• Katie Lofts

Games Proposal Blog - Genshin Impact Expansion - Week 1

Updated: Nov 4

31/10/2022 - 6/11/2022 Keywords:Archon - God.

Teyvat - Earth. The open-world playable land of the game.

Mondstadt - The first playable region, land of Anemo, inspired by Germany. • Liyue - The second playable region, land of Geo, inspired by China.

Inazuma - The third playable region, land of Electro, inspired by Japan. • Sumeru - The fourth playable region, land of Dendro, inspired by South Asia. • Fontaine - An unreleased region, land of Hydro, inspired by France. • Natlan - An unreleased region, land of Pyro, inspired by Indigenous America. • Snezhnaya - An unreleased region, land of Cryo, inspired by Russia.

Elements:Pyro - The fire element. • Hydro - The water element. • Anemo - The wind element. • Electro - The lightning element. • Dendro - The nature element. • Cryo - The ice element. • Geo - The rock element.

 

What you should know: Genshin Impact is an open-world action RPG developed and published by Chinese company HoYoverse for the PC, iOS/Android, and PS4/PS5 platforms. The Traveler is the playable protagonist of Genshin Impact. In the opening cutscene, twin siblings from another world travel through the universe, until an unknown god blocks their path. The player gets to choose either Aether (male) or Lumine (female) as the traveler and Traveler's Sibling gets captured. Their power to travel is sealed, leaving them stranded on Teyvat. They save Paimon by fishing her out of the water and she accompanies them as their new travel companion. Together they set out on a journey to find The Seven and reunite with the Traveler's lost sibling. via the Genshin Impact wiki The main gameplay loop of Genshin Impact consists of strategic party-building within the open-world. At a given time, you can only have 4 playable characters on your current team, meaning you must think about their elements and coordinating attacks together. Each character has their own respective element and "kit" that interacts with eachother to form "elemental reactions" - similar to different types of Pokémon that have their own unique weaknesses and strengths. For example, combining a Pyro (fire) attack from one character and a Dendro (nature) attack from another character onto an opposing enemy will interact and create the Burning reaction, dealing extra over-time ticking damage on them. These reactions can sometimes also be used to interact in the environment in unique ways, such as lighting up a torch/brazier with a Pyro attack, or melting certain ice/snow etc.

 

What I want to achieve: Below, I have tried to compile some of the things I must consider in creating my own environment that would fit into the Genshin Impact universe, as all of these things listed below are standard for each new region that gets added.

 

"Constants"/Core Mechanics of every region:

Oculus/Oculi -

Oculi are collectible orbs of elemental energy found all throughout Teyvat. They are usually hidden or in hard-to-reach places, but are worth the effort of finding, since when offered to the Statues of The Seven, the player will receive great rewards. They are only obtained once and cannot be found again once offered. • 66 Anemoculi can be found in Mondstadt.

• 131 Geoculi can be found in Liyue.

• 181 Electroculi can be found in Inazuma.

• 180 Dendroculi can be found in Sumeru. via the Genshin Impact wiki

 

Teleporters -

Players can find and unlock Teleport Waypoints throughout the world of Teyvat. When a player first unlocks them they are granted Adventure EXP Adventure EXP ×50 and Primogem Primogem ×5. Clicking on a Teleport Waypoint on the Map offers to fast travel to their location.

Statues of The Seven and Domains, including Event Domains, also act as Waypoints and can be fast traveled to. Players can refer to Teyvat Interactive Map for their locations. via the Genshin Impact wiki

Most Teleport Waypoints need to be unlocked by interacting with them. The location of most locked Waypoints can be seen on the Map once the area they are in is lit up, which is done by touching a Statue of The Seven on the Map of Teyvat and through other means, such as quest progression, in other maps. A navigation pointer will indicate a locked Teleport Waypoint's direction on the screen if the player is within 30 meters of it and then disappears if the player unlocks the Teleport Waypoint or is not within 40 meters of it.

via the Genshin Impact wiki

 

Statue of the 7 -

Statues of The Seven are structures found around all of Teyvat. Each region has Statues of their corresponding Archon. Statues of The Seven have many purposes:

• Fill in areas (larger named regions) of the Map when found and resonated with once (one Statue of the Seven per area).

This also reveals most locked Teleport Waypoints. Until the Statue of The Seven is touched, only unlocked Teleport Waypoints in the area show up on the map.

• Serve as Teleport Waypoints for players.

• Heal characters automatically and manually, depending on how much Restorative Power is available and settings on the Statue's Blessing screen.

• Change the Traveler's elemental talents by interacting with them while playing as Traveler, depending on the region the statue is in.

• Offer various rewards in exchange for Oculi, varying between regions:

Award Adventure EXP, Primogems and Sigils of their respective region

• Increase the player's max Stamina (Mondstadt and Liyue statues only)

• Award Stones of Remembrance (Liyue statues only)

• Award Shrine of Depths Keys and Memories of their corresponding Region and Element (Inazuma and Sumeru statues only)

• Serve as a source of warmth in Subzero Climate.

