Success Stories
Lokum Games

How Lokum Games reloaded their art pipeline with Layer

Learn how this international mobile games studio in Europe leveraged Layer to create a professional AI-powered art pipeline for their newest shooter, Tactical Strike - saving upwards of 2800 hours in production time.
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Est. hours saved in art creation
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About Lokum Games

Lokum Games is an international game studio based in Berlin/Germany and Istanbul/Turkey, with a core team with decades of game development experience.

Specializing in FPS and online games, Lokum Games is aiming for success in the world market with their new project Tactical Strike, a multiplayer first person shooter game on mobile platforms.

Getting Tactical with AI

When Lokum Games kicked off development for Tactical Strike, they faced a challenge: creating high-quality and captivating illustrations for their game characters. Characters were central to the game and crucial for everything from in-game screens to marketing materials. The team had previously relied on outsourcing illustrations, but wanted to keep things in-house and consistent going forward. Keeping assets true to Tactical Strike’s art style was key but with a limited internal art pipeline Lokum started to explore how gen-AI tools could supplement the team. However, the initial look into AI tools was discouraging with inconsistent styles and results that often failed to capture the specific looks of characters

The Lokum team was at an impasse, with a critical need to speed up their art production but lacking the resources to do it manually and keep things on-brand. As they grappled with these issues, they were introduced to Layer's game-focused AI tools and decided to give it a try. 

The results exceeded their expectations. With Layer providing consistent, high-quality character illustrations that perfectly matched their unique game style. This AI-driven solution not only streamlined their asset creation process but also ensured artistic consistency across all in-game assets. Layer's artist-friendly tools proved to be the ideal solution for their needs, enabling them to create professional game assets efficiently and effectively.

We were facing problems such as the high budgets of the test illustrations we outsourced and the style of this work was not to our liking, with Layer we finally found an AI tool that could work for us.
Development Team, Lokum Games

Gunning for Efficiency: Scaling in-house art pipelines

Creating unique character styles

Ensuring visual quality and maintaining a distinct style for Tactical Strike was the priority for Lokum Games. Using Layer's custom style feature, they were able to upload and create a new model trained on assets from their art team. The team then grouped character images from various AI tools, drawing inspiration from classical period illustrators and painters. This helped them identify elements that matched their artistic vision.

Layer provided the flexibility to refine these styles, allowing quick iterations to ensure every character illustration met the team's high standards. This process ensured that all assets were consistent and high-quality, aligning perfectly with the artistic direction for Tactical Strike.

The Lokum team started by creating multiple distinct styles for unique characters.

Enhancing studio workflows

To streamline their art pipeline, Lokum Games developed workflows in Layer designed to  integrate with their existing studio processes. They began by capturing 4K screenshots of posed characters directly from the game engine. Although these images lacked detail due to platform constraints, they served as a solid starting point.

Layer excelled in processing characters by breaking them down into smaller components inside the Canvas tool, isolating characters elements such as face, jacket, bag, hair, hands, feet, and legs. This method yielded impressive results, prompting Lokum Games to adopt it as their core workflow. By setting parameters to stay true to the reference images, using specific area mask selections, and incorporating prompt guidance, they achieved an ideal production process.

Next, the team evaluated alternative styles, selecting ones that best suited to Tactical Strike. With these styles in place, Lokum quickly moved into full production. 

Speeding up the art pipeline

Traditionally, outsourcing a single character illustration could take between 15 to 30 days and result in inconsistent visuals due to different artists working on the project at various times. Now with access to style-consistent and high-quality assets, the Lokum Games team was able to significantly accelerate their production process for Tactical Strike

Lokum started by creating 40 illustrations for 16 characters, each with 2 to 3 different poses, in less than 30 days. This huge increase in asset volume was achieved without compromising on quality, with Layer maintaining a consistent visual style across all assets.

The cost savings were equally impressive. By reducing the number of external illustrators and speeding up production timelines, Lokum Games managed to stay within budget while delivering at a high quality. 

Below are some examples of this process in action, with in-game captures enhanced using Layer. These improved and upscaled assets can now be used to supplement out of game dependencies, such as marketing and promotional campaigns.

The finished render
The finished render
With over 20 years of game development experience, I can confidently say that Layer AI is one of the best tools we have ever used.
Development Team, Lokum Games

Striking into future production

In summary, Layer AI has been a catalyst for Lokum Games in the development of Tactical Strike. With extensive experience in game development spanning two decades, the team has explored numerous tools, yet none have matched the efficiency and effectiveness of Layer. Designed specifically for professional game teams, Layer has revolutionized Lokum Games' internal asset creation workflow, enabling swift production while maintaining consistency and staying true to their artistic vision.

The success achieved with Tactical Strike illustrates Layer's potential to redefine game development practices. Like acquiring a game-changing upgrade in an FPS, Layer AI empowers studios to amplify their art production capabilities significantly. It's not merely about improving workflows; it's about paving the way for a new way of creating games.

Layer in action, creating enhanced characters ideal for marketing assets.

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