The art and essence of Darkwinds

The art and essence of Darkwinds

August 13, 2018. Category: Art

Today we are starting a weekly article series on Darkwinds, a game we are developing at MEGO , and to begin we want to share with you some thoughts about the art of the game and how the idea came to life, in the words of our team members: David Contreras (art director) and Pedro Torrealba (creative director and writer).

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Draft artwork for Jörmundgander, by Felipe Magaña

David Contreras: “MEGO sought to develop a fantasy video game that didn’t follow existing trends in terms of classic fantasy tropes, such as Middle Earth inspired races. The inspiration comes from victorian era paintings and art, the makeup hiding the dirt, in this case a metaphor of the opulence of the elites vs the pirates.”

In order to further develop this idea, references were looked upon in literature such as Emilio Salgari’s Sandokan, the story of the hijacking of the Ganj-i-Sawa’i ship by Henry Every and stories of pillaging. Mythical ships like the Adventure Galley, the Whydah or the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

MEGO sought to develop a fantasy video game that didn’t follow existing trends in terms of classic fantasy tropes, such as Middle Earth inspired races.

Pedro Torrealba: “Because Darkwinds needed a great amount of artwork, the illustration industry in Chile was surveyed in order to select artists that suited the style we needed. Once the artist were found, the cards were organized into three categories: Pirate, Creature and Spell cards.

Manuk sketch

Sketches for Manuk, Smile of Steel by Gustavo Lara

Manuk final art

Final art for Manuk, Smile of Steel by Gustavo Lara

Up until now, we have prioritized Pirate cards artwork because they represent 50% of the total first edition card set. Once we define the card type, we create a name for it. In this process we ask the artists to send us sketches of different positions of the character to choose which one will make the final cut. Then the resultant image is incorporated into the game and it is ready to be used by anybody.”

About the artwork production pipeline, David adds: “Every detail in the illustration is evaluated with extra carefulness so it meets the highest standards. We thoroughly test the new card inside our development infrastructure to have it approved by every member of MEGO or sent back to the illustrator with a request for change. To produce one hundred characters required the creation of a unique world and its own story where conflict unites every character into what we call Darkwinds.”

MEGO worked in the development of sketches to help illustrators get closer to our vision and define the general style of the game.

About the experience of working with local artists (a first for us) we’ve had a nice surprise because not only we’ve made new friends but understand now better the landscape in which illustrators roam.

We hope this massive effort from all parts to have a decisive role in your experience playing Darkwinds.

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