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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

@Phil Online Greenlight Review


  1. OGR 08/10/2015

    Hi Sarah,

    I did notice your OGR go up on Tuesday, so well done on getting your house in order so promptly. I wanted to make a general observation too re. the clear way in which you're growing in confidence as this project progresses. Your last batch of thumbnails are infinitely more loose, impressionist and evocative as you became less conventional in your approach to 'drawing a city' (as opposed to imagining one).

    As I read your mission statement, I did become more confused as to your 'visual concept' for Argia. Calvino makes it pretty clear what type of place this is - i.e. not homely; it's more of a tomb than a bustling metropolis, so the comforts of your interior influence map seem to have crept in from a different place altogether. I noticed too that you've been looking at existing cities in existing games for inspiration, and while inspiration can indeed come from anywhere, we sometimes find that approach encourages a kind of 'genre genericism' - i.e. all fantasy stuff starts looking very similar indeed.

    My general observation at this stage would be that you don't actually have a clear visual concept yet: the exterior influence map is largely generic, in so much as it shows us caves and roots, but no sense of the logic of this world - i.e. the architectural logic underpinning the shapes/structures of the city itself (you mention classical columns in your OGR, but this seems like a rather conventional view of what ancient cities could and should look like). The idea of the city's architecture having grown up and combined with giant tree roots is interesting, but the real challenge of this particular city is to ensure it's not just a bunch of dark brown lumps with lights in them, or a bunch of dark brown caves with lights in them. This city really requires a visual concept to guard against it being completely generic. What I really like about your thumbnail '94' is that it is suggestive of scale and depth, and we get the sense of their being definite structures too.

    So - in short, I think you need to identify a visual concept for the look of your city. Ideas might include looking at other things that associate with subterranean living - things that prosper in the dark, or that we associate with being buried: for example, mushrooms and fungi (things that thrive in the dark)

    graveyards and burial sites, like the famous Monmartre cemetery in Paris:

    You might want to think about look at the reality of actual tunnel building and excavation - asking yourself practical questions as to how this place was constructed:!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_1200/6th-ave-subway-tunnel-1939.jpg

    You could look at mines and mine constructions:

    In summary, I'd suggest you stop looking at existing buried cities and the self-evident fact of caves, and look instead at some reference that will help you get a really firm, really distinctive grip on why your city looks the way it does: you must avoid the 'brown lumps with lights' approach and likewise the 'dark space with lights' approach. Remember, you're a concept artist, and your job is to think big and speculatively about this city! Onwards!

    1. Thanks Phil for the feedback , I agree I think I`ve been to focused on creating a city thats already been done before and scared that my own work isn`t as up to scratch as professionals. I`ll take your advice and research into images that you`ve suggested. Do you think it`d be a good idea to do another influence map with images that you`ve suggested I look at? Then create some more thumbnails based on the influence maps?