When I chose to develop arts for Wizards’Duel, I knew that time would have been strict. I’m a 32 years old professional portraitist, married, with two children… I need time for buckle down on my work and studies, so I knew that my efforts on WD would have been limited.
But arts is to take beauty from what you have, doesn’t matter if is gold or clay. Contemporary art and ancient masters as well still teach us that masterpieces aren’t about how much time you spend on it: everything is about the right choice, supported by tecnic mixed with intuition and long practice.
My first choices in WD artdirection was about what I would NOT to do. I couldn’t make a 3d game, not even with prerendered 3d models. I would not use classic tileset (even the best one looks anonymous and boring to me), and to build a stunning and various tileset means hundreds hours drawing pixel by pixel.
I was amazed by the Sword & Sworcery approach: it mix pixels with a hd atmopshere, but I had not the time to draw an entire world, and the WD gameplay needs were different. As a tactical-turnbased game, WD players have to look at the ground most of the time, so I need to find a solution for interesting battlefields. This is the bigger problem. As a visual artist you can find easly nicelooking solutions for characters and enviroments… But how to squeeze out beauty from a floor?
“In crevices of wall, in the fruit’s mould, in a rotten old branch: sublime landscapes ” – Leonardo da Vinci
Abstraction is the answer. Textures. Natural path are never boring, and very quick to turn into tiles and layers. And nature texture are ontologically procedural, mixing perfectly both ideally and phisically in WD gamedesign.