The Art of James Teeple

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Leicester, United Kingdom
I'm 21 / DMU Art Student / British-American.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Baby steps in Zbrush

Ive always wanted to give Zbrush a go ever since seeing some of those crazy high poly characters and creatures posted on art forums. It looked like the perfect outlet for me to practice my passion traditional sculpture, minus the mess and plus the bonus of its application uses.

So I've managed to get a copy and give it a swing... Let me just say, It only took 5 agonizing minutes of confusion and ineptness for me to realize this wasn't so simple as pick up and play. Be it that everything in the interface was alien to me, even the shortcuts; I decided to ask for some help. The next time I took a swing at Zbrush I was mildly prepared. I could at least load a Dyna-mesh sphere into the scene and start manipulating it with the brushes, but that know-how was pretty much sitting on the edge of the shelf when it comes to my Zbrush knowledge.

This is what I managed to produce before and after I made it crash... It took roughly 1 hour to shape from a Sphere. Done from imagination.

The Founder! my first Zbrush creation.WIP 1 hour
So as you may imagine, I have been slightly buzzing after managing to get that far, and I'm not  too displeased with my monkey alien man thing either...

My second attempt wasn't so lucky. It just crashed and was lost to the forgotten Zbrush pages of history. Unfortunately I didn't manage to recover a back up save like my first attempt. But I did grab a screenshot of it before the window closed though. This was done in roughly 35 minutes and just head doodles.

Weird Alien head lost at WIP stage.
Here is another I'm currently debating working on farther or not. Its a simple Shape that took about 5 minutes to make so either way; no biggie.

5 minute WIP- Base for sculpt
What have I learned about Zbrush then? Well... It is a lot of fun. Once you push past the initial road block of " omg ok.. what do i do?" its easy peasy to allow my thinking brain to switch off and my sculpting creative mind take over. I imagine once I become more confident with the program, sculpting something that puts these to shame will become almost thoughtless. I cant wait!

Why do I want to do I want to learn Zbrush?  Because I want it as another tool under my belt to use as an artistic outlet, or for creating and retopologizing in game models or high poly renders. All the cool stuff that's done these days.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Artist Study - Yang Qi

This is just a guy I stumbled across while trawling CG hub and wow, I am blown away...
So Yang Qi is a concept artist working in the video game industry in China, naturally. The he's most recently worked on is Asura Online, a Chinese game but it looks pretty cool. If only I could read the language then I could navigate their site. >.< Born in 1985, he's only 27 and producing what I'd say is, some of the highest quality illustrations/ concepts I've ever seen.

I'm just gonna link some of what I found were the most interesting pieces he worked on. I particularly love his characters... they are freaking awesome no?

I absolutely love how dark and gnarly his pallet is. The Detail he uses in phenomenal. Most of these probably too many many hours to produce and as a concept artist that's unusual that he'd be given so much time. but i can see why, it appears his designs translate almost identically to the in game models and too right. I doubt anyone farther down the production pipeline could come up with improvements on these.

All above work (c) Yang Qi
This is the caliber of artwork that originally inspired me to do artwork at more that an amateur level and chase a job as a professional artist.

If you are interested, here is a link to more of his work - Click meh

One day...

Planning and Concepting

Concept art! probably the most aspired too and most competitive position in the commercial media industry for any new and budding artist like myself and gristly veterans alike.
"Why" I hear you say? well like my friend Mike said his friend Mitch said his buddy said,

But seriously I think its partly because good concept artists are highly sought after, but the positions available are sparse. Due to their role in the production pipeline and their base skills, you don't really need more than a few in a big company. And everyone is chasing the big bucks salary of course. :P

One thing all artists like is freedom to explore their own idea's or visual style.  I think that's sort of what concept artists get to play with, they get presented the brief and have the responsibility but also freedom make it their own and create something visual that other people like the 3d modelers then have to base their work on.

There are some very important guiding principles that any artist aspiring to the job position of concept artist needs to live by; they are as follows:
First and foremost it almost goes without saying that you've  gotta have a firm grasp of the fundamentals that underpin any artwork. Such as, Anatomy, perspective, colour, tone, lighting. That is what I'm constantly working towards mastering.

Without those you really cant stand a hope in hell of producing any kind of artwork someone today would pay you a salary to do.

Planning - Now I'm not great at planning and that's something I'm working on changing. I'm too used to skipping ahead and following my initial idea till Ive either completed it or given up mid way cause it wasn't before good. Where as if I planned my idea and intelligently managed my time developing it before committing all my resources to it, then I'd likely end up with a better result.
I need to experiment more and stop thinking I can nail it on the head with my first shot. So planning is essential to concept art and not just that. It helps you to keep to a schedule, know your time realistically so you can maintain a healthy work ethic, whilst not neglecting other aspects of your like. e.g. healthy lifestyle.

