Sunday, 16 October 2011

Looking at Concept Art: Xenoblade Chronicles

Continuing my research into Fantasy/sci-fi specific concept art I'm beginning to look at games that fit that criteria, one of these was the recently Nintendo Wii RPG; Xenoblade Chronicles. Creating a weird mix of high-tech looking weapons and concepts but keeping fairly traditional features such as the setting. It's a weird blend that works well in the final package.

This piece features one of the central characters isn't too much of a departure from the classic fantasy designs seen in solely fantasy games. With clothing very much akin to Renaissance era clothing, especially with the use of the small cape, waist coat and knee high boots but there are little details such as trim on the trousers with their unusual buttons, this adds interest to what may have been considered a fairly standard design.

The colours here also work together employing that base two colour system using Red and white the rest of the design is backed up by various different shades of brown. This all works well together to creating something thats pleasing on the eyes.

The piece was finished off using a digital painter program.

This piece here featuring two of the main character's the player has control over shows us a bit more of the world such as the weapon of the main protagonist. Firstly what should be noticed here is that the clothing isn't particulary 'sci-fi' but isn't fully 'fantasy' either with extra features and detail to make the designs more interesting.

The male character is dressed similarly to many young male characetr's from other games of the same genre, almost making him a cultural visual archetype. The weapon he's holding is clearly sci-fi in origin but it doesn;t look out of place in his hands due to his ambigious clothing design. His colours are clearly red and dark grey/black, like the previous design this is backed up with browns. It should be noted in Japan it's more traditional for a hero to wear red as opposed to western cultures where red is seen more often as an "bad guy" colour.

The female character's costume is clearly designed in a way to pull in male viewers but like the FF XIV monster design it's not overly sexualised, this gives the impression that the character is still quite young. Her colours are more tan/darker browns, which helps keep the designs fairly rooted with their fantasy origins. Due to the composition of the picture it's also implied that these two character's are either friends or relatives.

This piece was completed (potentially) fully with traditional tools such as pencils and water paints but there's a good chance it was coloured digitally.

This final piece is a shot of the main characters all together within an environment. More is given away about the game by seeing the other characters such as the way their armour and weapons are stylised gives the sense that this isn't just a 'fantasy' game as it has things such as guns and very hi-tech looking weapons, but this contrasts with the lucious natural environment the character's are in creating a very strange mix of the two elements that as stated previously works quite well.

This piece was obviously created using a painter program and it works well to help convey the wonderful scene so vibrantly.

So far what I've taken away from Xenoblade's concept art is that the mix of the two genre's isn't impossible but does have to be handled in a certain way (potentially) to work.

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