City of Steam is a browser-based, free-to play online RPG set in an industrial world poised to rediscover the mythic forces that shaped its history.The nations and people of the World Machine, pushing heroes and villains alike toward a dangerous secret that could change everything.
Come in and look into the background stories behind concepts of City of Steam.
Posted by CoS_Ethan on Apr 5th, 2012
What a busy time we’ve hit now as we sort through assets and attempt to really polish up the game. Really busy but we still wanted to use this time to express our thanks to Bobbybighoof and other interested parties, whom wanted to better highlight our efforts on the game. He had indicated that the concept art doesn’t include an artist signature and so he couldn’t attribute thanks to a particular person. So I wanted to take this time to talk about our background on this.
At Mechanist Games we believe that the art and game segments being created are a team effort and labeling one definitive part would be detracting from the effort by all involved. It starts as just text, then goes to concept drawing stage. Brendan did our line art long ago, and then the characters were rendered in color by Charben and Morwen. Nowadays, it’s just Charben and Morwen doing all the concepts from scratch by themselves. There’s a lot of back and forth as well to get it just right, and fairly often we just scrap it and start again. Attributing an individual signature to the resulting concept art misses the bigger picture but we always enjoy compliments on our part in it.
In addition, I thought I’d share another anecdote. We’re an international team, so we operate a lot of our time through a language and cultural barrier. This has, to date, produced some quite interesting results. One such situation involved the concept for goblins. Dave sent along the description of what a goblin should look like and what he’d like me to draw. I was supposed to draw the typical grungy warty goblin that is overdone throughout the fantasy genre but I hadn’t been exposed to this standard as much as Dave or others.
The resulting concept I showed him was sprite-like and quite cute. It was several years ago now and I’ve only improved, but at that point it was just what I had thought Dave wanted. I remember thinking: “Who wants to see/play a warty goblin when they could be adorable?” Although it wasn’t what he asked for I remember the team actually quickly taking a liking to it. So that’s how’s goblins came to be different, a simple miscommunication and a less solid understanding of the commonplace ‘goblin’.
I would have to say that we’re all quite happy with how this has stuck with us. These situations are definitely something that represents us and the development of.
Who wouldn’t enjoy the exuberant and cute goblin, Soth, featured in the CG animated short? If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out and the Dev Journals associated to it talking about how we went about creating it with our friends over at Big American Films.