Behind the Cartoon Sci-fi Artwork of Roguelike Shoulders of Giants – Out Now

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We’re so thrilled to lastly launch Shoulders of Giants! Since we simply launched, the entire workforce right here at Shifting Items are all feeling fairly reflective (in addition to barely terrified/excited in equal measures!), so I assumed it is likely to be good to share just a few ideas on a side of the sport that we’re notably pleased with: its stylized visible graphics. I assumed it is likely to be good to take this chance to speak about our inspirations behind the look of the sport.

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Whereas it’s wonderful to see how far photorealistic graphics might be pushed with the newest Xbox {hardware}, what actually excited us was creating one thing that mixed the newest graphics applied sciences like bodily based mostly rendering with a extra stylized shading method like cel shading. This was the idea behind our technical and aesthetic method to the visuals for Shoulders of Giants.

We began by experimenting with what this may appear to be by taking early idea artwork and making fundamental worlds with none gameplay. Initially we went additional into extra of a conventional cel shaded look, however discovered that once we combined some photoreal rendering methods with that’s the place good particulars actually began to shine.

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When it comes to setting, we knew that we wished the sport to happen in a sci-fi universe, which meant having a cosmic skybox stuffed with planets, stars and swirly clouds. We had been closely impressed by the model of sci-fi artwork from the Seventies and cherished the way it usually contained big planets within the background to assist hold the horizon attention-grabbing.


The essential story of the sport is that the darkish and chilly forces of Entropy have taken over the Universe, and it’s the gamers’ job to revive life and stability. One of many sport’s essential NPCs is an omnipotent Owl from an historic order, and most of the ranges and props discovered all through the sport are impressed by that of historic civilizations, like Historic Egypt and Greece.

We imagined ranges with deserted ruins from an historic order scattered all through ranges that the participant might discover. This was a essential inspiration behind the look of the degrees and their structure.

Among the props and ranges of the sport additionally take inspiration from surrealist work, notably within the final act of the sport. We considered rumbling clouds, and stairs going off into the horizon.


Profiting from a stylized look, we put emphasis on utilizing coloration to inform the story of Shoulders of Giants. One of many greatest themes within the sport is darkish versus mild.

The participant begins each stage off with the world lined in darkness and as you progress and finally beat the extent, you restore it with life and lightweight.

Making the “mild” model of our landscapes pop with coloration was easy, however making the chilly, darkish variations of those alien worlds sing with coloration was not trivial. Our artwork director and I spent days pouring over palettes, and finally determined we needed to re-evaluate what “darkish” actually meant. We determined to lean extra into darkness as an idea of chilly, or lack of life.

Ultimately we discovered colours and lighting mixtures that also appeared vibrant and attention-grabbing, however nonetheless allowed us to specific our themes. We created sandy deserts, white fields of snow, and caustic acid worlds glowing with inexperienced.


We are able to’t await gamers to hop into the world we created!

For extra data, take a look at the sport’s retailer web page and official website, or join our discord.

Xbox Live

Shoulders of Giants

Shifting Items Interactive


Concurrently management a sword-wielding robotic and a gunslinging house frog in Shoulders of Giants, an explosively colourful sci-fi roguelike. Play alone, with a good friend, or as a part of a four-person workforce, reducing by way of waves of enemies on a quest to rescue the galaxy!

The forces of Entropy are spreading chaos by way of the celebrities, corrupting dwelling planets and urging on the warmth loss of life of the universe. Led by the psychic Owl, one scrappy workforce of house survivors are preventing to revive the stability. A mysterious mech! A sharpshooting amphibian! Collectively they have to reduce by way of waves of enemies and restore mild and life to the galaxy!

Pre-order the sport for entry to limited-edition dye units with particular visible results. Dazzle your folks!

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