Mock-up concept for Star Stable Online
One of my personal projects I used to apply for the 2D graphics program to the game school Futuregames.
Summery of Asmundir
Asmundir was a personal project that I created when one of the Star Stables Ambassadors held a competition to create a new area. I love Scandinavian lore and wanted a area inspired by it so I started to look at how the entrance to the new area could look like and started design there after.
The story behind…
I would like to get to a new area by a shallow creek. In an area close to the huge mountain behind Valedale and as soon as you get closer to that mountain the creek get so shallow that you and your horse can walk in it, the water only reaching to the edge of your horse's hooves. The creek will run through a opening in the mountain and you get inside a cave that is lit up by bioluminesce crystals that's splattered on the wall all around you, creating a bluish light that bounces around inside the cave. Maybe a star is hidden behind a crystal?
The opening gets wider and the creeks calm flow is starting to pick up. As you come closer to the opening of the cave you start to hear the water running slightly faster, birds chirping and the wind rustling in the leaves and grass. You find yourself standing on a higher platform as you look out over the area which is rich in a mix of pine and leave trees. At this angle you’ll only see the top of the sea of trees but as you squint your eyes and turn your head to try and see more you can spot a village and since the trees aren’t in the way there you can see a open big field in the misty distance behind the, what you can make out, the busy small village.
Of course you want to ride down there cause you’re dying to explore this new place so you start to follow the creek and starts to descend to the woods. The woods would be misty but with a feeling of mystery and interest of what could live there. You get the feeling that trolls would house here but you know better than to believe in them… right? You turn your head and see a misty dark lake but something in your stomach says ‘no, don’t go there’ so you ride on. There are wildlife that would walk around such as deer, moose, foxes and then different kinds of birds chirping in the trees, nesting in the woods. The animals would be programmed to always stay in the distance meaning you can only look at them from a distance making the animals even more mysterious. Blueberry shrubberies, wild raspberries, different kinds of mushrooms and wildflower should fill the forest floor, making that mysterious path be difficult to follow but not impossible cause you’re dead set on making your way down to that village. The trees are starting to thin out and are replaced with wider spaces of grass which you now can take on in a frisky canter because it was difficult to maintain a high speed around in the forest in case you would miss the path. The grass is a little higher than around in the rest of Jorvik but not too high to miss the flowers, squirrels and bunnies that has come out to play and search for food.
The village is a close resemblance to Firgrove but still differ from it in the carvings, color scheme and design of the houses. Imagine timber houses but with a twist towards the mysteries of old Scandinavian folklore where the houses has a deep brown and red colors with beautiful flower and animal carvings and pattern across the rim of the roof and windows of the houses. The people may be modern and use electricity but it’s used with eco-friendly set of mind. They also have Scandinavian clothes that are decorative with the same pattern ideas of the houses but with more colors and elaborated patterns. The people are friendly and more than happy to welcome you to the village of Asmundir. The village's tiny square has a well for you to fill up the water for your horse who has started to get thirsty. You’ll see a rustic, but beautiful stable in the same style as the houses where a few of the villagers have left their horses to rest. There's not a doubt that you can take care of your own horse there. The stable lies next to a woman eager to sell her goods to you. The shops aren’t that many in Asmundir but it’s clear that they love their horses cause almost all shops have either riding gear in the style of the town’s people or horse tack that looks cozy to use in the winter months, also with a flare of the towns Scandinavian touch.
You start to explore the edge of the town after you’ve checked every inch of the shops and a tiny square with six horses are presented to you. There are three ponies and the three others are heavier horses, most likely designed to pull the timber back after a day's work in the forest. But wait a minute… that’s the north Swedish horse! Their design has been updated for this expansion and they look more like their own breed now. These three north Swedish horses comes in the color of black, seal bay and a beautiful shade of golden palomino. But the ponies? What are those? You take a closer look at their sturdy yet elegant postures as they bob their heads in your way. They are Gotland ponies! One, a rich, dark brown color, the other one a creamy lighter brown with a black mane and tail and the last one a light flaxen chestnut with a almost white mane and tail. You’re out of your wits with excitement to have stumbled on these new horses and as you’re about to take a fourth look at that palomino draft you see a lone figure looming behind the windshield where the horses are standing. The figure looks familiar with its hooded clothes, could this be a druid? Tho the clothes have a more close to home feel with the village’s people but you can’t help it. This person feels like a druid to you! You approaches him but he’s hard to talk to and quickly disappears. A man behind you shakes his head and wonder why you would even want to waste your time on talking to Eindride, the one who rides alone. And so the prologue to Asmundir has ended and the real story takes its place.
This area would also be the first to change season with the actual real time seasons! Meaning when it’s spring the forest are in bloom and starting to wake up once again. When it’s summer everything is lush and green, filled with life. When it’s autumn the colors starts to vibrate with the many shades that is provided and during winter the water freezes, the snow lies thick and cozy on the ground, trees and the village.