Art Production for Synapse: Enhancing the Surreal World of VR Gaming

At Magic Media, we had the incredible opportunity to contribute our VR gaming and art production expertize to nDreams‘ surreal, dreamscape adventure PS VR2 title, Synapse. We were thrilled to work on this project and deliver our industry-leading art production services to such an interesting and engaging title. In this blog, we’ll take you behind the scenes of our collaboration with nDreams and share how we helped bring the mind-bending world of Synapse to life.

Optimized VR Art Production

As a VR project, Synapse presented unique challenges that required careful consideration for performance. VR titles demand a delicate balance between visual fidelity and optimization to ensure a smooth and immersive experience. Our team understands the importance of stable and consistent FPS in VR gaming, as any stutters or lag can lead to motion sickness or render the game unplayable for most players. With this in mind, we employed our expertize to create high-quality assets with minimal polygons, meeting the demanding requirements of the VR experience.

Creating 3D Assets and Environments

In Synapse, a militaristic, looping shooter, our team seamlessly integrated with the game’s unique and surreal setting. Our goal was to develop a range of 3D assets, including environments, weapons, and various active items. Additionally, we had the opportunity to contribute scenes and UI elements that complemented the active items.

From concept to creation, our dedicated team, consisting of a producer, an art lead, a concept artist, and several skilled 3D artists, meticulously crafted these assets. Typically, we find ourselves contributing to the art production pipeline in part or delivering assets at a set stage to be completed by the internal team.

In this case, it was an enjoyable opportunity for us to experience the creative freedom of taking assets from their earliest concepts to the final delivery. We thoroughly enjoyed contributing our art production expertize to Synapse, a game that has garnered praise for its stunning visual style.

Embracing the Surreal Tone and Style

Synapse stands out in the gaming world for its refreshing departure from ongoing visual trends. The game’s weird and wonderful surreal mindscapes are composed of dark, gloomy grey tones and a black-and-white aesthetic completed by vibrant accents. This fantastic visual style provided a fun challenge for our team. It was a refreshing change of pace, pushing us to explore texture and shape as powerful visual devices. The limited color palette sparked our creativity, as we discovered new ways to maximize the impact of each element. As they say, limitations boost creativity, and our team embraced this challenge wholeheartedly.

Streamlined Art Production Pipeline

To ensure a seamless art development process, our concept artist played a pivotal role in creating the majority of the final assets and scenes we worked on. This close collaboration allowed for efficient communication and a smooth workflow with the whole team being involved constantly.

Throughout the project, the art director at Synapse provided comprehensive feedback, ensuring that our work perfectly aligned with their vision. Our pipeline involved starting with around 10 initial concept sketches, which were then refined into 4 or 5 more detailed concepts. From there, one concept was chosen for further development, undergoing the standard pipeline process, including high-poly modeling, low-poly optimization, and texture baking. Our concept artist also took on the role of an art lead to preserve the creative vision of the work and creating skill icons when needed.

Successful VR Gaming Collaboration with nDreams

Working with the nDreams team on Synapse was an absolute pleasure for our team. The collaboration was characterized by positivity, open communication, and a shared commitment to excellence. We greatly appreciated the honest and professional feedback we received from the nDreams team, and they were equally responsive to our inquiries throughout the project. The entire process was smooth and efficient, resulting in a successful partnership that brought Synapse to life.

If you’re seeking exceptional art production services for your VR or traditional game, look no further. As part of the Magic Media group, our collective of talented artists and creators is ready to scale and meet your project’s unique needs. Whether it’s creating immersive 3D art, designing captivating game VFX, or providing comprehensive art production solutions, we have the expertize to deliver excellence. Contact us today and let us bring your vision to life. Let’s create magic and unlock the full potential of your project!


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