Saturday, 2 October 2010

The Art of APB: All Points Bulletin

As with the fast moving world of business sometimes companies can come and go before they can breathe properly, this happened quite recently with UK Video Game Developer Realtime Worlds best known for the games "Crackdown" and "APB: All Points Bulletin". APB was to be one of the most ambitious MMORPGs with a very basic concept of "Cops & Robbers" but what was to truly set it apart from other MMOs was the amount of customisation you were capable of, we're talking everything from your character to your vehicle with custom decals, details and almost anything you could think. This allowed you to create a character that was truly unique instead of playing around with a bunch or presets to come up with unique combination. check out an example of the character creation in the video below:

As you can see from the video the graphics for this MMO were pretty impressive and it's such a shame that the company went bust.

Whilst looking into what was left of APB a few days ago I came across a collection of concept art for the style that Realtime Worlds wanted characters to portray. All of the Concept art I found was completed by deviantart user Arnistotle. If you just look at some of the images he's crafted there is an incredible sense of design, aesthetics and even attitude about his work, you can see what Realtime Worlds chose to work with him. Let's take a look into some of my favourite designs I found in Arnistotle's gallery:

I really like this one as it shows a certain playful side to a character, with recent videogames constantly being centred around brutish space marines is nice to see a change. The inclusion of the SS uniform cap and fur jacket really make this character stand out. The motif of punk styled clothing mixed with an often cliched city female gang aesthetic really make this character unique and the use of several belts shows an influence from the works of Tetsuya Nomura (FFVII, FFVIII & Kingdom Hearts) but with it's heavier uses of darker colours, tones and motifs it really gives the design an edge that Nomura's sometimes lacks. (Click to enlarge the image).

This design really breaks from the norm, whilst the previous one was clearly inspired by Eastern RPG games this one really makes an impact and shows the player that this world of cops and robbers is filled with a variety of personalities. When I first look at this I immediately think of a 1930s pulp type character, the inclusion of the large brown raincoat helps give the design a sense of power, this is probably due to the type of coat often see as a masculine symbol it really adds some attitude to a female character. Whilst the character appears powerful she's still female and her design is nonetheless very glamourous to re-enforce this. Overall this is a fantastic piece and only makes me sad that the game went under.

My final piece to look as is the male character below, clearly inspired by skateboard and punk culture what sets this one part from others is the vivid colours used, the blues, reds and greens all go well together and help make what would have been a very boring design or a generic muscular guy. The detail on the skateboard should also be noted as it's such a minor touch and isn't really necessary but recieves large brownie points regardless! Again multiple belts show their face again but this is easily ignored when looking at the amount of effort and detail put into the tattoos.

There has clearly been alot of love, time and thought put into these designs and it's such a shame that the game was only online for just under a month. For more concept designs for APB check out Arnistotle's Deviantart page Here!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I noticed art as one of your interests, I started a new art blog maybe u'll like it! Thanks and keep up great work.