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Friday, August 9, 2013

Concept101: Origins of a Water Mole


So suppose I started talking about water moles in Concept101. As in, a mini-series within a series... No, not Inception. Most people don't take much notice of these odd beings in Skull Island, but they may mean something bigger. So I've already planted seeds for more worlds than you can count in Pirate101... here's one more!

Mommy, Where Do Water Moles Come From?

Wait, wrong perspective. Celestia, is that the answer we're looking for? Maybe not, but we're talking in terms of worlds, here... why, what did you think? Hehe...

Water moles inhabit the Floating Land in Celestia in Wizard101. So Celestia - or where the remains of it are currently located, anyway - that must be where Water Moles come from, right? But what about the Water Moles in Skull Island? They can't have just shown up. And there's no stormgate to a water-mole-related world nearby.

This creates some confusion. If water moles come from Celestia, how did they end up in Skull Island... and if they originated in Skull Island, how did they get to Celestia?

A World All Their Own?

It is my belief that the water moles originate in a world that belongs entirely to them. A world of water moles... hmm. I'm not sure how much there'd be to do there. I'm just trying to think in terms of what makes sense based on a telling piece of art.

The follow are water mole ship concepts. Normally, a cropped image is shown. This one is the full concept.


Pirate101 does not have ships for different factions, though. There's a Skiff, Frigate, and Galleon for each world based on the world theme. So the fact that we have three finished pieces at three sizes is surprising... and easily overlooked.

What J. Todd Coleman Says

If there's any sort of confirmation, it's words from a developer! And J. Todd Coleman, though not currently working at KingsIsle, had something to say about these ships before he left. This was one of his posts:
You see these guys in the Skull Island skyway, but you can't buy one of these ships -- yet! I love the flagship in the lower right.
So we're eventually able to buy water mole ships? For what purpose? Having three doesn't make it a bundle. That makes it a world. And if the ships are water-mole-themed, doesn't that means a world of water moles?

My question is - who sat around and drew up a random concept of Water Mole ships that weren't going to be used at all? And then end up on the Pirate101 website? Unless it isn't random. Maybe it's actually on its way.

About the Artist

The ship concept in this post was done by  Loren Ashleigh, one of the concept artists for Pirate101 at KingsIsle Entertainment. Her site is HERE. The lead concept artist at KingsIsle is Dave Greco, you can view more from him on his blog HERE. To see more from KingsIsle, visit http://kingsisle.com/.

What do you think? Is a water mole world on its way? Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

13 comments:

  1. I dont think they have their own world but more of a native to many various worlds that migrated from an Australia world. Watermoles are obviously platypuses which as everyone knows is only native to Australia. Since we haven't seen one I assume in the future we will see or hear of a world with koalas, and kangaroos as well. I dont think they would be the ONLY species from whatever world they are from but in the lore of the game, the two tribes in skull island have been around for as long as they remember. Which is interesting watching this history unfold, aztecasaurs, hammerhead tribe, watermoles, Monquistadors and Marleybonians arriving. But just because they have similar species does not at all mean we will see Celestia. Actually because we see too many similar species I am sure they wouldn't do Celestia too, being too obviously of a choice. Marleybonians, Crabs, Lobsters, Watermoles, Sharks. Litterally almost every mob! Even most of the Celestia mounts were converted into skyway mobs.

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    1. Then I still have the question - why the ships? Why the three designs? We never saw concepts for other factions, and we certainly don't see all of these in-game.

      Plus, we'll be able to buy them according to J. Todd Coleman. The only ships we've been able to buy previously are the three world-related ones.

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  2. Yeah, I have been wondering about this sense day one, before The Spiral became The Spiral Celestia (The Floating Island) and Skull Island must have been right up against each other but for now no one knows, they could have flown through multiple to do something like hunting down someone that stole something that was theirs and their ship got destroyed in the process so they grew a population there.

    IDK really, I have been wondering this sense day 1 of seeing Water Moles in Skull Island.

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  3. I've got a simple question....where did the concept art of Polaris, Mirage, and Mooshu go? As for the Watermoles....there probably is an Australian world for the Watermoles and as I have always questioned since we met the crabs-Are they French? They have got French styles, sound affects and we know they didn 't originate from Valencia or Celestia. They transferred to Celestia after it was sunken and the ones in Valencia are to far from water....

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    1. It turns out that those concepts were published without the permission of KingsIsle on the artist's site. Seeing them removed, I emailed and volunteered to take my post down.

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    2. Oh, okay....I have two other questions though....when you said something about a GH concept art, was it really GH or something else? That really sparked my curiousity....

      Where/How do you find these artists?

      P.S. any chance I can get the sites of all the artists you've introduced?

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    3. The piece was labeled "Viking/Grizzleheim Airships". I locate these artists on my own, and it often takes many, many hours. However, on just about every Concept101 I've done, I've included a link to the artist sites. If you want to keep up with them, I'd encourage going through the post archives. I do a Concept101 every Friday, and did quite a few all at once at the end of June.

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    4. Okay, sounds like so much work but okay....

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  4. The ships were most likely just a test. We knew the waponi tribe has pirate ships but they arent nearly as big. And I think it was one of the few exceptions of ships that just didn't make it. They could have been a themed set but it is unlikely. If this were the case there is no way I could see Celestia's ships as those. Celestia is a huge world of technology. The watermoles are a small part of that, that aren't nearly as smart. They commit suicide in volcanoes! So we may see the ships one day but I dont think it means Celestia at all. Just a quick sketch that they scrapped. Because if it was going to be in the game, they typically do much grander and detailed concept not sketches.

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    1. The bottom three are actually fully developed. You're used to seeing them on a painted background with the classic border, but they're actually drawn without it.

      My question remains - when would we buy these ships? JTC says it like there are already plans, not like it's a concept they threw out.

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    2. Well no, the "fully painted" ones doesn't mean anything. Most of the actual pirate ships that made it in the game had the dave greco style if that makes sense. These seem more like easy watercolors you can just paint over to get some colors. But JTC is now gone and they may have had plans but with him went his ideas. He may have wanted them but when he left everyone else sided against it. And was the "fat" watermole really a concept. If so...is that really all KI needed? It seems pretty awful to most of the concept standards.

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    3. Yes, the "fully developed" ones are just as complete as anything else, if in their own style. The rough ship drawings from a few days ago ended up being used at least in part, and those weren't close to this complete.

      Perhaps I should shed light on this process a bit more. It can take an entire day to complete a single piece, or even most of a piece. Combines with feedback from other artists and the lead, that can REALLY take some time. Artists don't sit idly and doodle. Each and every concept is almost always used in some way for this reason. Consequently, we should expect the arrival of these ships - and for purchase, too. When JTC noted that, he was far from his leave, and that idea didn't necessarily even belong to him, he simply conveyed it.

      I think, again, you're just used to seeing them on the #6D6D6D color backgrounds or some painted texture, when they don't actually start out that way at all.

      The water moles used in this post are actually even rougher sketches that I pulled from a piece containing them and more developed moles. I changed the background color to an Alpha channel and saturated them a bit more. They're interesting little pieces, if not the best art. They weren't meant to be. They're rough outlines.

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  5. That's a pretty interesting theory. If there really is a world of water moles I wonder what it would be like?

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