Friday, August 13, 2010

Zebzulon: Explosives Expert Head Concepts

Name: N/A for the time being
Class: Explosives Expert

This time around we have some head concepts for the explosives expert on the Zebzulon team. He's a crazy, cocky sonuvagun but you love to have him in your corner during a fight. We've all had those friends, right? He's the sort of ticking time bomb that you could let loose like a pack of pit bulls at the mention of a few words. "Hey, Mike! Did you hear what that guy called you?" Boom. And you're just glad you aren't on the receiving end of whatever "Mike" is dishing.

The explosives guy is a bit of a loose cannon and I wanted him to have a bulky look to him. Similar to the Heavy in Team Fortress 2 only with more of a psycho feel. I did a good amount of pushing and pulling on his head to come up with some interesting shapes. And I tried to make sure each stare had its own sort of "craziness" in the eyes.

I also really loved the idea of having his face scarred up bit from an old accident. Perhaps the tools of his trade, which he's a master of, once got the best of him and took a toll on part of his face. Little things like this really help sell the character and tell a story. It's kind of cool to think back to when the firepower that he wields might have once bitten him as well.

His arsenal is pretty much what you'd expect. Rocket launchers, flame throwers, grenades, etc. I don't have any real flashy ideas for him at this point. I'm completely open to suggestions if you do have some! Not that we'll ever see any of these attacks as this whole game scenario is fake. lol But who knows?! Maybe I'll storyboard each character's special attacks or something.

That's all for now! Thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Zebzulon: The Crystal Defenders

A few months ago I started kicking around the idea of starting a personal project to work on in my free time. Most of the work I've done in the gaming industry has been for fantasy MMORPGs. I really hadn't spent much time designing in the realm of science fiction. So I decided to take on the challenge of creating a "fake" game that I would concept to completion. Not only would I be exploring a new genre, but I'd also be trying to nail down a new process for creating a large scope of concept work.

So I present to you the first fruits of that labor, Zebzulon: The Crystal Defenders! I roughed out a logo last night but I'm sure it's not the final. The concept for Zebzulon is pretty simple. I have a loose, several page design document written up. But nothing is edited to the point that I'd post it for everyone to see. Basically, Earth is polluted beyond all hope and the only thing keeping Earth from falling into ruin is a giant machine run by five mysterious crystals. The machine somehow filters the pollution, heals the atmosphere, whatever. The problem is that now we've found those crystals to be stolen by an evil Lord from deep space. He has hid each crystal in five different planets and it's up to the newly formed mercenary group, Zebzulon, to get them back. It's easy to see what I was doing here. I basically outlined what I wanted to concept and built the framework for the story around that. There's a bit more to it then what I've written here but not much. The story isn't the point though as I just wanted something to use as a vehicle for concept art creation.

One thing that I knew from the start of developing the game is that I wanted the game to feel like a Ratchet and Clank game as far as play style. I also wanted the player to be able to choose from four different main characters (Zebzulon Mercs) that each had their on special abilities and played differently. Which brings me to my first piece of concept art...

Unknown (Still filling in all those little plot holes!)
Class: Mechanic

During my last year of employment at RDS I found that drawing several heads first helps me understand the character. I'd often say to my art director, "Eh, I haven't met him yet (the character) but I'm still opening doors!" Once I hit on the right head it was pretty evident to me that this was the guy I was looking for in this particular design. And who doesn't just love drawing heads, right?

Anyway, the first designs I started on were some head concepts (after some loose, full body silhouette sketches of all four characters) for the mechanic character. I did these minus facial hair but in the next round, once I've chosen the head I like, I'll create hair concepts. I won't share much about the design of the mechanic other then the fact that his combat is more short range. His main gun will be something like a shotgun and his special abilities will be utilizing special robots to help him with various tasks. He's the shortest and stumpiest of the group as well. He's sort of the comic relief in the game. He'll waddle around saying funny stuff as he destroys aliens. I also like the aspect of using robots in his design as this will give me opportunities to draw more technical drawings.

I've already rambled enough so I'll cut it short. I hope you like it and am certainly open to more ideas and feedback. I'll be posting more heads in the days to come. I've also considered doing an alternate style for this game where the concepts are more realistic. I'm really set on working in this fun style for this project but the potential for more is in the back of my head. Thanks a lot for looking and may the Zebz be with you... or something


Friday, August 06, 2010

Legionary Sketches

This past week has been full of email correspondence and art tests. Looking for a new job is always a good time. Most of the work I can't share but this one I can.

The assignment was to first provide a loose sketch of a Legionary with the armor/clothing reference provided. They also provided some GTA4 concepts and said they wanted the character to have the same realistic style and pose. The second they wanted me to take the realistic character and create a more cartoony counterpart. Perhaps a character that might be used in a casual, social game. They kept stressing that they didn't want you to really focus on rendering or making these finished illustrations. They wanted me to keep them loose and just wanted to see what my process was for solving design problems.

It was actually a fun distraction from the craziness of the week. Especially the little toony guy. If I get some free time I might just work both of these images up properly. For now you'll have to endure their sketchy origins.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

In Yo' Face

Earlier this year it had occurred to me that I hadn't painted or drawn a self portrait in quite a while. All this time drawing from my imagination had weakened my trained eye. So I thought I'd give it a go. You can see the results of that portrait in the first post on this blog.

My art director at the time pulled me aside to let me know how much he liked it. Then he asked if I'd be willing to paint one for every team member. I jumped at the opportunity and now have a mass of portraits that I did in the same style as my first. I found myself pretty happy with them overall and I could even see improvement as I moved from one to the next.

So, rather then let the images sit on my hard drive for years to come I figured I'd share some of my favorites here. I hope you like them! More posts to come but at the moment I'm still working on art tests and finding a job. Lets see if I can squeak out some personal work in the coming days. Thanks again for looking!