So I was at PAX Prime this year showing off Festival of Magic, the game I’m working on at SnowCastle Games! This was the first time we’ve shown the game to the public at all, and it was great! We got awesome response from the people who tried it! If you want to check out more about PAX and Festival of Magic, you can head on over to our new website for the game: www.fomgame.com
Being away from the office and home for so long and with standing at our booth all day when we were there didn’t leave much room for sketching and painting, so I had an itch once I got past the jetlag!
I’ve played XCOM: Enemy Unknown lately, and just finished the game last night! If you dig turn based strategy and haven’t played it yet, got get it! It’s awesome! I guess this piece came out of it. I just wanted to do like a futuristic soldier to have some fun, and to get some contrast to the stuff I do at work, which is way more stylized.
Just swinging by with a character design I did in my spare time.
I got this idea for like a tribe of gypsies with old Romani magic and such after my girlfriend and I tried watching Hemlock Grove which is a show that really didn’t cut it for us, though the idea of a magical gypsy tribe or something like that stuck. I might be making more characters to fit. This guys I figured as the leader. The buttons/coins on his vest is a sign of him being high up in the hierarchy. I’m thinking maybe like an old soothsayer and a couple of other characters I want to do next. We’ll see how it goes! Had fun painting this guy anyway! Hope you enjoy.
I started experimenting with sketching on a tablet a little while ago. I did some portraits, because portraits are fun to do and I could try out the software and stylus and all that. For those curious, I’m using the Galaxy Note 10.1″ that comes with a pressure sensitive screen with 1024 levels of pressure recognition, and a stylus made for the tablet.
I tried out Alias SketchBook Pro first, which feels sorta like painter with lots of natural brush and pencil simulation. It’s a good piece of software, though a I experienced a little bit of lag at times. Also it comes with restrictions to the canvas size, presumably to limit the memory i takes up. Then Danny Arraya told me I should get LayerPaint, which feels basically just like the basic brushset in Photoshop and has no restrictions to canvas size or layers! I was sold! I’ve been using it ever since, and I’m loving my digital sketchbook!
Anyway, here are a few of the portraits I started doodling on it:
I had so much fun with these guys, that I wanted to take it a little bit further so I dumped them all into photoshop and pushed and pulled a little on their features, gave it some color, and made this lineup. Felt great putting them together, because they went from being like random sketches to a cast, I started imagining back stories for them and generally had a blast making this!
I hope you enjoy the final piece!
Yeah, it tends to be a while between posts. Sorry about that!
I had some extra time on my hands, and what better way to spend extra time than painting, right?
Here’s a character portrait that came out of it:
Hey guys! Here is some of the art I’ve created for ProjectFoM, the working title on the game we’re working on over at SnowCastle Games (clickthrough for SnowCastle Games website if you’re interested in seeing more stuff!) We’re pretty stoked about where this is heading and I hope you enjoy the visuals!
The first three are concept art explorations for the vertical slice we’re working on:
Next is a character concept of the miner seen in the first picture with 3/4 front and back.
The four below are weapon concept art where we’ve explored how the characters in the game might arm themselves.
And the final two are examples of production art to guide level design, lighting and the 3D environment artist.
Thanks for swinging by!
Ok, I had to get this off my chest. There was a statement from 2K games’ Christoph Hartmann where he said that ”Until games are photorealistic, it’ll be very hard to open up to new genres. We can really only focus on action and shooter titles; those are suitable for consoles now.” which kinda provoked me. The game we’re making, Project FoM, is a far stretch from photorealistic, but we’re still hoping to stir some emotion in the player.
Don’t get me wrong though, I like realistic games, I like designing stuff for realistic games, movies, what have you, but I do not think in any way that it is the only way to achieve an emotional response. Journey, also mentioned in the article I’ve linked to, took me through an emotional span I haven’t seen in games yet to my recollection, and hell, that one was pretty far from realistic in its look! I think that by stretching it, pushing it outside of realism, it’s actually easier to achieve an emotional response.
There is of course also the argument that if you achieve pure photorealism, what’s the point in creating it digitally other than as practice? Why can’t you just make a movie, that already delivers that? Take a picture? No fun as an artist to design an realistic AK47 down to the tiniest stud and scuffmark. Use a picture. Now designing something that is inspired by an AK47, but modified, looks like something from an alternate univers, the future, the past, that is interesting. Maybe make that mag larger, exaggerate the grip, longer barrel. Well you get the idea.
I watched a behind the scenes feature from “Finding Nemo” where Pixar had done render tests of a whale swimming. The tests came back indiscernible from video footage. They didn’t say “Score!! We’ve achieved photorealism and can now properly convey emotion!” They dialed it back to a more stylized look in order for them to tell their story effectively. So Pixar, a huge billion dollar company which probably has the funds to do it photo-realistically, chose to not do so, again, to tell their story effectively.
Anyway.. I’m not gonna rant about it more. I’ll sum up with this.
There is of course a place for more realistic games. I enjoy playing a lot of them, designing stuff for those kinds of games, but they are not the only way to trigger emotion. In fact, they might be the ones where I’m least emotionally engaged, and I think it’ll continue to feel like that even if they can push games to “pure photorealism”.
Hey everyone! Finished this thing up this morning and wanted to show. It’s an environment concept/illustration for my personal project where I’m exploring the Bas-Lag from China Miéville’s book series.
For those of you who have read it, this is Lin walking down a street in Bonetown.
Click for larger version
Hey guys! Had a little time on my hands the last half hour at work today, so I painted this guy. Looks like he might be called “Tiny” by those few that have the huevos to talk to him.
Have a great weekend guys!
Hey guys! Got word from the guys at Catalyst Game Labs yesterday that Gun Heaven 2 is out. It’s a book full of guns for the Shadowrun pen´n´paper RPG, and I did a few weapons illustrations for it! Below are the initial marker and pigment liner sketches I sent to Brent Evans, my AD over at Catalyst, as well as the finals done in photoshop.
Had a lot of fun doing these! Always cool to be working on the Shadowrun IP!
The book can be found over at rpg.drivethrough if you want to look at all the weapon goodness!