Shop Front Environment

Before I do any more concept work for any of the environments, I felt that it would be beneficial to look into how to draw in Isometric parameters as this could hinder my design process otherwise.
I looked at this tutorial on how Isometric works in comparison to Perspective and how to draw maps in an Isometric way as this will handy for me when it comes to putting all of the environments together next Semester. This could also be useful for James to see as he’s working on Dungeons so he may need this for the maps. You can find all my notes in Sketchbook 3 with the yellow tab called Isometric Tutorials, pages 62-65:


Afterwards, I looked at an artist called Jazza who has a Youtube Channel on how to draw bits and pieces – a video I found of his was on how to do Isometric drawing. I felt it would be a good idea to see how you create assets in Isometric rather than Perspective drawing which is what I’m used to. It was definitely useful and I’ll be referring back to this guy over the next semester. Again, notes can be found in Sketchbook 3, yellow tab Isometric tutorials on pages 66-69:

Once I’d got an idea of what was possible in Isometric, I got back on to designing the shop front. This is the area where the player will converse with the customers and show off products on shelves so it doesn’t need to be over the top and cramped. 
I got a bit caught up in thinking about all of the sorts of assets that would be in this environment and began to overcomplicate it so I had to reign it back a little and think about the necessities.

Overview of Shop:

The quirky shop in which the Player will be inhabiting is situated in the buzzing town of Ephara. With its charming structure and intriguing presence, it brings customers from far and wide in want of the Dream Potions that is there to offer.
Inspired by Medieval Apothecary, the shop is where the Player will showcase their stock of potions, converse with customers about commissions and sell their produce. It is very simple in its decor due to the vibrant potions and their bottles that illuminate the room.


I took some inspiration from Skyrim as this is a game that I think of when I think about Medieval structures and aesthetics in games which are popular already. They use a lot of brown tones which is something to bear in mind however, the goal is to make Belljar colourful and charming so this will need some thought. I picked these images as I felt they were the best ones to get across the aesthetics we’re looking for – medieval, rustic, charming and quirky. (See Sketchbook 3, yellow tab Environment Design, pages 46-61)

Apart from the front desk and cabinets to show off the dream potions, one of the only other things we need are the potion bottles themselves. As we’d only just mapped out the potions we would be using in the Alpha Build, it was easier to figure out possible colours for each of them. I looked a little bit into the meanings of colours in order to make good judgements on what potions would suit what colour. (See Sketchbook 3, yellow tab Colour Theory, pages 80-81) Next semester, I will talk to Claudia as she did a lot of research into the meanings of colour and will see if she has any good research that I could follow up on and look into.

I then began designing the styles of bottles we could have. I made a selection of concepts based on my Pinterest board, previous research and sketches and then got some feedback from my teammates and others who are in our target audience by getting them to select the sorts of bottle style they preferred. (See Sketchbook 3, yellow tab Bottle Design, pages 82-89).

Above are examples of the favourites that were picked. After I took them to colouring, I then got the individuals I asked previously which ones they preferred. Again, it seemed that the above four sketches were the favourites when coloured so I have decided that these will be the ones that will be visible in the shop. This also gives a range of variety by having different potion bottles. Next semester these will be developed further so there is a wide range of bottles to choose from. 

The left image is the original sketch that I did doing a perspective drawing. The right is how it would look in Isometric. This has definitely helped me to think more about my placement using the Isometric parameters and I’ll be doing the same for the remaining rooms with the same technique to give us a strong lead next semester in terms of style and design.

Colour Scheme

In terms of the colour scheme, I felt that as it’s a shop that needs to entice its customers, it should appear friendly and welcoming and therefore have warm colours. I searched my inspiration boards for the best reference I could find and that we agreed on as a team. 

inspired-colour-scheme-for-shop-frontWith the mixture of warm browns, reds and yellows this gives the room a soft and friendly feel to the environment. I added the spark of blue as it breaks the room up and gives it an injection of fresh colour so it comes across quirky still as well as charming. 

Next Steps

Similar to the potion room (see here for the blog post) I will be needing to visit shops that have an apothecary vibe. After doing some research into where would be best to go to get first-hand research, this is the list of places:

  • Treadwell’s Books, London


  • The Old Apothecary, Southampton  


After looking at some images of these shops, I feel that these are certainly the best places to visit to get first-hand research. We may even be able to ask the staff questions about business elements we’ll be needing to incorporate into the game too which would be useful.


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