Today we’d like to tell you more about our artists for our deck building game, Mercenaries. We were looking for new talent, and so went to an open day at Stoke University. Ryan went to Staffordshire University at Stafford Campus- where they had courses on television, music production, and were more computer and digitally focused- but the University also has a Stoke Campus. Stoke University leans toward art and design. We were very impressed with the quality of the work on display there. We had around 10 artists who’s business cards we took. We had to narrow this down to 3 or 4.
We decided to challenge them with two pieces of work. One would be detail exactly what we were looking for, the other would just describe the card’s effect and its name. This would show us how well they followed directions, as well as how creative they could be when left to their own devices. We let them have free reign with Charge Attack (A move that lets the player move further while trading defense for offense) and we gave specific instructions for an Orc Arbalist (an arbalist is a crossbow wielder. Variations never sounded right. Orc Crossbowman? Crossbow Orc?) a large green humanoid with basic fantasy armor and a crudely made crossbow.
Oliver showed he had a great variety of styles in his arsenal. We asked him if he could produce a style that combined the bright colors of the charge attack with the shading on the Orc Arbalist. We also loved the way he made unique looking equipment. When seeing his Charge Attack, we instantly started brainstorming what they could be. We decided in the end Oliver was best at designing weapons (particularly magical and unique designs. Ever seen a medieval cattle-prod?) and “humanoid” creatures. Goblins, Orcs, those sort of monsters. While Oliver did do our final Orc Arbalist, the final design changed a lot from his initial work.
The first thing that grabbed us about Josh’s work was his gorgeous use of color, lighting and shading. In the end we decided to assign Josh the position of creating rooms and environment images of places that are “warm and friendly”. He also deals with more “unique” monsters (his portfolio work showed a lot of strange and wonderful monsters. A few we are planning to bring into the game!). Josh also handles work when we think there is a good opportunity to play with lights and colors. A fireball flying through the air, magical stones crackling with energy. The world of Mercenaries is cut-throat, but Josh makes it beautiful.
Callum caught us off guard with his Charge Attack. How could we forget that nature is usually very good at many techniques that hardened warriors would use. This also made us realize that the mercenaries wouldn’t have the same martial skills as a trained knight, and so may be inspired by simpler and more brutish tactics. His work with the Orc Arbalist was great. We loved the tattered cape and the harsh jagged rocks in the background. Oliver’s sharp style was a great choice for our abilities and rooms that may hold hazards and other nasty things.
As the game expands we may also introduce other artists, but we will always try and hire fresh talent.
If anyone would like more information on what we are doing, please email us at ColinAndRyanPearsonGames@Gmail.com