mercredi 26 novembre 2014

Assassin's Creed Rogue !

Almost a year ago, I was mandated to push some art for the Assassin's Creed Rogue video game that just came out this November on PS3 and Xbox one. I had a variety of different tasks to do ranging from storyboarding cut scenes, to designing door lock mechanisms, totem puzzles, artefact pillars, graphic icons and some good ol' environment concept art. Learned quite a bit in the process. Firstly, in order of appearance here...and in the game (That goes on chronologically in 1755):-----------------------Set in an open world like canyon near the north Atlantic, I designed this pillar shaped rocky mountain that serves firstly as a climbing puzzle for our hero. (Other various treasure quests were to be connected to this one where the idea of little bridges leading to other secret areas come in.) On top, our hero is then challenged with the first of many ancient totem puzzles. Once the artefact collected, the hero could dive off into a source of water and exit the area. Thus the idea of the surrounding river and a boat seen through the gap in the rock. -----------------------Next in illustrations are the different concept iterations of this ancient Totem Puzzle. At first this totem was intended to fit in the 1st Civ sci-fi art style of the Assassin’s Creed brand. The direction changed to make it look more like a typical native totem. It changed once more to have it look more like a Stonehenge monument. The game concept is to lead the player into using EagleVision to then vertically connect the patterns by pivoting the parts. (So the shape needed to almost a cylinder) When the concept went Stonehenge, I proposed the idea of aligning cracks (The stones flaws) instead of patterns. Thus leading the Stonehenge to crack up and explode…revealing the treasure at its feet. Which then helps the player identify from far which puzzles have been resolved.-----------------------Mid-point through the game, our player unlocks a secret passage (I designed …but no visual here) through a church floor in Lisbon Portugal. The secret passage leads to a 1st Civ room that I designed and that holds an ancient artifact. I came up with the concept of a triangular shaped prism pedestal that intentionally evokes the A shape of the Assassin’s Creed logo. Upon picking it up from the pedestal, the artefact self-destructs and the whole place starts shaking….Causing the famous historical devastating earthquake that destroyed the most part of Lisbon. Our hero must escape the chaos and reach his boat amidst the crumbling buildings and scorching fires.-----------------------The very end of the game (spoilers! Sorry) has our hero sailing through the frozen seas of North Atlantic on the quest to retrieve the last artefact. Our hero docks near an ice cavern entrance…and must make his way inside through frozen shipwrecks, across 1st Civ platforms until he reaches the entrance to Ice Temple…which holds the artefact. I did some concept art of the door and what could the inside of the Ice Temple could look like. Once again, the triangular shaped pedestal that goes deep down into earth (To justify, its link to the earthquake) but this time much more epic. It was also suggested that no actual ice made its way into this last room. Anyhow, the scenario heads toward treachery amongst the lead characters present and once again the artefact is stolen. Which causes an even bigger earthquake, the pointy stalactite ceiling caving dangerously in, and what I proposed has a rise in water level as our hero must make his way back to his ship…for the grand finale. I won’t get into the details, (no too spoil too much of it. In all,) but I enjoyed the variety of the tasks and getting more involved in the design aspect. Try the game out!  

mardi 25 novembre 2014

Assassin's Creed Unity --- Companion App.

This November, Ubisoft Released the awaited Assassin's Creed Unity video game. On a short mandate, I was to design a series of French Revolutionists Characters as final Illustrations for the Companion Game playable on Ipad and smartphone. (The Companion game, done in Quebec City, in itself is meant to be played by a friend while one is playing the original console version. ) It has you choosing and hiring a limited set of Parisian Revolutionist Assassins then sending them off to invade / riot a part of the City. Thus, the directions were for me to design rebelious characters with poses, visual attributes that could label them to one the 4 categories: Attack , Stealth, Defense, and finally...Balanced. ( with energy-type bars showing how much they had of this) In addition, the characters had to feel believable in the brand, cool but generic enough not to overpower our assassin hero, while feeling they are actively part of the French Revolution setting. ( I worked in a color palette that references the obvious red, white and blue of the french flag. )No one under 18 or over 45. With 30 % of them being females. Oh...And most importantly, they had to read well in different formats ranging from super small on a smartphone to midsize on a tablet. (Never as big as the version I'm posting here. But hey, it more fun to see details, right? ) The characters poses thus had to emphasize strong recognizable silhouettes. And last but no least, the very small icon-like cropped up version of the characters showcasing their face had to read just as well and ideally present one of their 4 character attributes. Oh! and once chosen by the player,the characters would eventually be shown side by side. So The characters could not be cropped to the left or to the right. oufff... It was a rare opportunity for me to push character design in a more realistic style. Unfortunatly, I was quickly needed on an other mandate, thus stuck for time... and they ended up wanting 3 times more characters to choose from. So another illustrator was free to takeover ( and redid these in his style) All in all, it was great fun. Check out the game. It's free!