Sunday, June 6, 2010

Concept Art

Don't want to sound lazy, but I didn't produce much (visual) results again this week. I got home from work at 01:00 night a few days, and on top I'll had to draw a poster for my uncle who was celebrating his 60th birthday last Saturday. Drawing posters? Yeh, I'm not an artist but once in a while I'll draw a ‘famous’ head as a birthday present for friends. So far we had:
- Sadam Hussain --> In one of his better days
- Chuck Norris --> Worlds strongest man, end of discussion.
- Steven Seagal --> The man who breaks your arm 90 degrees
- Henry Rollins --> I am a liar!
- Terminator 1 --> On his motor with shotgun, but with a dog's head
- That goofy truck from the movie Cars (for my little nephew of course)
- Paul Teutul --> The old grumpy motor guy with hydraulic oiled muscles
- B.A. Baracus --> I ain’t get no plane fool!
- Micheal Jackson --> The zombie from Thriller
- Jan Peter Balkenende --> Our cool looking prime minister)
- David Hasselhoff --> Including lots of 80’s breast hair
- Peter North --> Admit it, you know what guy I'm talking about.
- Duke Nukem

And in the past I used to draw monsters and stuff sometimes. Visitor Kyle probably knows this Prey character. I liked the concept art, so I made a copy on paper with ink & pastel.

Pastel drawing. Original was concept art from Human Head Studio's, Prey

The dog of one of my friends used to drive around with a shotgun

Not that bad, isn't it? Shame my skills on a computer aren't that good. But it brings me to an interesting topic though; Concept Art. Most games start with a scratch somewhere. What the hell were they thinking when a fat mustached red plumber was drawn on paper?

Concept(art) is important. For fans, it's like the aperitif you'll get in a restaurant. For the developers themselves artwork helps them on their way. Instead of modeling an expensive 3D character right away, they first make 10 different sketches to see which one is the coolest. Or to discard the idea if none of the sketches really impresses. It's a common way to work for games, designs, movies, and so on.

So, how about "Tower 22 concept art"? Uhmm... I have that game-document I wrote about in an earlier post. And lot's of Soviet flat photographs. But except from schematics and maps, there aren't really pretty pics so far. Shame, come to think of it. But then again, making art takes time as well. And it's darn difficult to come up with good stuff. Horrific stuff in this case.

Original from a Quake 4 drawing contest. Can't recall the original creator

There are actually a few Tower 22 concept drawings. Here's one of the first quickies, made by a friend. It's not really Soviet, but it shows a huge ugly building nevertheless. Visit for better design work.

Sometimes concept-art kick's ass, but too often I'm looking at angry Orcs or double D bitches with blades bigger than themselves. World of Warcraft rip-offs. I'm trying to stay away from that. If I'll draw something, it better be good. To be honest, I’d rather wait for someone who really masters the pencil to draw characters or environments, otherwise I’ll might embarrass myself. The drawings above aren't that bad, but they're all copies of existing photo's/characters.

Anyhow, you haven't seen a monster yet (except that big ugly bag of polygons), but they should play a major role in Tower22. Unlike Doom3 where you kill complete Hellish battalions, there are only a few monsters that will return through the entire game; they will be the stars of the show. In other words, they’ll have to be really damn scary/bizarre and imposing. Otherwise it’ll be like watching Terminator with Jim Carrey as the T100.

Sometimes I'll let my fantasy on the loose just before falling asleep. As you go “hibernate modus”, bizarre creations sometimes might fly by. But usually it’s already too late to reach the sketchbook and put down your ideas into detail. Sweet dreams. What I need a sick fucking bastard that produces such images inside his head on the fly all day. Nevertheless, this might be one of the most difficult challenges as for the game design. There are plenty of fictional characters, but only a few have the X-factor. If you ask me…
- Mario & Luigi Simple.
- Mother Brain Super metroid. SNES. Epic end-boss battle.
- Mancubus & Cyberdemon Doom2. Did you know Cyberdemon can kill entire level 8?
- Tyrant Resident Evil Remake. Cool cinematics.
- Tank Quake 2. 100 tons of sluggish metal & servo’s.
- Duke Nukem Don’t have time to play with myself.
- Snake (the old one) Metal Gear Solid. Because he’s old, and he smokes.
- Sack boy Little Big Planet. Want to squeeze him.
- G-Man Halflife 2. But who is it?

And probably I forgot a few. Guess I like the monster design from iD software in particular. And what are your favorites?

Damn I'm looking good.

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