Warlander Devblog #10: The Art of Warlander
We talk about art, inspiration and also about barbaric villages and shrines for beginners...
Today, we’ll talk more about the art direction of the Warlander and what inspired our artists to create this fascinating world. Joining us today are Una Isailović (2D artist), Gordana Dramićanin (Concept artist), Andrej Vojković (2D artist) and Olivera Trajković - Olja (Lighting artist). They will talk about their experiences working on different aspects of Warlander’s art.
Una showed us some amazing concept art she made for the game. Here you can see the Fox village - a location that you may visit in the game (some shots of the Fox village can be seen in the video from one of our earlier blogs)
“Concept art is among the most interesting parts of production, but it also carries the most responsibility in the art department, since everything else related to the art of the game will emerge from it. So, at the same time, it is both difficult and fun to try to reach the next level of quality concept art. What sometimes happens is that you create an interesting form, but it lacks meaning and way to apply it to the world, or it’s not plausible in terms of reality” - explains Una.
“My task was to provide variants on the style of construction for the Fox Village designed by a fellow artist and thus create new details of their culture that fit into the environments. Personally, at first, it was challenging for me to play with environmental concept art because I mostly worked on assets and costume redesign, which do not require much of perspective or any "architectural" type of drawings. But I knew that I could learn a lot through tasks that are focused on the environment, and given that barbaric villages were assigned to me, I could not have dreamed for a better opportunity. I can be completely immersed with pagan and ritual aesthetics, as I adore ancient and tribal cultures. For me, this was one of the most beautiful assignments to work on.”
Una also added a personal perspective of working on these concept arts:
“I felt that with each new drawing I was further developing line quality and rendering. In this particular task, I was doing a lot of research on the perspective, which meant very much to me for future work.”
Gordana chose to tell us a little bit about her work on Old Gods that was difficult but also inspiring for her.
"Here are some concepts for parts specific to a few deities worshiped in Druid Sanctum that I had the opportunity to work on - namely statues, totems, and a few specific architectural elements. Since I joined the team a bit later in production, the Forest Guardian and the Devouring Tree were already designed for the most part, so it was up to me to come up with a design for Many-Eyed God. “
“The main challenge was to keep him consistent with designs we already had and keep that awe-inspiring vibe fitting for a powerful, ancient being he is and honestly, it was very fun for me to work on this because I've always liked creature design but rarely had opportunity to explore it in depth. Aside from basic design language for our Ancient civilization I did when I first got on board, I was working mostly on sci-fi props so this came as a very welcome break from that. I could be biased here but he is one of my favorites and the Forest Guardian statue was fun to work on as well, I really like how it turned out."
Andrej shared his experiences in creating the vision-like concept for one of the levels:
“The goal was to define an otherworldly entity, a spirit/dream-like being that subtly morphs from various floating shapes, and finally takes some kind of recognizable face-like form, and also the surrounding spooky floating-island ambience that the scene takes place in, which was a big challenge for me, since most of the time I have been creating concepts for bodily/material characters and objects.”
“I hope I succeeded in conveying the feeling of spookiness, but it was no easy task. It took a lot of work but I’m quite satisfied with the result.”
Olja shared her experience in creating concepts for shrine stones (which was also her first task as she joined Clock Drive Games):
“This was the first concept I worked on since I started working for Clock Drive Games, and I started as a beginner. It was very intense for me - the whole process of reaching the right shape and the right solution. As my first assignment, my mentor told me to create several dozen thumbnails of the shrine concept, and I understood the task literally - I made more than fifty of them and he was baffled because he thought I’ll do thirty at most. So, we had to go through them and categorize them, so that the work may be continued. We used the color code in order to group them in certain categories - mostly by shape.”
She also explained the difficulties in the everchanging area of creating art in gaming:
“It’s all very interesting to me, and I do not see things as difficult - more as a challenge. On the other hand, my mentor's departure was difficult for me because we understood each other quite well - but it also helped me to become more independent in my work. This allowed me to explore other areas in the art department, experiment with them and ultimately to find my current passion - lighting."
Olja also has some recommendations for beginners:
“I came in hungry for knowledge and I got the chance to learn. I think beginners should be offered a chance, even though they have no experience. A lot of it comes from attitude - I like to think that life should be treated as a game that should be played and not be afraid of it.”
That’s all for today folks, hope you are happy with the art and progress of the game.