By Kevin Kelly
Video game concept art is a curious thing. It is some of the most beautiful artwork that you will never see, for the most part. These works of art are used to shape the course of the game, providing a template for the game developers to work from. But usually the general public never sees these beautiful creations. Thankfully, that trend has been changing, thanks to organizations like Into the Pixel, and the publications of books that collect the art of a single title.
But what about collecting the work of an entire company? Blizzard Entertainment has been busy making games since 1991, and in the process they have created a treasure trove of gorgeous artwork in the process. Now Insight Editions has collected much of that art and put it together in a fantastic tome full of over 700 pieces of art that range from Warcraft to Diablo to Starcraft and beyond.
This book is so massive that it will threaten to crush your coffee table, but it is so attractive that you won’t want to hide it away on a bookshelf either. We’re giving away one of these volumes, which comes complete with commentary from Blizzard wizards Nick Carpenter (VP of Art and Cinematic Development), Sam Didier (Senior Art Director) and Chris Metzen (Senior VP of Story and Franchise Development).
Read on for our interview with Chris Metzen and Sam Didier!
Today, Ubisoft announced that they were partnering with McFarlane Toys to bring "Assassin's Creed 3's" Connor and Haytham into the world as 6" figures. The duo, who are being offered up as the first series in a possible ongoing line of toys are the latest game to toy project for McFarlane Toys who have in the past brought characters from the "Halo" and "Metal Gear Solid" universes to toy shelves across the country.
The company's founder--comic writer, artist, and businessman--Todd McFarlane, spoke to us by phone recently about working with Ubisoft, the perils and pitfalls of working with game companies when they're protective of their characters, and some of his dream projects from other games and comic companies.
Sanzaru Games may be a relatively new developer, having only been around for the last five years or so, but Sony has bestowed upon them a huge vote of confidence, entrusting them with one of their first party franchises, Sly Cooper. Thieves In Time is Sly's first outing in almost eight years, as well as his debut on the PlayStation 3 and Vita (not counting his appearances in PlayStation Move Heroes and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale). While most of the game remains true to its PlayStation 2 predecessors, this caper is going to send Sly and his friends through time to help restore order to the Cooper clan. We had a chance to ask Sanzaru Games' President Glen Egan some questions about the release, and got some insight into the development process of Sly's latest, and highly-anticipated heist, Thieves in Time.
Studio Ronin artist Christopher Shy ("Soul Stealer") had to work to figure out the right look for "Dead Space" character John Carver. Translating Visceral Games' world into comics was a challenge for the artist who worked with writer Ian Edginton to bridge the stories between "Dead Space 2" and the upcoming "Dead Space 3" in the February 5 release, "Dead Space: Liberation" from Titan Books.
From the official synopsis:
Following the events of the smash video game hit Dead Space 2, we follow Earthgov Sergeant John Carver whose wife and son are attacked by fanatics trying to liberate the Marker site where she works. Racing to solve the clues his wife left behind, Carver teams up with Ellie Langford, survivor of an earlier Necromorph outbreak on the Sprawl, and EarthGov Captain Robert Norton. Together they unlock deep secrets about the Markers in an epic adventure that will determine the fate of mankind.
Titan Books provided us with a sneak peek of "Liberation" and Shy offered his commentary on the pages. Find out more about the artist's process in bringing the horror of "Dead Space" to life on the page.
(l. to r. - David Kates, Joshua Mosley)
The animated "Mass Effect: Paragon Lost" will be out later this month on DVD and Blu-ray to provide viewers with a little backstory on the hotheaded James Vega who spends much of "Mass Effect 3" busting Commander Shepherd's chops. But according to "Mass Effect" composers Joshua Mosley and David Kates, there's more to the character than that--something they were able to explore in the soundtrack they put together for the first animated release for the RPG.
Kates is a series veteran, having worked on both the first and second "Mass Effect" games while Mosley--whose work can be found in "Splosion Man"--is new to the franchise. Both men have clear visions about the sounds of the "Mass Effect" universe and spoke answered a few questions for MTV Multiplayer about their work bringing that sound to animation. You can also check out previews from the "Mass Effect: Paragon Lost" soundtrack below.
Award-winning composer Winifred Phillips has been keeping busy. Besides contributing to or providing soundtracks for a handful of licensed game titles, she's also worked on "God of War," had tracks in "LittleBigPlanet" and its sequel, and most recently, composed the soundtrack for Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed III: Liberation," for the vita.
Ms. Phillips' work on that game's soundtrack has just earned her yet another award, this time from Hollywood Music in Media. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about her work on "Liberation," bringing music to 18th century New Orleans, and finding the sound for the series' first female heroine.
Most companies have, at one time or another, tried to capitalize on the kart racing phenomenon. Putting mascots behind the wheels of tiny cars some how never ceases to be enjoyable. While some racers have been better than others, few can compete with the customization options of Sony's latest entry into the genre, LittleBigPlanet Karting. Sackboy gets behind the wheel of his own vehicle and lets gamers go wild customizing him (as usual), their karts, and even creating racetracks to their heart's content. Given how unique the LBP franchise is, we had some questions about just what Karting was going to be like, so we caught up with SCEA's Associate Producer Jason Coker who helped set us straight on what to expect from the game.