• Unlock additional expedition options corresponding to the area when found and resonated with once. via the Genshin Impact wiki

 

Shrine of the Depths -

Shrines of Depths are ancient structures found around the world of Teyvat. These Shrines of Depths sealed themselves off when the civilization that built them was lost. Players can use Shrines of Depths keys to unlock these shrines and open the Luxurious Chest found inside. There are 10 Shrines of Depths in each Teyvat region, thus requiring 10 keys for each region. via the Genshin Impact wiki

 

Domains -

Permanent Domains are landmarks in Teyvat. They have a clearly marked Domain Entrance and can be used as Teleport Waypoints once unlocked. Some domains give a small reward when discovered; some of these domains may require puzzles or quests to be solved or completed beforehand in order to access them. via the Genshin Impact wiki

 

World Quests -

World Quests give insight into the various locations and stories of the world. Some World Quests require Players to find the starting NPC. via the Genshin Impact wiki As you can see in the collage above, there are quite the abundance of world quests for each region. These can be quite long, time-gated into taking days to complete, or some taking very little time at all.

 

Chests -

There are five types of chests: Common, Exquisite, Precious, Luxurious and Remarkable.

Additionally, some chests are hidden and have to be dug up from the ground. These are marked with either a shovel or some other sign. Treasure Hoarders are also an indicator of a hidden chest. When walking near their location, the option to "Dig" will appear, and then the chest will appear.

via the Genshin Impact wiki

Some chests are encased in Dendro Vines, which have to be burned with Pyro to access. Others are encased in rocks, which have to be destroyed (e.g. via Claymore, Geo, or Plunging Attacks) to access. via the Genshin Impact wiki

via the Genshin Impact wiki

via the Genshin Impact wiki

Above is an example I compiled to help visualise the rarity of each chest type. This is a map snippet of the desert region of Sumeru in Genshin Impact, and each region has a similar amount respectively.


I think it is also important to establish that sometimes in-game that chests, along with other parts of the environment as well, can be sealed, obscured, or inacessible at first. Meaning, the player has to interact with it in a unique way beforehand to be able to unlock the chest. For example, in the third picture, the chest is covered in vines that can be burned away with Pyro. I would really like to come up with some unique concepts like this for the region I choose to make, I think there is a opportunity to do a lot of new things similar to this with snow and ice that has not been done in-game before.

 

About Snezhnaya What you need to know in a nutshell: Snezhnaya is the region of the Cryo Archon (Ice God), the Tsaritsa.

Tsaritsa is the title of a female monarch of Bulgaria, Serbia, or Russia, or the title of a tsar's wife. The Tsaritsa is the founder of the Fatui (military) organisation, and the main enemies in the story currently. Snezhnaya's climate is harsh, with lots of long-lasting blizzards. Snezhnaya is the most technologically advanced nation.

Snezhnaya has lots of factories, and Snezhnayan people take a lot of pride in their machinaries. Their culture has a strong sense of kinship and emphasis on loyalty. Snezhnaya looks to be one of the last regions that will be released in Genshin Impact, and as such there is not much visuals for fans to go off to conclude what it may look like. There are a lot of fan-made theories based off in-game lore from NPCs, questlines, books and more that can give us an idea though. One character in game states that 'Snezhnaya is a region of perpetual winter storms; blizzards can last for a month straight and despite being in the midst of danger, its people look up to the sky and are just happy to be alive.' and also that 'people would literally freeze to death if they didn't keep moving outside.' Currently in the story, the player is mostly fighting against a Snezhnayan military organisation known as the Fatui, which has the grander goal of 'rebelling against the gods' and create their own ideal world. As an artist trying to create an environment that perfectly coincides with the current storyline and lore of the unreleased region of Snezhnaya though, I looked towards pretty much the only piece of official media us players have of what the region could look like:

In this video, it shows the eleven Fatui Harbingers (the highest ranking, appointed by the Tsaritsa) holding a funeral for one of their "comrades".

Above are some screenshots I have compiled from the video. I feel like this imagery in particular gives a really overwhelming sense of what Snezhnaya could look like. The architecture alone is clearly inspired by Russia, particularly reminiscent of some Moscow buildings, but obviously given a unique "fantasy twist" I think. In regards to landscape, it will supposedly be primarily inspired by Siberia. Gold accents seem to be a common trope as well, as spotted in many of these screenshots (pillars, the floor, the building itself), which is something I think I should keep in mind when I get to designing my assets. Generally, the architecture in this video feels quite royal and imposing, but is overpowered by an eerie feeling definitely helped by the music, subject matter, and characters' dialogue.

Above is an image I generated with AI to try and imagine what the city of Snezhnaya could look like. For this, I used a screenshot of the main building from the previous official video to build upon.

The way this image gets generated is by you selecting a square where you want a new image to generate, based on the original image and also the text you type. After the square is generated, you get to pick from 4 versions to keep.

I wanted to do this to help me figure out the directions I could explore when I make my own concepts, as obviously I do not have any in-game imagery to go off. When inputting sentences for the AI to go off, I wanted to base it on what we know as players about Snezhnaya through the lore - for example, one of my inputs was "Russian inspired snowy city with factories" - all things we know about Snezhnaya so far. I am in no way claiming this to be my art or any product of mine, but a stepping stone in creating my own ideas. To me, this is akin to taking multiple reference photos and splicing them together in a collage.


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