Designing 2D Backgrounds for Adventure Game | Escape: Time Library

In the usual lifestyle, people pay a lot of attention to the details, for instance, what to eat for breakfast, or what color of T-shirt suits them best.
But have you ever thought about the importance of details in the gaming industry? 

Especially about such significant visual detail as 2D game backgrounds :) 

They play a crucial role in the gaming industry, even if some players don’t notice them from time to time. Art backgrounds impact the feel and the gamers’ experience. Due to their functions, they can establish the game’s setting and atmosphere, create an interactive experience, define the game’s visual identity, and as a result, change the game’s aesthetic.

Characters and 2D Puzzle Backgrounds, Young boy with glasses, wearing a yellow jacket and blue scarf, Dark underwater scene with sunken ship and ghostly figures, Young girl in bright red jacket beside older man with glasses and book

Mostly, 2D game backgrounds are used by retro and indie game developers because these guys know how to make them the most engaging and fascinating. They always create unique, artistic, and sometimes experimental art backgrounds that make the games stand out from mainstream projects. 

There are a lot of popular games where you can find something catchy: Monument Valley, Swordigo, or Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery.
But today we are going to tell you about the 2D adventure game Escape: Time Library, representative of the 2D mobile game for Android in Roseplate 2D game art.

All our 2D game art projects are special, and this one is not an exception. This puzzle game tells a story about Alice and Hiro who became reliable partners in a time-traveling adventure.
For us, it’s a big luck to work with such an outstanding game. 

So, let’s not waste time and start delving into the fascinating journey of the process of creating 2D game backgrounds. 

Why you need Backgrounds in 2D Adventure Games

It’s hard to believe that something seemingly insignificant is extremely important and can influence the tone and mood of the game. But video game backgrounds are exactly the icing on the cake. They serve as a visual and sometimes auditory backdrop to the game’s narrative and gameplay, improving the players’ experience. And it’s not even half of their potential. 

The visual design of backgrounds, colors, textures, and art style, create a specific atmosphere. A dark and gritty urban backdrop will set a tense and serious tone in a crime-based game. In return, gloomy and mysterious old buildings are the best choice for the backgrounds in the adventure game

We shouldn’t forget about the possibility of backgrounds representing various environmental themes. They can have an impact on the audience’s feelings and emotions. 

For example, a lush forest background can convey a sense of adventure and exploration, while a desolate wasteland can evoke feelings of isolation and desolation. 

Different stylized 2D Backgrounds, Mystical room with brewing potions and candles, Circular mechanical puzzle with interlocking gears, Retro computer setup in a room with large mushroom

Escape: Time Library is a perfect example of a game where backgrounds play a crucial role. Firstly, enigmatic and mystical backdrops affect the gameplay style in general. This kind of game typically focuses on solving puzzles and riddles to unlock doors or find clues.
It means the gamers pay a lot of attention to the
art backgrounds trying to find the necessary solutions and hints. 

In contrast, the usual 2D adventure games involve wide exploration, character interaction, and item collection. In general, they just have less static elements. 

Secondly, the backgrounds are extremely important for every game, but for escape games, details should stay in the first place.
Such games usually take place in contained environments like rooms, dungeons, or other small spaces, with a deep focus on the small objects. 

2D adventure games can encompass a wide range of settings, from expansive open worlds to various fictional or historical locations. In this case, attention to detail is much smaller, and sometimes the game developers prefer to focus on the scope in general. Talking about escape games, it won’t fly. 

It’s no surprise why professional 2D Game Environment Services play a very significant role in the creation of the atmospheric game. Only a qualified team of game developers can make 2D adventure games and art backgrounds outstanding. Every video game company should take it seriously and pay a lot of attention to every aspect of the process of game creation. 

In this case, the most responsible decision is to trust the background design to our reliable team :)

Examples of Successful 2D Indie Games with Cool Backgrounds

Hero Academy 2

Hero Academy 2 is a card collectible and strategy game by BonusXP and Robot Entertainment. Our team of artists was responsible for the creation of various 2D illustrations for this project. 

The main point was to make all 2D details, including characters and backgrounds, fresh and interesting to change the aesthetic of the game and make it breathtaking and fascinating.
As a result, the responsible approach and creative skills led to the creation of bright and mysterious 2D game backgrounds and characters, a completely satisfied client, and outstanding final elements that will be remembered by gamers for sure. 

tactical strategy game with magic and 2d fantasy characters

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight is a 2D action-adventure game developed by Team Cherry. This game is highly recognizable by their backgrounds because they are richly detailed and often shrouded in darkness, contributing to the game’s dark and mysterious atmosphere.

It’s probably one of the most perfect examples of how quality development of backgrounds can impact the success of the game. The art backgrounds, filled with ancient ruins, eerie caverns, and hidden secrets, effectively convey the sense of exploration and discovery.

A mysterious knight character exploring a luminous underground cave with a large skeletal creature in the background, videogame

Oxenfree

Oxenfree is a supernatural thriller adventure game developed by Night School Studio. The game is set on an eerie and remote island, and the 2D art backgrounds here should create an atmosphere of isolation and mystery. The game developers decided to feature backgrounds with coastal cliffs, forests, abandoned buildings, and other island landscapes. 

