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We’ve talked with the concept-artist, who created amazing worlds for the amazing indie title.
I was born in Krim, Sevastopol, but raised in Kamchatka Krai, where I attended art school for children. That’s when I decided art is my destiny. Then I studied design at University, stepping away from the original plan. Eventually, I went back to art, moving to another city, and received an offer to work on Duelyst.
Working as a Team
‘Hunger Games + Diablo + League of Legends’ – these and something about each faction were all I knew about Duelist back in 2013. I had a complete freedom and support from the team. I was the only newbie in the team of dev legends, who contributed to games I played as a child. Keith Lee, our project manager, knows each member of the team perfectly and always contributes to the game’s production. We realized many crazy ideas, one of which was to change game’s concept completely. That’s the idea, which led to creating Duelyst every fan knows today.
The hardest part was to avoid stereotypes, while making sure the world feels real. The idea of global cataclysm was really helpful – some cities were floating in the sky, while others were found on the bones of ancient creatures. That’s what makes the game so enormous. If you feel like a grain of sand looking at my concepts, then I really achieved something.
I’d say the base of each concept is a bright palette, different from the real world, simple shapes and not too many details. I was pointing at random location of the global map to find some scene for a concept. One of the locations called Whistling Blades was planned as a bamboo forest with leaves as sharp as knives. This forest has a bad reputation and is a dangerous place to visit. This idea led to creating aggressive creates with blade-hands, who would hunt down simple travelers. The sound of their blades behind traveler’s back marks a certain death. This story makes the location’s name just perfect. Another place, called Obsidian Woods, was created as a seabed withered because of the cataclysm.
Spending a part of my life on design led to a different view on a color and how to mix it, a simpler one I’d say. A fight between warm and cold tints is what defines my approach. So, every faction got its own color for some differentiation – cold or warm. This rule defines every part of the game – main screen, units, etc…
My main task was to form basic understanding of the game’s world, making it clear for both developers and gamers. This doesn’t mean my concept did not have an effect on the development process though. Some unity were changed, one faction got new colors. My concepts also affected characters’ images and emblems.
Anton Fadeev, Environment Concept Artist at COUNTERPLAY GAMES
Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev.