How Anime and India Influenced Indus' Architecture and Environments

Rishi Alwani
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With the Indus Team settled in at our new studio, we’re back to making Indus the best game it can possibly be. One crucial part of it is the art direction and how it reflects what our intent with Indus is. Given the size, scale, and expectations that come with the term ‘battle royale’, it’s important for us to nail the game’s aesthetic in order to create a world that’s unique yet believable.

In this context, architecture plays a major role with one such structure for that very purpose being the Arches of Virlok. You can check out the video right here or carry on reading to know how the team is thinking and creating a world that’s different in ways more than one.

This grand symmetrical construction was inspired in part by anime and the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings films, Indus Game Director Jwalant Gangwar tells us.

"Just like most people my age that grew up with Naruto and Lord of the Rings, I was always enamoured by massive structures that overshadow the punity (sic) of a normal human being,” he says.

From a world-building perspective he hints that the arches are “the gateway to the strangeness that is locked away on the island of Virlok.”

And while we’ll be discussing some of those oddities down the line, the game’s Senior Concept Artist Uday Pawar explains the thought process behind creating the Arches of Virlok.

"It should look epic and futuristic as well,” he says. “It should feel like a dream…we had several discussions regarding exactly what we need to make…Then we have several rough sketches. Among those we chose artwork which depicts the whole perspective.”

Pawar tells us that the team first checked the volume of artwork in greyscale, adding colour later on. The thought process towards putting together the Arches of Virlok was to ensure Indian art and architecture are represented in Indus with the care and attention it deserves.

“The lines and curves in Indian architecture stand out as compared to other styles,” says Pawar. “Hard corners have been used in some places. But the edges are made round, hence you will not notice a sharp edge.”

Furthermore, the colour and surrounding environment were also thoughtfully crafted, keeping in mind the mood and feeling the team wants to give to you when you play Indus.

“It should feel like a dream,” Pawar says. “Adding fog and mist adds to the environment's allure and mystery. It should feel soft. The reason why I wanted it to look like a water colour painting is because the more you look at it, the more you fall in love with it.”

For the team though, all of this serves one important purpose: to deliver something different.

“We're influenced by international cultures,” Pawar admits.  “But there are so many influences and art styles that we haven't seen yet or even noticed, despite them being in front of us, that are heavily influenced by Indian art. Indus is our subject and needs to look futuristic —something that hasn't been seen before.”