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In this video blog on the development of The 9th Wizard: Rings of Eternity, Matt takes you into his process and methods of creating game art. This video focuses on the heads up display (HUD), which is a crucial element of the game. He also introduces you to the difficulties of rectifying the genres basic style and his detailed images. This Video features game music, created by the Chiptune Artist, Comptroller.

Posted by vidjahgames on Feb 26th, 2012


Posted here is the transcript of our video. We hope you enjoy, learn a little about our game, and leave us some feedback.  Please join us again next week for a look at the progression of our character development and custom dungeon designer.


Hi, this is Matt, the lead artist and designer for EpicVessel Games, and I am currently working on imagery for our new title, “The 9th Wizard: Rings of eternity.”

Before I go on I want you to keep in mind that all the art you’ve seen thus far, during the progression of our videos are not finals. They serve as temporary filler-art. You’ve seen nothing yet!



Joe, my co-creator , and I understand that making a Rogue-like game wouldn’t be filled with detailed and crisp imagery that I am used to illustrating. Some may say that as an artist, there is no challenge, it’s too simple, and there is very little room to actively draw from the imagination. However, after investigating the genre a bit further we realized that Rogue-likes offer a different kind of challenge to the imagination. Rogue-likes are absolutely filled with opportunities to creatively imagine, for the player that is. The player creates his own character and is allowed to grow through the experience the game provides.

The purpose of the art isn’t to show the player the world of the 9th Wizard, but to send the player in the direction of how the world might look. The player fills in the rest. This is the challenge. How can I create subtle details to push the player creatively in the direction that best fits the back-drop of the 9th Wizard? It is definitely a challenge I accept, but I need the help of our supporters to tell me when something works or doesn’t.

9th Wizard: Rings of Eternity Concept Art9th Wizard: Rings of Eternity Concept Art 9th Wizard: Rings of Eternity Concept Art


Where do I start?

Logically, I thought the first place to start was with the Heads-Up Display or the HUD for short. The HUD is an extremely important element on-screen because it is the biggest link between the player and his or her character.

Stylistically, the HUD went through many stages before finally becoming what you see here. As the artist I knew that it had to be a reflection of both the player’s reality and the reality of the 9th Wizard. It has to function appropriately to the game, be intuitive, and easy to look at. This idea gave me the license to be as detailed as I wanted to be, which fit well with my overall illustrating style. We are very happy with the HUD’s final look.

9th Wizard: Rings of Eternity Concept Art 9th Wizard: Rings of Eternity Concept Art 9th Wizard: Rings of Eternity Concept Art


This process was incredibly addicting and I can’t wait to continue to show off the art direction of our new game. Thanks for tuning in and look forward to next week’s video and to see character illustrations. See you then!

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Thunderchicken
Thunderchicken Mar 1 2012, 8:02pm says:

I like the artwork of the HUD, but it also is pretty intense, like it dominates the screen and draws my eye even more than the dungeon area. Couldn't really say if a more subdued HUD (in size or brightness maybe?) would help or hurt the gameplay, but just throwing my first impressions out there. Perhaps the balance will change as the character and dungeon art changes?

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vidjahgames
vidjahgames Mar 10 2012, 10:30pm says:

First, let me say that this is exactly the type of constructive criticism we are hoping for. Thank you for being brave enough to step forward and offer it, and for taking your own time to do so.

We've found the same thing to be true. We actually changed the screen size to help mitigate the issue, going from 800 x 600 to 1024 x 768. This gives us more room for the play screen, and because the other things like mini-map, information display and other indicators are not on the screen yet, the balance is thrown way off.

We are still using a lot of placeholders, so it may very well be that as new art is introduced the styles with begin to mesh better. We expect to make changes along the way, and like Matt said in the video, if there is something that isn't working we would like to hear about it.

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