Thu 20 February 2014 10:38
After a few weeks of back and forth, Alex and I (mostly Alex!) have finally got our first piece of environment concept art together, and I have to say, it gets me a bit excited. Here it is:
So, let me take you through it. As you may have noticed, we've incorporated a few typically British props - there's a postbox in the distance (you can see it better at higher resolutions), a couple of battered red phone boxes, a few British road signs, and a pub (the building at the end of the street, on the left).
You can also see a number of large columns, support beams, and a platform up above in the distance. We've been going for a dystopian, futuristic vision of England, where overpopulation has forced us to build upwards, rather than sideways. The platform (we're calling it "The Crust" for the time being) is where the main city lives; a clean and pristine trophy of man's resilience and advancement (concept art coming!). Smoke bellows up from the suburbs through spaces in The Crust, reminding people of the filth that they all live in, whilst the same spaces provide the Suburbs with their only source of natural light.
As you can see, the suburbs are dilapidated, which is due to a number of violent protests and riots that have taken place over the centuries (related to an escalating world-wide issue surrounding information privacy). The government - unable to afford the costs associated with both rebuilding and expanding, after a global ban on wide area communications - have left the suburbs to rot, and focus their budget on maintaining the more commercially viable city above The Crust.
The columns serve as office blocks, and personnel / vehicular lifts for transport between the suburbs and city. The game will take place in both environments; we're not entirely sure of the size of the playable world right now - I really would love to make a massive sandbox, but I think it's unlikely considering the amount of work involved!
You can also see a number of security cameras dotted about. Although this isn't exactly a Orwellian dystopia, surveillance will play a big part in the game - and Byron will be able to hack the cameras and any associated device he sees, and use them to his advantage.
Overall, I am very happy with - and very excited about - this concept art. It has far exceeded my expectations, considering our budget and experience. Here's hoping that everything else comes out looking as good!
As a cheeky aside - I would highly recommend Alex Thomas (our concept artist) for concept work, if any of you are looking and have a budget. His work flow and work ethic is impeccable, and as you can see, his results really are quite impressive. He's also a lovely chap, and very amenable! You can get hold of him on Twitter, or just drop us an email and we'll put you in touch with him.