When I first got the call to interview for Vigil Games, I really didn’t know much about them. I’d seen their website, knew they were a new studio and a comic book artist was involved with them. I took a chance and flew to Austin to meet them.
About 11 people were crammed into a small office space, we went for lunch at a small tex-mex place close by. I heard that they wanted to do a game about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (ok cool!) and what their future plans were.
I knew it’d be a risk, due to their size and experience, but the thing that sold it to me completely, was when I was told Joe Madureira was involved with the studio, as Creative Director. I asked to see him, but he was out that day, so I was taken to his room to check out his concept art for the game; I’M IN!
The game took approximately 4 1/2 years to complete, but that also included growing the company, building up our in-house tools, engine and generally, becoming a very capable development studio.
I hope Joe forgives me for this, but I really wanted to share some of the rough, at-the-moment sketches this guy did to relay ideas. They’re meant to be done quickly, give a sense of motion and intent, and I think Joe did an amazing job of that with minimal effort.
Below you’ll see his sketches on Ruin’s air summon, dash and reverse kick..it’s all awesome (at least to me).
Having somebody so talented who could realize ideas like these, so easily, is beyond useful in the design process.
If I have one useful piece of information to share to anyone building a new IP, it would be:
THE CONCEPT PHASE IS THE SEED OF EVERYTHING.
DON’T SKIP OR LEAVE IT TOO LATE! IT’S ONE OF THE QUICKEST, CHEAPEST AND MOST FRUITFUL PHASES OF DEVELOPMENT, WHICH HAS A HUGE IMPACT ON THE QUALITY OF YOUR PRODUCT.
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Darksiders Concept Art
Darksiders had (and still has) the most concept art I’ve ever seen for one game. We had so many talented artists under one roof, that it was easy to have very high expectations after this project.
When I came to creating this section, I just quickly selected a few pieces which covered a very broad range of things; characters, environments, props, mood tests etc.
The Bits In-Between
Throughout the course of Darksiders’ development, we had so many fun times in, and out of work time. I do believe it’s why people have such good memories of the place.
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