Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Getting the Game Ready for Production - Part 2

Figuring out the design was a little bit of a challenge. I had ideas based on elements that I thought looked cool but the publisher also has to consider what their target market would think is cool and what compliments the LDS culture, especially in the west. Another factor was that there had not been an LDS card game like this before and so we weren't sure how far to take the design. The cards ended up being designed by a young designer at Covenant and leaned toward a more conservative design.

Designing the cover was even tougher. The packaging of the game had many considerations as well. It needed to sell itself off the shelf and be eyecatching. It needed to read clearly and be a size that it could easily be displayed close to the register but not get lost on the display shelves. Displayed below are some of the designs I put together for the cover. I worked back and forth with the designer at Covenant but we couldn't seem to finalize the design. The composition worked easy with just the title and a small iconic graphic but everyone involved wanted to have warriors on the front. We just couldn't seem to make it work.After working on this composition on and off for weeks, I was on the computer and my wife walked by. I was slaving away and she just glanced at it and said, "Just put those two images behind, make them bigger and drop the text down." And then she strolled away.

I did it and it was perfect! I sent it to Covenant and everyone loved it. I told them, of course, that when you hire professionals, who have been highly trained in the art of... you know, the inspiration when you... when you have the gift to see... All right - my wife told me what to do!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Getting the Game Ready for Production - Part 1

After I contacted Covenant Communications and they said that they liked my concept, they asked me to send a test deck with full instructions. In the initial email I had sent a sample card idea.
I told them that I would like to do all the illustrations. In a couple of weeks they sent me an email saying that they would like to publish my game and that I could do the art but none of the characters could look like they were from Lord of the Rings. This was in reference to the fact that the sample art I had sent them looked remarkably like "Bernard Hill" - an actor who played King Theoden in the movies. This was no coincidence. The Captain Moroni sample I sent them was actually referenced from the head of the actor, although it was from his role as the captain in the movie, Titanic. I hadn't taken the time to gather my own references yet. Oops.

I'll cover the struggles of trying to get the design of the cards and cover in future posts but for now lets talk about just getting the art done. Part of the HUGENESS of the project was coming up with different models for reference, costume ideas, poses, settings and color themes for about 50 people from the Book of Mormon. AND it all had to be done really fast!

I began by putting together sketches and basic ideas for each character and then find models (most were not LDS) and then I frequently had a given model pose for 3-5 different characters.
Then I would do a sketch for approval from the Art Director and then transfer the sketch to a 16" X 20" canvas and paint like crazy.

I picked models that would work wherever I could find them. Some even came from visits to other places. I had traveled to TX to do a mural at a school down there. In the hotel room at night I would plan layouts for Book of Mormon cards. I attended church on Sunday and found 3 people that I thought would work great as models. It wasn't ideal but I asked if, after church, I could take a snap shot of the them for this game. They were all fine with it! The result worked pretty good.

A Quick Announcement

A new book featuring many of my Book of Mormon paintings and illustrations has just hit the shelves. It is called, Book of Mormon Who’s Who: Illustrated Edition and was authored by Ed J. Pinegar and Richard J. Allen.

There is a lot of other great art in it as well, some you will not have seen before.

I have yet to look through it myself but it should be a great reference book and a nice addition to your LDS collection.