In a recent interview with The A.V. Club, Dishonored 2 director Harvey Smith talked about the people, who created this exciting steampunk world.
God knows we like Dishonored 2. It’s a very nice game, with huge open levels, hundreds of secrets, tough challenges and beautiful environments. In the most recent interview with The A.V. Club, the game’s director Harvey Smith talked in much detail about the production of the game. One answer of his was most interesting in particular. The development team invited a lot of industrial designers and architects to work on the game. Here’s why.
We don’t just hire video game artists. We hire industrial designers and architects, and we hire people with classical backgrounds. So very often, they’re not just coming in and saying, “Yeah, I’ve seen Aliens and the most recent Iron Man movie. Here are some effects and here are some animations.” They’re coming in and their favorite painters are Goya or Sargent. They have a rich history, and they’re very modern also. They’re very into people painting today. A trip through our art department is pretty wild.
Sébastien Mitton is our art director. He was the art director on Dishonored 1, and he’s pretty over the top in his demands for the visuals and the design. We talk about something like, “Hey, we’re going to put a lion statue in the corner here.” And it’s unlike any lion statue you’ve ever seen. First of all, it’s the size of a giant lion, but it has ears more like a lynx, because we always think, “Let’s twist all the animals in our world so they’re unique.” Part of that comes from the way Victorian scientists would sketch in their books and sometimes the style of the person would come across. Before that, before people would take trips, they would often get the animals slightly wrong, or they would do it based on someone’s description of the animal. And so we like those fantastical twists on the animal, but it’s also unique to our world. And so we have this statue of the lion. It’s huge and it has the lynx-like ears, and then on top of that, we say that Karnaca has silver mines and huge trees that are like sequoias or redwoods, so a lot of things are made with this polished wood, this umbra wood. So the lion is wood for a reason, and then it blackens in some spots. It’s a blond wood in some places, and then it goes red and then it blackens. It’s just an amazingly executed object in a world. It has a particular style to it, and it has the underpinnings of all that stuff.