One of the most important design decisions during the development of Poker Club was deciding on locations for the poker gameplay to unfold. We know that where you play is incredibly important and we needed a selection of environments to suit the range of different tournaments and events available within Poker Club.
In this new feature, we’ll take you behind the scenes for an exclusive preview of each of the 7 locations featured in Poker Club, including insights from our Designers and Artists. We’re kicking things off with our high-class penthouse; Number One, Park Hill, with insights from Poker Club Artist, Jake Parrott.
Number One, Park Hill
Tell us about Number One, Park Hill. Where did the idea come from and what does this bring to the world of Poker Club?
With Number One, Park Hill, we wanted to create a gameplay setting for Poker Club that was high-class enough to act as a stomping ground for incredibly rich players. And where better than a penthouse apartment overlooking Hell’s Kitchen in New York City? To be invited to a table at the top of an apartment block in Hell’s Kitchen with a private bar, you need to have serious cash. For this reason, mid to high stakes invitational games take place in Park Hill and provide lots of opportunities to kick back and live the New York penthouse life.
What’s the story behind the name of Number One, Park Hill?
Well, that depends on who you ask! The true story behind Park Hill’s name is up for debate and some of us will say it’s based on Fifth Avenue in New York that runs along the side of Central Park. I personally like to think it’s a tribute to The Wu-tang Clan (their music was on repeat during the early stages of development) and whose members lived in Park Hill. Or it could be a tribute to a block of flats in Sheffield that overlook the city and the university building, which is a nice throwback to where I studied for a few years at university. Maybe we’ll never know the true answer to that one…
What was the design process when creating this location?
We decided early on that we wanted to keep Park Hill dark and illuminate artwork throughout like a personal art gallery. It gives great contrast and we wanted a space that reflected modern trends; tall ceilings, a simple colour palette and LED lighting throughout.
What are the key features of this environment and how did you bring them to life?
The two standout features for me are the floor-to-ceiling glass windows and the artwork adorning the walls. The choice of artwork was a really personal project for me, as I was able to work with a childhood friend of mine, Michael Pittman, to curate the pieces that you see in-game. Michael is a phenomenal abstract artist and created the artwork that you will see displayed throughout Number One, Park Hill.
An interesting fact about the statement windows is that they were originally designed to be dry. At some point during development, we decided to try adding a rainstorm outside to add a bit of movement and this really helped to breathe a bit more life into the environment. From there we added raindrops to the windows and some ground fog. It really helps to tie the whole environment together.
Are there any secrets or Easter eggs for players to keep an eye out for?
Ralph’s Pizzeria, which is another Poker Club location, delivers to Park Hill. Keep an eye out for pizza boxes dotted around! Also, the TV screens show the playlist for the game soundtrack.
Any interesting stories from the development of Number One, Park Hill?
I tried to convince our Head of Development that the only way to get image references for a high rise apartment overlooking the city was to have an all-expenses-paid trip to New York for the Art team to “live the life” for one night and play poker. He wasn’t sold on that one so safe to say it never happened…
Last question, what’s your favourite thing about this environment?
I think the lighting and the colours used are my favourite part. You’ve got the really cold, blue moonlight coming into the room to complement the warm lights and the TV screens work really well against the blue of the table. Definitely one of my favourite places to play in Poker Club!
If you have any questions about Number One, Park Hill, let us know over on Discord!