EverQuest Style Guide
EverQuest's art style can be described as painterly, photo referenced high fantasy. In a broad sense, our materials, color usage, silhouettes and scale are grounded more in realism than stylization, with occasional exceptions.
Here's some information that will help you create an item that works well in EverQuest.
If you create an item and think it will look out of place within EverQuest, then it probably will. Players will enjoy them more if they don't look too out of place. Try to match the feeling of the game to ensure your best chance of getting your item into the marketplace.
These make up the surfaces of our world and inhabitants. Grass looks like grass. Dirt looks like dirt. When players look down at the ground, they have a clear understanding of what you're standing on. The materials also reflect the area, craftsmanship, and style of the EverQuest setting. Who made it? How was it made? What has it been used for? What's its history? All these questions further determine appearance and a sense of place. Metals show use. Bricks look like they were made with the actual methods available in the world.
EverQuest employs a wide range of color. Care has been taken to be faithful to natural, representational color schemes, while pushing towards a high-fantasy, more colorful world where appropriate. We avoid using the upper end ranges of saturation and brightness to avoid a cartoony look. Because of our lighting system, we're also cautious of using overly dark values across large surface areas. Staying away from too light or lots of dark will help an item look good in many different lighting environments in the game.
With all in game objects, we strive to give them a unique silhouette and shape so they are identifible from a distance and unique in appearance. An overly complex silhouette will not read well from a distance and appear as a muddied blob. Being careful with shapes and silhouettes avoids a cartoony appearance. A signature shape will provide better definition and improve recognizeability from a distance. For example: Gnomish furniture with cog accents is easily identifiable. Dwarven items are simple, stout and thick with sloped surfaces, whereas human objects are typically right-angle and squarish in build and silhouette.
EverQuest objects, components and assets generally use a human scale. Exceptions are made as required by a particular environment, character or creature. Keeping items at a human scale also helps maintain good object and pixel density. Something like a bed should feel like you could lie down in it and take a nap. Chairs should appear capable of sitting in.