Massively Exclusive: Camelot Unchained armor dev blog, part 2

Monday, we brought you the first installment of an exclusive three-part series about Camelot Unchained's armor development. Today, City State Entertainment co-founder Mark Jacobs and Lead Artist and Animator Scott Trolan continue the discussion by introducing the looks of two more races. Where part one delved into the details of the Vikings, part two focuses on the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Arthurians. These two groups have very different approaches to armor and distinct looks, as seen in the included images by Lead Concept Artist Michelle Davies and Concept Artist and Animator Sandra Pavulaan. Read up on the ideas behind the art and see the sketches in part two of the CU armor dev blog series.

Mark Jacobs: Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed the first look at the process we are using to help visualize the players' armor for Camelot Unchained. As a number of people in the Massively comment section pointed out, we are certainly not going for another game where our players will be "scampering through snow zones in thongs and heels, just looking for hypothermia" (thanks Jasmine Hruschak aka Irljasmine for that quite quotable quote). :) In Part II of this series, Scott will discuss some of our thoughts regarding the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Arthurians.

Scott Trolan: The Tuatha Dé Danann are fae in origin, and Mark has asked us to tie them to their forest and the colors of the seasons. Incorporating antlers and ascending woven forms creates a sense of enlightenment and connection with nature. The triangular metal ornamentation and armor are whimsically oxidized and patinated to reflect constant exposure to moisture and light. TTDs are also known to emit unexpected high specular sheens across all materials on armor that the players wear. In addition, bending sunlight in unpredictable ways reinforces the spiritual nature of the realm.

[Click images for larger versions]

Like her Viking study, Michelle's piece on the TDD focuses on symbols and shapes.

The Arthurian designs are regal and symmetrical. Using the square as the foundation, Arthurian right angles are iconic in art and architecture. They have a great sense of cultural self and accomplishment that they express in all facets of design. References from technological advancements in architecture and art are depicted in both garments and armor. Here is another piece from Sandra.

Michelle's study was again a bit more technical, and it focused more on the different aspects than Sandra's. This is one of the reasons they have worked so well together.

As part of the study, the artists were asked to also create a series of possible directions for each realm. Some of these show an exaggerated look (the larger shoulder pieces, hoods, etc. for example). Even though we don't expect them to look that way in the game, it's useful for us to frame the study that way. Here are some of Sandra's pieces.

Believability and functionality are high priorities when designing realm identification and armor. Our game sets itself to be unique and interesting, but also realistic. As Mark has continually reminded us, no chainmail bikinis, no lingerie armor, and most importantly, no giant shoulder pads! Camelot Unchained takes place in a world of magic where rules and reasoning apply (maybe not so in the Depths™). Our goal is to pair artistic expression and a perceived sense of realism within this magical world, which we hope our players will embrace for years to come.

Mark Jacobs: That's it for Part II. I hope you liked what you saw from some of Michelle's and Sandra's work with the the Tuatha Dé Danann and Arthurians. In the final piece, they will take the lead role, talking about their thought processes and showing you more of their concepting and vision skills.