Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Skyward Collapse Steam Trading Cards

We've had plenty of players ask about these, so we're happy to announce trading cards for Skyward Collapse are now available on Steam. The game's upcoming expansion Nihon no Mura is also out now in beta, and can be pre-ordered for 10% off the $2.99 price tag up until launch.

We'll have several other items to announce in the coming weeks -- including all the stuff we're participating in at PAX Prime. Here's Blue, our art director, with a retrospective look at bringing the trading cards together:

The art industry can be a tough game to place on all sides of the spectrum. My job as art director is to make sense of the mess and herd it into one single direction. We get our hands into every aspect of the game art industry. From contracting and leading a team of artists to completing our own projects.

A good example of what I do as Arcen's Art Director was obtaining unique art for Steam's trading card game. The project needed numerous art, but my favorite happened to be the profile art.

We needed art for our game Skyward Collapse. Something rough and painterly, that depicted the war our game was about. In some projects, we must hire a new artist to take on the contract, though in others we're lucky enough to know the perfect artist for the job.

I'd worked with Todor in the past, so we knew he was perfect for the job with his rough painterly style.

When we work with an artist, the job is generally broken up into different milestones. Sketch, color and completion. Typically the artist will do the sketch and color, and I will fill in the completion. Be it adding a couple extra details, tweaking contrast and color, or changing something else.


One of Todor's pieces was of Thor. His sketch was amazing in its simplicity. Strong pose and strong features leave the audience captivated and just a slight bit intimidated. During sketch phase is when the heaviest modifications are made. Changes to pose, anatomy or even the entire lay out is common. Once client and artist are satisfied, is when we move on to color.


In the color stage, Todor added awesome texture in deep dark colors that we asked for. We needed the profile to be dark so the profile would blend well. He detailed Thor's face beautifully while spending tastefully less time on the lower half of the body. His lighting was well done and solid and the lightning was perfectly painterly. Todor gave us one of many perfect pieces.

The final stage is to touch it up for our needs. Placed against a dark steam profile mock, I noticed that the picture ended sharply and I felt it was off putting. So I took his art work and created a rough broken transition that helped it melt into its background.


The transition breaks up harsh line and helps it settle into the profile.


With a few more tweaks, this was the final result.

- Daniette "Blue" Wood

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