Aboravin Jungle: Trees, Wildlife, and Light

I've spent the last few weeks working on Vitrerran's jungle level, and holy crap am I happy with how it's turning out. Also, holy crap is what I'm doing time consuming! I think you'll like this one though.

The Aboravin Jungle is somewhat typical of jungles in that it's big and spread out, with most people living in more compact villages than large, industries cities. The trees are big, the wildlife is varied and sometimes dangerous, and the foliage is thick and uneven.

What sets the our jungle apart from many other jungles, however, is that its divided vertically. There are two floors to the Aboravin Jungle, not one.

The ground level is where most people live, however, long ago, a major split occurred within the Aboravin people, causing a large group to flee into the trees where they've built their own cities into the thick branches. Narrow walkways connect everything, and while living in the canopy is dangerous and seen as crazy by many on the ground level, those above prefer their closer proximity to the sun, which they believe gives the jungle its strength.

There is no war between the two groups though, and in fact, travel between is fairly common. Each level has something the other needs.

I'll be honest, I don't have as much lore or narrative aspects done for the Aboravin Jungle as I have for other regions of Vitrerran. My original concepts no longer seem as fun as I once thought, and I'm in the process of rewriting and repackaging everything. The canopy itself is a new addition to the jungle, and one that'll be interesting to work with as I bring more characters through.

The place is infested with witches though! That wasn't in the original concepts, which were clearly flawed since they lacked witches.

Design wise, the level is coming along really nicely, but it isn't 100% finished. We need a custom tile sheet for the trees, particle effects for the water, and some more concept/custom items for the canopy itself, which is still in its early stages.

But dang, when this area is done, I think it'll stand out as one of the best in the entire game.

But enough talk! It's time for pictures.

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As with every area of Vitrerran, the goal was to make the Aboravin Jungle as distinct as possible without needing too many customized tile sheets. The uneven landscape was Joe's idea, and one that looks really good when put together properly. 

My idea was, instead of making a few big maps with multiple paths, to make a ton of little maps with more linear paths, giving the place a sprawling feel. I want the jungle to feel big, and I want it to seem hard to traverse.

So far, I think I'm getting it right.

~Chad