I really love this ship, with its moving nose that can trap whales when harpooned. The story of its inception started one day when I was visiting our office in Austin.
I noticed a guy on stilts cleaning the building façade and told Harvey (co-creative director) we could put stilts on our town crier (loud speakers replaced this guy). He agreed, and the guy instantly became a Tallboy. Then slowly, game designers modified his original purpose, and the Tallboy became a guard, armed with its bow.
I then proposed to place a canister on his back, full of phosphorus, to get nice visual effects when he shoots arrows. Harvey preferred to use whale oil. Ok, but now we need Whales right? Hard to see Whales if you don’t swim in the middle of the ocean, so it was time to design a whaling ship. Here’s the result!
I then realized that the game universe was autonomous, no need to add anything from our real world. This world had its own needs and its own solutions as its own universe.
This one is a close-up. It’s the “Regent” painting done by the artist Sergey Kolesov, who is one of the most talented painter/illustrators worldwide in my opinion. This painting won the 2012 into the pixel at E3. It has everything I love in paintings. It has that second layer of visual storytelling when you look at the bodyguard. It’s not in your face at first sight, but it’s there when you take the time to really look at it. It is the role of a bodyguard to stay discreet, you’d say!
It is always sad when you have to cut features, ideas, concepts. But that’s the nature of our role in this industry. As an artist you have to stay really agile and react positively for the sake of the project.
In this case, we had to cut a mental institution which was haunted by some locals called Lunatics. I really liked the mechanics of those non-fighting guys who are really sensitive to sounds, and who drive the player into a corner, hooting when they’ve detected you.
After a long phase of gathering really good references from museums and libraries, it’s time to throw ideas on paper, and align them with the bullet points and visual filters we’ve decided upon.
I like this board because it shows how crazy we go sometimes during our concept session.
Jean-Luc, my assistant, not only takes notes during our brainstorms, he draws pages and pages.