Every MMO has its own style, but few have such a uniqueness to them as that of Chronicles of Spellborn. Set in great hollow rocks called Shards, caught in an immense cataclysm called the Deadspell Storm, it's a setting unlike any other. Though currently in closed beta, the developers let us have a peek at Shorath Mesa, a swampy land surrounded by mountains that drop in immense cliffs and thunderous waterfalls to the land of Garminholm, far below.

Spellborn art lead Frank Bakker, in his latest art journal, brings us through the design, development and implementation Shorath Mesa. How does a designer balance the needs of the game with the desires of the player? What goes into designing a visually interesting area? How do you get weather inside a rock? This is a fascinating look into the art development of an exciting new MMO.

This article was originally published on Massively.