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Undead Labs art director talks about the heart of horror

Jef Reahard

So what is art direction and why is it important to video games in general and MMORPGs in particular? That's a good question, and sadly one that can't be answered in a brief news post. What we can do, though, is point you to some worthwhile reading on the subject. Today's lesson comes courtesy of Undead Labs and Doug Williams.

Williams serves as the art director on the firm's upcoming zombie apocalype Xbox Live Arcade MMO (currently codenamed Class3), and while you might expect him to spend time talking about gory effects or the best way to render blood and brains in a dark environment, Williams actually spends a good portion of the latest Undead Labs blog post talking about something called "Faded Americana."

"Faded Americana really resonates with me because there are many analogies between the style and a zombie apocalypse. In both cases, you see society hanging onto the ghosts of its past," Williams explains. The concept goes a long way towards explaining Undead Labs' decision to set the game primarily in a small town environment, and Williams has quite a few interesting anecdotes relating to influential games as well as the challenges inherent in separating the new game from the stack of zombie-themed entertainment products that have swarmed over the popular consciousness in recent years.

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