Arc Games takes a look at how they brought the land of Shiv to life in Magic: Legends.
The team discusses two main subjects in the accompanying post: the landscape, and the denizens of that land. For example, the land of Shiv has been described as a volcanic hot place which is the source of red mana. To that end, the team cited the cards for inspiration on the design language for Shiv,
“To start the process of building Shiv, the concept team sought cards and art that spoke to the lore that defined the land. One shining example we landed on is the legendary Shivan Gorge card which features classic art from Adam Paquette.”
Once the team had this in place, the artists took over. Special care to geology was given to get the details correct, and to convey the geological history of that land. Culture also played a huge role in shaping the world. The team conveyed this with various structures and destruction.
The post then talks about the denizens of Shiv, noting that the same level of care was given while developing,
“We identified the central themes, what defines them, and then looked to existing art for inspiration. From there we built out the concept and then the model.”
The team looked at various different cards for goblins, for example. They wanted to stay true to that original design, but also refine them. A notable problem here was the size. Due to the isometric camera angle in the game, they had to tweak the design and size in order to convey the proper shape and key features without losing too much of what makes the design special.
You can take a look at the extensive update here.