Thursday, April 6, 2017

Artwork in RPG's (part 4)

Artists have areas of specialty and preference. As an analogy, I play classical guitar, but if someone asks me to play rock, jazz, or blues, it just isn't my thing. I might be capable of it, but it's not my specialty; I don't enjoy it, and I'd sooner recommend someone else do it than try it myself. I've quickly learned this with artists—one person might be incredible with alien character design (John Fell, for example) while another might be more interested and skilled with logos, vehicles, or weapon design. Due to this variety of specialties, I had to hire several different artists to put together the Solar Echoes Player's Guide. It was difficult getting them all to come together to the same style and vision, but it was necessary because the art in the book needed to feel like it was from the same game universe. I worked with several artists independently at once, but shared their art so that they could get a better feeling for the style. Timing was important, too—the character artists weren't comfortable designing weapons, so I delayed the completion of some artwork so that my weapons artist (Jon Aguillon) could finish his work, which I could then share with the character artists. The character artists would reference and integrate Jon's designs into their own. One style description I often give to artists is that Solar Echoes should look sort of like “anime blended with realism.” I don't want heavy, dark realism, but I also don't want things to be too cartoon-like. It's a difficult blend to achieve, but now that I have enough artwork, I can share it with other artists and simply say, “do something similar to this.”

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