Dive into the Development of the Maji Market


Maji Market Key Art
From the festive fireworks to the chittering chapaas; the luminous lanterns to the sizzling street food - the festivities of the Maji Market have brought a host of new sights and sounds to Palia and we have loved seeing players immerse themselves in Palia’s local night market.

With only a couple weeks left of the Maji Market event, we’re pulling the merchant booth curtains aside to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the Maji Market. Pull up a seat, chow down some snacks from Reth, and settle in for a peek at some of the concept art, environments, and even a few goofy glitches that went into the creation of our first event in Palia.

Pattern Line 02_Short

Concept Art

Our concept artist on Game Events, Sophia Nelson, took care to design the items around the night market in a way that felt natural to Kilima Village’s aesthetics, but still felt unique. These early concepts show explorations for some of the many designs you’ll see at the Kilima Village Fairgrounds.

Maji Market Arch Concept Art
As you walk into the night market, you’ll see these beautiful arches light up the night sky and warmly welcome you into our first game event. We wanted to create an arch that fit with the theme of the night market which centers around Maji the Dragon who is water themed. This is why many of the details are blue in color, and note the dragon scales near the top.

Maji Market Ice Cream Machine
This ice cream machine concept art brings warm Palia spirit to some cold, delicious treats. Be sure to check in with Delaila to help repair the machine!

Maji Market Cutout Standees
We thought that it would be a great idea to have a few standees where you could take photos with your friends. These offer memorable moments and highlight some of our favorite critters as well.

Maji Market Drum Concept Art
The sounds of the night market fill the air - the idea here was to draw inspiration from the Janggu Drums, which are very important in traditional Korean music. They are designed to be struck to set off the Dragon firework. You’ll also notice the drum sounds in our Maji Market music themes as well.

To learn more about how we used Janggu Drums and Buk Drums in the Maji Market music, check out this behind-the-scenes video!

Pattern Line 02_Short

Environmental Art

The environment of the Maji Market was handcrafted to evoke a unique atmosphere full of festive, celebratory energy and small-town spirit. The designs of the surrounding areas and props help bring everything to life!

Maji Market Booth Environmental Render
Chapaa Ice Pop, anyone? This final environmental render brings a hint of mischief to the delightful display of prizes, and helped our design teams build the vision for the Maji Market.

We designed each Villager’s space to suit the needs of the night market and to reflect upon their personalities. Kenyatta's Cart uses larger, softer design shapes and fabric elements, while Hodari’s Booth has an industrial aesthetic with heavier materials like metals. Reth’s space represents a savory theme with lots of fire and heat; while Delaila’s stall features a sweet theme with the pastries and ice cream.

Maji Market Najuma's Rocket Render
This render of Najuma’s experimental firework really showcases her crafty curiosity and fiery, inventive spirit through its details.

MM Props Poster and Pillows

Pattern Line 02_Short

Giggle-Worthy Glitches

What’s game development without a few bugs? The most mischievous of the chapaas snuck their way out of the Chapaa Chase and caused some mayhem during development of the Maji Market.

Adding a new mechanic can reveal unexpected interactions, and sometimes they're extra goofy! When adding carryable chapaas to the Maji Market, we intentionally wanted running and jumping to behave just as they had without a chapaa. What we soon discovered was a whole host of other actions the player could take while still carrying a chapaa. We had fun trying out emotes, gliding, and climbing accompanied by our chapaa friend. This is an example of how important it is to think more broadly about what cross section of gameplay a new mechanic can impact. In addition to understanding how carrying a chapaa would interact with running and jumping, we also needed to think about how carrying anything would interact with other systems such as traversal, emotes, and tool use.

This chapaa had us at hello!

Maji Market Chapaa Gliding
A glider for two, please!

Maji Market Chapaa Climbing
The chapaas are getting… boulder.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at our very first in-game event. The Maji Market will be available until Tuesday, September 26th - be sure to stop by the fairgrounds before then to join the festivities! And, as a special celebratory bonus for reaching over 300,000 members on Discord, we’ll be giving away some small gifts to our entire community upon log-in throughout the weekend. Join the Discord and keep an eye on our social channels for more information.

See you at the Maji Market!