Sunday, 16 October 2011

Looking at Concept Art: Final Fantasy XIV

Since I'm focusing on creating a Fantasy/Sci-fi based game I thought it'd be good to focus on looking at Concept art that fall into this same genre as to focus my efforts on getting inspired by other fantasy-esque games.

So I will be looking at the artwork for Final Fantasy XIV that was recently released with the announcement that the game's makers were doing a large re-haul of the MMO to make it more successful than it's initial launch.

Here are some Armour designs for the upcoming game. The first thing that jumps to mind when seeing these is that the armour is all colour coded making them clearly distinguishable from each other. Next is the detail of the armour, with the white and yellow pieces the features are more neutral and give of the sense that the character wearing it would be a "good guy", this is also strengthen by the use of the colours. The black and red armour on the right however features a more aggressive aesthetic, with horns on the helmet and sharp edges on the aromour itself gives a much more sinister look to the character giving them the outward appearance of a "baddy". The artist has clearly completed the sketches with pencils and touch them up when colouring in photoshop but what's really to not here is how easily colour pallet can change the way a character is veiwed, if one of the black suits where white would it be seen as a hero even with it's more demonic features?

Next is this design for a creature that will appear in the game, clearly it's meant to be a high powered monsters that could either be an enemy or ally to the player. What should be noted is the angelic motif that has been taken up yet has been warped slightly, not completely white and featuring sharp talons and features along side the legs and arms it's hard to define wether this is an enemy character of not as the design and colours conflict nicely. The design choice to make the main form female works well as it adds a little bit of sexual appeal but it's not been overly done and in it's subtlety it works on making sure the player stays focus on the fact this may be an enemy. Thie piece has clearly been completed entirely in a painting program and to it;s effect it works nicely to help translate a strong bold image of this character along with a unique silohette hopefully making it more memorable of players.

This final piece I'll be looking at features Player character's interacting with an environment. What's important about this piece is that by showing us some of the background/ world that the players will inhabit it reflects on how the player character's will be seen. The various rope bridges and fire lanterns definetly speak out to be a Fantasy based game and the high contrast lighting suggests that the game's art style is more realistic than it is cartoony. The character's painted in also give a sense of scale to the world they inhabit too, which works for both ways to understand how large the world is but to show how small the players will be incomparison. This work again seems to have been completed with a painter program but inital sketches on paper could have been completed.

I walk away from this quick look with knowledge such as combining contrasting motifs and colours can lead to interesting effect, colour coding isn't just for characters and a world can hellp shape a character's design as much as a character design can help shape the world.

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