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MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 02/28/06)  | Pub:Daybreak Games
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Dev Diary: Concept Artist, Muttonhead

Posted by Jon Wood on Oct 17, 2005  | Comments

Dev Diary: Concept Artist, Muttonhead -

Dungeons and Dragons Online have released a brand new developer diary. This time, the entry was penned by the game's Conceptual Artist, Muttonhead.

In designing the settings for D&D Online, the first thing we did was ask ourselves: what is Eberron? What is it about the world of Eberron that makes it such an exciting place to be and the perfect setting for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign? To answer this question from a visual standpoint, I had to get my pencils moving. After getting initial direction from my Art Director and the D&D Art Director from Wizards of the Coast, I began sketching out ideas for the main parts of the city with the help of Todd Rueping, one of our other concept artists.

Eberron was not your typical fantasy setting; it wasn't a medieval-European place. It had to have its own architectural sensibilities, patterns and thematic elements that were unique but also familiar. So we started by researching many different cultures from our own planet: Japanese, Mongolian, American Indian, Aztec, Mayan, Middle-Eastern, African, and Indian. Then, using what we had learned, we began creating patterns, elements and visual themes that were inspired by these various cultures, but not specifically representing any one of them.

The city of Stormreach was described as a huge frontier-town built amongst the ruins of an ancient society of Giants that had fallen from grace thousands of years ago. To achieve this affect, I decided to take inspiration from things I had observed while living in New York City. New York is constantly being built and rebuilt, so you will often see a newer, modern building built atop or amongst the foundations of older buildings, creating an interesting juxtaposition of architectural styles and giving the city a feeling of being composed of multiple layers.

Stormreach itself was originally built by pirates looking for a good hiding place. Eventually it became populated by individuals from all over Eberron looking to make their fortunes on the continent of Xen'Drik, a place that holds the promise of glory, wealth and fame to the strongest survivors. While the city was supposed to feel wild and dangerous, it also had to have its opulent and civilized places where bankers, politicians and important families would feel comfortable going about their daily business. Sort of a mix between Tombstone and Paris...

To read the rest of this entry, click here.

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