So we finally came to art style that sort of worked. But it still wasn't anything amazing and we all knew it should be somehow different.
We spent a lot of time with Flankers just sharing inspirations and ideas back and forth. We knew that limited color scale is already good, also simple angular style was what we were looking for but there was something missing. Or, more likely, it was too much. There was still those highlighted lines, relic of Eminence influence.
Then, one day, Flankers sent me a picture that changed everything. Using that art, he managed to explain exactly what he want me to do. That picture was:
It's art from Hyper Light Drifter from Heart Machine
Why was it so important. Flankers sent it to me and pointed out that even if it is straight lines and geometrical shapes, it is not "clean"
, there is distortion, small fractions, mess around. It has limited color palette and simple shapes (so what we were aiming for) but even being quite simple, it feels right.
At this point, i threw away lots of previous work and try to capture this feeling. By using angular vector shapes, achieve more chaotic, messy, not-so-clean-look. Did few ilustrations and we knew we've hit the target.
I've completly abandoned the idea of bright outline, established 4 shades of grey pallete for characters and background, white and few colors for highlights and important stuff.
There was still long way till those ilustrations would be polished to the point we'd like them but i finally knew i am on the right track. All i had to do was to take this HUGE
spreadsheet of cards and turn them into ilustrations. (unfortunatelly, the spreadsheet was lost in process, so i won't show it to you). I sketched every ilustration in pc and and turned it into the finnal illustration after being approved.
After Kickstarter launched, number of cards started to grow, thanks to reached stretch goals. So every time i thought i am getting close to finish, new cards appeared. One of the funded goals was Character cards, which i had a blast to do. Big badass characters!
As i said at the beginning, i had very little experience with vector art when i started. I learned thing or two during this project and it was very noticable early illustrations are way worse than the new ones. So when i finished all illustrations, i had to go back and redo aome of the old ones...There is 2-3 cards that survived from the very beginning to the final stage so you can clearly ssee the progress being made. From left to right: original, final, remade-final version
Illustrations were the main thing to do but i also made art for KS page, posters, wallpapers, tshirts..almost anything you can think of. Advantage of the style we chose was we could simply use parts of various pictures to form new things, like the short comics, used as introduction.
It took us two-ish years from the start, across successful KS campaign to finished game. It was wild ride whole time and i enjoyed every bit of it. Learned thing or two about art style i never did before and created some illustrations i am realy proud of. And i hope some people will enjoy. It as also thank to both Bachtík and Flankers, who kept kicking me until i made something we were all satisfied with. Kudos to them for being so patient. Hope i will have a chance to get back to this universe we created one day again...