Little Nightmares Comic: A peek into the creative process
As Plastiek we’ve already made a bunch of digital comics. But when Bandai Namco Entertainment contacted us about making a digital comic set in the Little Nightmares universe, we got real enthusiastic. As visual storytellers, we love the way the game communicates so much with practically no text. There’s an aesthetic to the game that feels very natural and very emotionally connected. It felt like both like a natural fit and like a challenge right away.
VISUAL DEVELOPMENT: finding the right visual style
For this comic we wanted to find a style that was different from the game but could still carry the same feeling (and where possible push that feeling even more). So, for the visual development stage we created a 3D scene of the Hunter. In this scene we could test all the elements we planned to use like depth layering, light, and animation. With this scene built we could test some different art styles. As you can see in the video, we tested three different approaches.
We ended up really liking these gritty, hard, deep blacks in combination with textured colours. Another advantage that this deep black style gave us was being able to play with framing and shadows a lot, since the comic frame would be black too.
BREAKDOWN OF A PANEL: from text to 3d animation
All the panels in the comic are full 3D scenes. We work with an approach that’s based on projection mapping, meaning that it’s pretty quick to create, but has a limited field of view. For the production we used a combination of 2D and 3D techniques from start to finish. In many cases we used assets from the game to give us a base to draw the art over. Then, we projected the art back onto the 3D later. In the video you can see the process of one panel going from sketch to final animation.
STORYTELLING: from sketch to final page
To push the scary hide-and-seek feeling we decided to go for a vertical scrolling format. This is a great format for phones in general, and in this case, it also allowed for a fluid storytelling style that’s reminiscent of the game, while giving us room to use the foreground to hide and reveal elements.
We combined all of this with original audio from Little Nightmares to really lock in the mood of the different areas and character.
As of today, Episode 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Little Nightmares Comic are available for free here:
Keep a close watch out for the release of LITTLE NIGHTMARES II