The scenery: a rural French aesthetic | Blog | Superflous Returnz

The scenery: a rural French aesthetic | Blog | Superflous Returnz The scenery: a rural French aesthetic | Blog | Superflous Returnz
  • Steam
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Google Play
Superfluous and his assistant Sophie


The scenery: a rural French aesthetic


After a few technical articles, I wanted to do a making-of that's a bit more focused on the artistic aspect of the game. In addition, it will be an occasion to show you some images. Since most of the work I'm doing right now is on the graphics part of the game, this seems like a good time to do it.

Artistic direction

The universe of Superfluous is that of a small French village called Fochougny. An imaginary village of an imaginary region, but which is very similar to a lot of existing places in France. As it is a rather unusual setting in the world of video games and superheroes (American megalopolises are more frequent than European villages), I'm trying to create a scenery that represents well this kind of very typical place.

Disclaimer: as I grew up in a rural department of the French region of Lorraine (called “la Meuse”), it is quite possible that my vision of the “typical French village” is biased and corresponds more to a village of the northeast of France than to a village in Provence. People from elsewhere will forgive me.

A reminder: from a technical point of view, I create the drawings using Inkscape, free software, with a graphics tablet.

Elements of architecture

Superflu Riteurnz will allow you to move freely from one place to another. For this, there'll be a central “hub”, which will of course be the village square. I have not yet drawn this square: it will undoubtedly be one of the last piece of scenery I will draw, since it will include “zoomed out” versions of a lot of places that we can visit. So I prefer to wait until I have completed all the other scenery to unify them aesthetically at the end.

If you think about a building that exists in each French village, you may quickly think of a church, a church that already appears on the exterior view of Fochougny, in the game's introduction sequence:

It is seen from quite far away, but you can already recognize the architecture of a small village church (and not of a cathedral in a large city).

Another fairly common building I'm working on right now is the school, with that typical style made of stones and red bricks above the windows:

Creation of a game scenery: borders, details, colors, shadows and final rendering with objects

Of course, because the action takes place at the start of the 21st century, the Fochougny school has been closed for a long time and it now houses a communal festival hall. If you know me, you know I'm not the kind of guy who creates idealized postcard, so it will be a French village from nowadays, with its share of problems: medical desert with no public services, etc.

Away from the village, there is a farm:


Yes, I also put a windmill there. If you've read my novel Une Auberge dans la tempête (French only, sorry), you must be thinking that I'm obsessed with windmills. Well yes, I like windmills, I find them beautiful, don't ask me why.

In a more recent style but a little retro all the same, I also made a water tower with a shape that can be found everywhere in France:


By the way, if you've never read about the principle and operation of water towers, you should, it's fascinating.

The rest

I'm not going to show you everything, and I still have a lot to do anyway. There will obviously be the usual bar and the gendarmerie, two places already seen in the comic book (again, French only so far) and which will each be important in the game:


Note that I won't refrain at all from changing the design of Fochougny between the comic book and the game: my graphic style has evolved since the creation of the comic, and more importantly the display format is very different (small box VS 16/9 screen), so that requires some adaptations.

Finally, of course, some of the action will take place at Superfluous' home, Château Lonion. Strictly speaking, it is not an element of “typical” architecture (you won't find it in every village), but it remains a local building, because it is inspired by the Château de Chenonceau, the most beautiful château de la Loire in France in my opinion:


There you go, I hope you enjoyed this little preview of the game's scenery, see you soon for another more or less technical making-of!