In early stages of development, The script-based image generator tool Neuralblender was used to generate images that served as visualizations and reference points for early scene design ideas. Above are the first images created in Neuralblender, and their Unreal-Engine-designed counterparts. Using simple ideas and text prompts to generate images, helped mapping out a mental picture of what the different scenes should look like, and finding the right elements to design the scenes in Unreal Engine.
We wanted some of the scenes in AFTERLIFE to be really saturated with complex visual information, and one strategy in achieving this was generating a lot of image textures, in particular for the Labyrinth-Ghost scenes, using Neuralblender and Dall-E. Using simple text prompts like 'exploding pixelated cake', 'Purple Sugar Glider flying in the Jungle/sitting in a flower', 'Angel with floppy disk pixelated' and 'Buddha transcends the Matrix' let us produce this content really quickly, and like ancient cave paintings, left the signature visual style of AI-generated images on the walls of our game world. An overarching conceptual idea for these works, was to reflect the absurdity of using an all-powerful artistic tool for something seemingly completely meaningless, as is often the case in internet niches such as NFT marketplaces. We also wanted to leave the trace of contemporary AI-powered text-based image generators in AFTERLIFE, as it is a defining medium of our current times, and therefore carries with it a very specific signature look. The generator watermarks where purposely left on the images, also within the Unreal Engine virtual environment.
AFTERLIFE: The 'Room of Dead Macbooks' is covered with 'Sugar Glider' wallpaper
AFTERLIFE: The Ghost leads the POV camera through 'A tunnel of exploding cake'.
AFTERLIFE: The Ghost leads the POV camera into 'Reality Dungeon'. 'Buddha Transcends The Matrix' is shown on a computer control terminal screen next to two hanging skeletons wearing VR headsets. Above them hangs a sign with the inscription 'Know Thyself'. The scene playfully references Nam June Paik's 'TV Buddha' , The philosopher Plato, The Dungeon-styled computer game level 'Paris Catacombs' in 'Deus Ex' and The Oracle of Delphi.