of Momo Ichigo.
CONCEPTUALISING A FANTASY WORLd
When we first began fleshing out the setting and lore of our game world, we already knew that traditional Japanese aesthetics and folklore would have a huge impact on almost every decision we would make. One of the earliest things we had to decide was just how much like real-world Edo Japan we wanted the game world to be.
Edo-period Japan was a huge influencer for us, but we wanted the ability to put our own flare and originality into Momo Ichigo. With this in mind, we opted to build a fantasy world inspired by Edo Japanese aesthetics, mythology and folklore, but with additional influences from fantasy movies, games and books that we loved, as well as a diverse society with less homogeneity than that of its real-world counterpart.
Okay, so how do we do this? How do we create a world similar to Edo-period Japan, but with added fictional and fantasy elements?
Our answer was to make a small alteration to the mythology in this fictional universe. A new, additional land, created alongside Japan, that would share many of the things that made Japan such a great inspiration for our game.
DEMONS AND MONSTERS AND GHOSTS … OH MY!
Some of the greatest inspirations for Momo Ichigo came from the supernatural beings and creatures of Japanese folklore. Yokai, 妖怪, (loosely translated as demons, monsters, ghosts, gods and spirits) have influenced the design of many of the game’s characters and enemies.
Our Kitsune creature, taking its name directly from the corresponding Yokai, is one example of how some elements of the game are very heavily inspired by this folklore.
Kitsune, 狐, is the Japanese word for fox and, in Japanese folklore, they appear as such. Commonly, these foxes are wild and mischievous, sometimes possessing supernatural abilities. In Japanese legend, as kitsune grow older. they gain additional tails. The nine-tailed fox, kyuubi no kitsune (九尾の狐), is the most powerful of all kitsune, appearing as white or gold. Our kitsune (as seen below), appear as larger, five-tailed foxes, with faces covered by traditional kitsune masks.
CHARACTER DESIGN WITH THESE AESTHETICS IN MINd
Working with character concepts has been an interesting process for us. We did our best to pay homage to the traditions and styles of Edo Japan, spending a lot of time collecting references and researching the societal and cultural norms of the time. While there was definitely a specific and identifiable look we kept in mind for character designs, we resolved to add our own unique visual features to each concept.
We’ll be soon be exploring, through our devlogs, some of the important visual and audio components that help bring the world of Momo Ichigo to life, as well as the culture and traditions that inspired them.
We’re super excited to share our journey with you!
Lead Game Designer