Environmental concept art is a type of developmental painting used in video game production as a way for painters to visualize the ideas of the creative team. If it weren’t for these great painters in the industry, then there would be no unified vision to lead the increasingly complex demands of modern level design. The production team would be doomed, dead in the water; their game would start looking cheesy and ill-designed. This would be all right if we were still in the 90s, or if a “generic fantasy anime” look was the goal, but we are dealing with 2013 AAA gaming! By now concept artists of all stripe have found an important and greatly romanticized role in the video game industry.
So, at the end of my last “game tour” of Halo 4 I said that I would take what I learned about the level design and reverse engineer some mock concept art out of it. What an absurd idea, concept art fan art! Really I just wanted to paint a laser floor.
Here is what I came up with (click for embiggening):
It was not cathartic. It was not at all “satisfying” in any measure that would typically cause me to apply that term to a game—no questions answered, no loose ends tied up. It was a game about not knowing, a game about things that cannot be comprehended by the human mind, a game about problems with no solutions, a way too scary game. Continue reading →
I was very excited to hear about the impending Halloween release of “CATHARSIS,” the latest “trip” from hard rock game designer Cameron Kunzelman.
So basically in ages past, a corrupt mage named Garm used a set of Runestones to summon a demon named Skorne. However, Skorne crushed Garm and imprisoned his soul in the Underworld. Skorne, fearing the power of the Runestones, scattered them throughout the four realms, so that they could never be used against him. So in comes Jeff, the cleanup guy. His job is simple: kill Skorne. The Runestones don’t matter.
Truly, not even exaggerating (as much as usual)—being chased by Paula in Shadows of the Damned scares me more than anything I have ever encountered in a video game to date. So OF COURSE I want to make my face look like hers. Watch to achieve the perfect look for jumping out of a dark closet and alarming your nearest and dearest:
Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? Those were awesome, right?! Well, The Outbreak is just like them. Except your choices change the outcome of a movie instead of a book, and you don’t have to flip pages! Spoiler: zombies are gross. Continue reading →
When I first started playing Resident Evil 6 (for the on-my-own, playing-for-serious first time, not the drinking-with-Hannah-on-the-IRL-date-of-the-in-game-bioterrorist-attack-on-Tall-Oaks first time), I chose to play as Helena and took an instant dislike to her. “She’s sort of a lady-bro, isn’t she?” I thought to myself. “This woman is a buffoon,” I announced aloud moments later. “She’s like the female Chris!”* I complained to my husband. As I continued playing, I didn’t exactly change my mind about these initial assessments, but my attitude toward Helena transformed completely.
You guys, I love Helena Harper. I love her so much. And I love her because she is a lady-bro, because she is a heedless idiot who rushes in relying on her muscles rather than her wits to right wrongs (usually creating more wrongs in the process). I love her because, as I yelled admiringly at least 194 times on that first playthrough, Helena is a HOSS. Continue reading →
I’mm’a teach you how to attract little stray fairies to your person wherever you go, so you can capture them in bottles and keep them there until you’re almost dead! (Yeah, yeah, I borrowed the makeup from the Great Fairy of Power in Ocarina of Time, but it’ll work if you unfortunately find yourself in Termina trying to stop the Moon from obliterating everything, too. Maybe even better!)
More casual Great Fairy steez achievable using damp shadows applied with an eyeliner brush, crazyface optional: Continue reading →