Contagion isn't your average Zombie Shooter but instead takes a more realistic and different approach to the popular genre with unique characters, environments, weapons, items, and a built in system that makes every round completely unpredictable with resources, objectives, and paths ever changing. From the creator of Zombie Panic: Source Brian "Tatsur0" Comer we introduce it's spiritual successor.
The guys over at Contagion-Fans.com take the time to ask Monochrome's lead character artist about his work on Contagion and his inspiration.
Posted by Tatsur0 on May 23rd, 2011
Joe aka Zomb0 is at it again with yet another interview for the very talented 3D Artist Josh Lennen. The team is very proud and lucky to have someone with clear goals and a solid idea of what it takes to work in the industry. Visit Contagion-Fans.com for more on their site and forums.
We would once again like the thank Monochrome Games for accepting yet again another QNA. However, this time we will be asking Josh Lennen (Lead Character Artist) some interesting questions!
JoeH04: Where do you get your inspiration from when designing the characters?
Josh: Hey Joe! I certainly cannot take any credit for the design of the characters. That is all part of Brian's direction and Sam Ireland's killer art skills. While I will try to put my own spin on some aspects of the design, I like to adhere to Brian's vision as much as possible. I'll usually get a lot of inspiration for each character after talking back and forth with Brian or watching a recent movie and noticing certain things about someone's face that I really liked. A prime example is the character "Nick". Both Brian and I were discussing where to develop his face and body type and we somehow landed on the topic of the actor Ron Pearlman, who then turned into a starting point for the facial type and hair design of "Nick". While the final version of the character does not represent Pearlman, there are bits of him that were great reference material and inspiration.
JoeH04: Have family or friends inspired you when creating the characters?
Josh: Family and friends are always a great source of inspiration for anyone working with characters. I always try to take in as much info as I can when looking at someone's face or body type and look for errors I make in my own work and how to correct them. While I haven't really used any one family member or friend for work on Contagion, they are always a great resource.
JoeH04: What do you find the hardest when creating the characters?
Josh: Planning out how to tackle the model in preparation for both survivor and zombie can be a challenge as we want each character and zombie to feel unique. I think a big misconception in character work, and working in games in general, is that it is not all rainbows and ponies. Outside of the wealth of knowledge one needs to be able to work with characters (or even environments for that matter), there are many parts of the process that can be grueling and there is a reason that the word "job" was invented You really have to love what you do. You will not always be working on your own character from start to finish. You will not always have the freedom to take the character in the direction you would like it to go as it's already been laid out through the concept work. While Brian and myself like to keep it loose and he gives me a lot of freedom, there is a lot that is set in stone and can not be deviated from.
JoeH04: From recent pictures of some of the characters, we can tell a lot of detail has gone in to them. Is attention to detail something that is important to you?
Josh: That's a GREAT question, and another one that many misconceive in perceptions of working in games. Detail is all about balance. As it applies to games, you are talking about a lot of restrictions in what the player actually sees versus what you put in. I can sculpt in every wrinkle and pore that you may notice on a movie screen, but you would never see it in the tiny restricted space that the camera allows the player to view a third person head. Knowing when to stop putting in the detail and where to emphasize it is very important.
JoeH04: Who is your favourite character?
Josh: That's a tough one! Having worked on all of them at one point or another, I really can't say there is one in particular.
JoeH04: How will the voice acting be for the characters? Will the voices match the characters personalities?
Josh: We are making every effort to bring the characters to life through their design, expressions, behavior, and especially their voices
JoeH04: Will there be a lot of story intake as regards to playing the character?
Josh: Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............ I honestly can not comment on this one
JoeH04: Is Tatsur0 sat next to you?
Josh: No comment.
JoeH04: Does that mean you can tell us all when Contagion will be released?
Josh: Oh Joe, you know I can't deliver the goods on that slice of the pie! Don't worry, we're all working very, very hard, and you will not be disappointed!
Many thanks for taking your time to answer these questions Josh. Keep up the great work Monochrome! And don't forget to visit Contagion-Fans.com