Concept Art - posted 29/10/02

In the beginning...

When developing any game, everything needs to be planned out in great detail before a single line of code is ever written. This includes basic game ideas such as the style, technological aims, control methods and perhaps most importantly the look, feel and personality of your in game character.

To determine the overall look and feel of a game requires that a solid vision be developed for each component. A writer, designer or artist may have a vision of how a particular character or monster looks, but having a tangible image on paper is the best way to ensure that everyone shares the same vision. Many questions are discussed and tested in the concept art stage, before any game content would be created.

Over the course of development, a character may change visually many times. Each time the object or character changed, a new piece of concept art would have been created to help everyone visualize the changes.

The concept for Galleon's main character [Rhama] was for him to be athletic, suave, full of wit and charm. An instantly likable character who was fun to play. This led to a design for a character with a slim but obviously muscular build.

Rhama went through a number of very early images. Started off looking a lot more like a pirate than a buccaneer. Over time he became more sophisticated until he, finally reached his current incarnation. The image to the right shows how Rhama was transformed from a two-dimensional sketch into the fully animated, walking talking 3D model that is present in the game. This demonstrates perfectly how the concept images provide a solid template for the artists to work from when creating actual game material such as models and textures.

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