To make the game even more engaging, the team made it beautifully rendered with a focus on intricate details that catch gamers’ attention. All of these details created a painterly and unique 2D art style. 

Two characters in a dimly lit control room with electronic equipment, set against a starry night backdrop, with graffiti on the surrounding structures, 2d adventure games

Techniques for Designing 2D Backgrounds

Adventure game background services are difficult and creative processes that are responsible for the total change in the atmosphere and aesthetic of the game project of any genre. Working step-by-step, the game developers can create interesting and dynamic 2D backgrounds

We want to share a guide with you that can make the process of creating video game backgrounds easier and more engaging.

  • Conceptualize and plan

Why do you need to make the background look like that? What emotion or mood do you want to convey? How will it fit into the overall project? 

Answer these questions and consider the narrative context, setting, and visual style. Some online references and inspiration that align with your vision can change the final decision. 

  • Sketch

Create rough sketches to outline the composition of your background. Also, it’s important to determine the key focal points, areas of interest, and any foreground or background elements. 

At this stage, all ideas are very significant and may have a huge impact on the concept of the game. Don’t forget to think about extra details too: color palette, texture, patterns, lights, and shadows. Such details, especially lightning, play a crucial role in creating depth and mood in 2D backgrounds.

  • Detail and add depth

Atmospheric perspective is a very good instrument to work with 2D backgrounds. The basic example is that objects closer to the viewer should have more detail and vivid colors, while those in the background should be less detailed and lighter in color.

  • Use digital tools

Adobe Photoshop, Procreate, or GIMP are your best friends if you want to create awesome 2D backgrounds. These tools offer features for layer management, blending modes, and more. In general, all that you need to create something outstanding. 

Don’t forget to take advantage of brushes and filters to achieve specific effects.

  • Export and optimize

This is the final step. Save the background in the appropriate format and resolution for your project’s requirements. It can be a nice idea to consider different versions for various screen sizes and platforms. Also, optimize the file size to ensure it doesn’t affect the project’s performance.

Additional advice from our team: consider adding dynamic elements like moving clouds, flowing water, or flickering lights. These elements can make your background more engaging and interactive, especially in games.

Using techniques for drawing the same 2D Adventure Puzzle Backgrounds

Props in a 2D Adventure Game

Props, short for properties, are the main aspect of any 2D adventure game that boosts depth and interactivity.
But they can do even more: such game assets serve aesthetic purposes, having a huge impact on the gameplay and storytelling, and, as a result, on the audience’s experience in general.

  • Aesthetic Improvement

Props are visual embellishments in the gaming world. They enrich the game world’s appearance and atmosphere. Also, by adding details, filling space, and providing context, they make backdrops and scenes breathtaking. By carefully placing props, game developers can create a lived-in and authentic 2D game. 

For instance, books, keys, hammers, or decorative items in a room can make gamers feel like they are in a real space.

  • A well-lit laboratory setup displaying various colorful liquids in glass flasks and beakers, alongside a measurement panel
  • A luxurious interior of an old mansion, with an ornate staircase, glowing lanterns, and scattered artifacts on the floor
  • Assorted maritime items including wooden planks, a coiled rope, a fish, a key, a mallet, and bundled wood sticks
  • A dimly lit room with sunlight filtering through a window, highlighting a spider web in the corner
  • Nautical-themed room with a large wooden ship's wheel, a ray of light shining through a porthole, barrels, compasses, and marine decorations
  • An old parchment paper depicting drawings of various moon phases, placed on a wooden surface inside a dimly lit room with a window and ambient light
  • Puzzles and Gameplay

Props work out not only with the visual side of the game but with the functionality too, serving as key elements in puzzles and challenges. It can be especially noticeable in the genre of escape games such as Escape: Time Library. Players may need to interact with props and sprite backgrounds to unlock doors, reveal secrets, or progress in the game.

  • Interactivity

Props are the main instruments for enhancing the player’s sense of interaction with the game world. Players can click, drag, or use props in various ways, providing them with a tactile connection to the game’s environment. Sometimes interactive props can trigger animations, reveal hidden areas, or initiate dialogues with non-player characters.

Wrapping Up

In the world of game design, the backgrounds often stay unnoticeable. The truth is that 2D game backgrounds are the main canvas for unleashing the characters and gameplay mechanics’ potential. The importance of a well-crafted background in 2D adventure games cannot be overstated.
Backgrounds will never be just static images – they are dynamic tools that shape the player’s experience and change the atmosphere.

When working on 2D adventure games, the background is the point from which the designer can begin a beautiful story. The background is the stage in the world of games, creating unique scenes where players are shrouded by a huge variety of interesting details. 

So, prioritize and invest time in crafting your videogame backgrounds.
By giving it the attention it deserves, you can create something breathtaking that will not only look stunning but also engage players and make the game unforgettable, and worth exploring.

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