"Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?" Concept art fascinates and amazes - it's where our in-game ...everything... comes from. However, not all pieces are completely finished art - and sometimes those are the most fun to look at.
The first photo pictured above is perhaps one of my favorites. It shows the city of Troy in the background, and has the surrounding camp in more detail at the forefront. It's not necessarily an environment concept, and not even a concept at all. Just a simply sketch with color, and yet, it's beauty is striking.
Elements of a BattleUnlike Wizard101, Pirate101 is free to create whatever spaces they want in whatever shapes they desire, with no attention to room for battle circles, which Wizard101 environments must be planned around. (Click these images to enlarge them.)
That in mind, Pirate101 will certainly take advantage of opportunities to mix up their battleboard, leaving them with endless opportunities to enhance our battles through all sorts of creative means. Perhaps at some point, our battles are split by a giant falling object - leaving companions on one side to do their thing while the rest of the team remains on the other. Perhaps there'd be small islands. The possibilities are endless. Of course, right now, we're seeing some fairly basic obstacles - fallen pillars and stones of various sorts.
Shaping IlliosIllios was to be an ancient place of ruins - old columns and templates, just like you'd imagine. Not all of the conceptualized pieces actually made it into the game, though, so it's interested to take a look at some of the ideas of what the area was intended to look like. What was the mood they were trying to create?
One that I find particularly interesting is the bridge and temple below. We see the bridge a few places, but not the color of the stone, and we certainly don't see the temple anywhere, though interiors of the palace have a similar feel. In fact, we don't see the stone columns or structures above, either. It's all a very green-grey color stone. It's disappointing in some sense. What other potential did Illios have?
Fascinating FurnitureThere are a couple of other pieces that I'm uncertain of whether or not were used. These two objects, below, are some of the most interesting to me - the golds and yellows with blue go nicely. The right is clearly one of the palace gates, and we see those. The left is supposed to be Medusa's Shrine. However, Medusa's Lair, while taking on more of a snake appearance, doesn't use this little set.
I found the Cyclopian ruins to also be quite interesting. The structures shown look massive and would be interesting to explore. They are also marked Illios, and so I assume that's what they were intended for. Fortunately, this particular image does include at least one object that was used - Agamemnon's Tent. Though that's not quite his in-game name.
Ophidiophobia: Your Favorite Temple!This final piece is also a sketch, but is probably the closest of any to being a completed concept. It's supposed to be an Ophidian Sanctum - one of those many two-room dungeons with added features and snake heads in back. There's an Ophidian Temple which would be perfect for this design, but I have yet to come by it in-game.
Despite the fact that these are only sketches, I really liked them - Billy George has a great style. I am intrigued by the fact that so many of these sketches are very impressive, but didn't actually find their way into the game... what else could we be missing?
Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!