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Friday, September 20, 2013

Concept101: A Mystery Revealed


It wasn't long ago that Ryan had his wish granted by KingsIsle - he got to visit the headquarters and become a member of the staff for a day. The location news channel covered the event and included a few words from his parents. There was something interesting in the background.

Woah! What just happened?

Well, you're reading an expanded article. This post has been enlarged to fill the entire width of the website, allowing for more content, more media, and a more in-depth look at the topic. You'll get a better view of stunning photos, eye-catching illustrations, and intriguing videos. To use sidebar features, return to the home page using the navigation bar. Throughout this post, for formatting purposes, I'm going to have photos made smaller. Be sure to click to enlarge them, and see them all in more detail. They're great pieces of art!


The Ophidian Palace

What's shown in the video (pictured up top) is what seems to be an innocent screenshot of a finished environment. However, this is actually a concept, as we now know.

Showing the entrance to the Ophidian Palace, this colorful piece pictures the second instance in the Troy finale in Aquila. The three-room area is beautifully decorated, with no other areas like it, and that certainly reflects in the art. This art was done by one of my favorite artists, Nik Overdiek, who posted them on his blog HERE. He has a lot of beautiful work and I've featured it before.

Marleybone, Revisited

There's actually quite a variety of nice gear available in Marleybone that, until these concepts, I hadn't realized was from Marleybone at all. The intricate sets there just remind me of how great Pirate101's gear designers and artists are.

The middle outfit (above) is actually one that I've stitched and use - see any familiar pieces? There were always a couple of things that stood out to me in Marleybone - first, the golems. They had so many various templates for them already, but decided to make a new one, for which I am grateful. My pet golem, then, is unique. The golem summon, then, is unique.

Additionally, with Pirate101's Marleybone, we learn of the struggle involving the radical foxes and that ends up going along with Bonnie Anne's newest promotion. We saw foxes in Avalon and now in Marleybone. We learned here that they originate from Albion in another Marleybone skyway, which raises the question - how did they get to Avalon?

And with that, you have to wonder if this is simply because they traveled there somehow (Why are the technologically-advanced dogs of Marleybone following them there?) or if these is evident of something old briefly mentioned among the community previously: Was the Spiral a great mass of land before it was torn apart by the titans in their war? And, like the effects of continental drift, it led to a variety of worlds with some similar creatures, which, when placed together, would fit perfectly into place... Hmm.


Environment Art... Everywhere!

Have you ever wondered around Marleybone in Pirate101 just looking at the hanging photographs in the houses and buildings? There's a ton of art for a variety of locations in Marleybone that is pretty impressive. Turns out that that wasn't all. The one street view that we all know from a piece released by one of the Gaming Portal sites was just one. There are a few more now available.

With how beautiful these pieces are, I'd be really interested to see more. There are clearly some very different styles among artists, and each one offers a new perspective on something we're familiar with - another reason I love concept art.

Concept Hints Revisited

These really are gorgeous pieces. But, as I've discussed before, do they serve another purpose besides looking pretty?

Take Ryan's video as an example. If you think about it, you'd be surprised how many hints of concept art we see around the Spiral and don't recognize at all. In fact, I'll be visiting some of those items in the near future.

What's a little bit curious about this second piece is that you can see Big Ben in the background. Concept artists, though still not necessarily creating a final product, tend to be pretty exact.

The gear above is very close to what is seen in-game. And this certainly isn't a color study, despite its beauty. Does that mean that there were plans to have us visit the same island as Big Ben, if we maybe didn't venture quite as close as we could have.

What I do think both of these pieces show for certain is the complexity and design of Marleybone. No ordinary, straight paths like in Wizard101. It's curved levels, varying house designs, etc. That' what marks it as Pirate101 art.

A New Template?

When concept artists publish something, they sometimes apply the bar across the bottom with the logos and "Published with Consent" text. It has a black border and normally is a rounded bar at the bottom. It seems to be missing that curve, which has me wondering if they're now using a new overlay.


Old News, New Perspective

The gear on the right is gear you've seen before. And yet, seeing it in a concept format is impressive. There are a couple of versions of Buccaneer and Privateer outfits.

Believe it or not, there were only gear sets designed for Buccaneers, Privateers, Witchdoctors, and Swashbucklers - this was between Marleybone and Aquila. But nothing for Musketeers? Above we also see three major characters or creatures in Aquila. I'm sure we all remember those Satyrs.

The Ophidian to the very left, I believe, is a seer in the Vault of Mysteries. That scenic vault of mysteries...


Other Art

In addition to the above pieces, there were also a few ship concepts. Though I don't have much to add for those, here they are:



Concept Art: Are You Not in Love?

Tell me art like this isn't fascinating! Leave a comment and let me know. As always, thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

3 comments:

  1. I AM IN LOVE WITH IT! I want to have EVERY Pirate101 Marleybone concept art.

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  2. To comment on your part "Marleybone Revisited," yes, the Spiral was once One big world. (I'm surprised you didn't know that, based off of how you worded it). Wizard101 explicitly states this during the begining of the game.

    There was once one big world, the First World, home to only Bartleby and Grandmother Raven (Lady Nightstar). Grandmother Raven gifted Bartleby two eyes, the Eye of History anf the Eye of Future. With their power, Bartleby created the Titans (Tritons, Giants, and Dragons), who then began to fight over theivory and seperated the world. The First World tore apart and became various islands. To save the world, Bartleby and Grandmother Raven sang the Song of Creation to spin a Spiral and created the universe we know of today.

    Also I think you have it backwards. Why would the Dogs give up their science and technology for the more old-fashioned ways of Avalon? I don't think they like to give up their ideals of science and reason. I think there were either:
    a.) Some Foxes from Avalon went to Marleybone and begin to advance with the new environment (so like Irish/Scottish man going to the advancing England)
    or..
    b.) There are 2 species of Foxes know to the Spiral: Avalonian Foxes and Marleybonean Foxes. I think some worlds will share a similar species. In our world, there are hundreds of varieties of Foxes right? Most times KI will try not to reuse a main species for another World, but sometimes they find there ways into other Worlds.

    Remember the concept you used to have for Krokotopia? It seems Snakes will make a reappearance to Krokotopia, but will have no relation to the ones in Aquila (even though both species look like Cobras)

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  3. I am gonna go out and say the Avalon, MB fox theory isnt just foxes. Both worlds are based on england at different time periods, one of lore and the other of fact. Avalon has more than just the foxes similar, you can also find dogs. I assume they have some sort of similar origin and they developed at different paces. The spiral is very confusing like that, why are there bears in Avalon and Polaris if they originated from Grizzleheim. Why are there birds in almost every world of different species with the exception of few such as Krok, Dragonspyre, Monquista, Marleybone and Celestia. Otherwise we have parrots, flamingos, penguins, eagles, ravens, storks, cranes, geese, chickens, turkeys, and pigeons (VL).

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