Design -  Basically, if its lame you no get moneys or job. So be smart about it, creative and concise with what your aiming to get across. Their job is is to translate an idea into something that is unique, that is visually pleasing and makes sense to the next guy to the line. Sooo now I need a good example and a bad example of Design.
These in my opinion are good examples of conceptual design,

All above artwork by John Liberto / Concept artist
The artist has clearly mastered the fundamentals and can then harness creative design in a professional manner. The images give the viewer a lot of information without flooding you with it. there are real world references that anyone can instantly pick up on in the designs and it gives them a solid foundation, and a world to exist in. Like Car racing stripes, sky scrapers and space shuttles. etc.
Technical ability and skill - Now you cant achieve the above without this. It is something that is earned from thousands of hours of hard grafting and constant pushing forward of idea's and techniques. Its not something you are born with... Although to some extent I would say it can be. because there are some people who naturally find their in tune with this kind of creative process and more often then not, those people end up focusing on art over traditional academics because its identified early on. With hard work anyone can become technically good though, and gain the skills needed to create this kind of imagery. 

George Hull / Concept Artist

However, being creatively brilliant is another matter. That usually is something you either click with or you don't. Some people were born to imagine amazingly quirky creative things and others just arn't...
I like to hope I am not one of the latter, I just need to graft and get the fundamentals nailed before i can unlock that hidden potential. :D

Functionality - Your design has to look like it could work/exist ! No point designing a space ship that's totally smooth and has no visible windows or obvious entry location. Unless its a UAV or has some kind of future tech that teleports the pilot into the craft, in which case that needs to be explained visually some how. Best avoid needing to talk too much and just let the pictures speak for themselves.

I don't want to be harsh to the artist, but here is an example of a slightly confusing concept. In which its functionality is stylized so much its almost not based in reality.

DA / ST-Pete
Time/ Speed- Time is constant, speed is variable. A good designer will utilize their time by maximizing their speed and work efficiency. Time to crank up the gass! Once you realize that the time you have in a day always stays the same and the only way to maximize learning is to increase the speed at which you work, that's moving forward. I must seriously work on this, because my problem is simply taking too much time doing too little, and its not worked too well towards what I aim to achieve.

Adaptability- This is hugely key and is a major factor in a company when deciding to hire a new concept artist. Basically you have to be able to adapt to different styles and subject media equally as efficiently as your other maybe more favored work. So if your needed to do some designs for a game based on the great barrier reef, and you are also great at doing vehicle designs etc.. your more likely to get the job than Mr "one trick pony", even if he/her is technically better at their preferred subject.

It also means being able to work in both 2D and 3D mediums. This is something I am training to better myself at, because I'm aware I have favored subjects I draw, but the more versatile I can be, the better ill be. John Liberto is a good example of an adaptable concept artist. Jaime Jones is another. There is a reason they have both worked with the big fish on the games industry scene.

Jaime Jones / Concept Artist
Contextual knowledge - Its a good idea to have some knowledge of the industry your heading into, you know... never hurt. And while brushing on your computer games history, you'll likely come across resources stock full of artists who could prove interesting to study, or even influential. That's what happened with me, Ive come across many different artists who have inspired me along the way, through simply researching a particular game I liked just to see who work on it, etc.

Vision library - This is something i need to work on, because apart from a vast desktop wallpaper folder, I have very little images of my own gathered through collection. I want to aim to have gigs and gigs of imagery to reference from by the time I get my first job as a professional artist. The wider the themes encompassed in it the better!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

War of the worlds

 Its 1938 and Aliens from mars have invaded American soil vaporizing human resistance and spelling inescapable doom for man kind world wide! ... or at least that's what some hundred odd new yorkers thought was ACTUALLY happening when Orson Welles performed his radio dramatization of H.G. Wells' novel The War of the worlds live on the radio on Halloween.
It caused quite a big stir...

Now some 74 years later, I'm re-imagining the story and telling the story of the Alien invaders from my own artistic viewpoint. Fun fun!
So for some reason I found it quite tasking coming up with a tripod design that interested me.
I resorted to just doodling some organic and non organic shapes and applying them to a 'tripod' format. These are some examples...

By the time I reached this last sketch, above, I decided I quite liked the curves and flow of lines. It ended up serving as the main design for my 'quadruped' because you see the original alien craft weren't actually tripods, the hovered. So I took that artistic license and decided on four limbs. This is a render of my alien craft in a scene.

With this drawing I wanted to 'loosen up' my lives and marks a little bit. I decided to go quite rough and angular with my mark making techniques with a mix of soft and subtle to break up the image. So far I've only done a grey-scale version of this but I may add colour to it when I have the time.
I'm not all too majorly pleased with it but its fine for now.
Gets my design across well enough I feel, and I wanted to do a rural wilder scene to host my quadruped craft as opposed to stereotypical cities.

Ok, start over. Year 2

Ill start off by reflecting on last year which was a mixed bag of treats some good some bad. My main problem last year with work came down to me having very poor grasp on time management skills and working to a strict deadline. So there was many long nights spent crunching work that should have been done evenly spaced out over the specified time for each module and task. I guess it's not really anything new becomes the first year it's usually a bit of a struggle to get hold of some organization skills but by the end of the year I kind of pulled out of the bag and got what I needed to get done for assessments.
So did I learn much?
Hmm lets compare some of my visual design work before I joined the course, with work i did near the end of the year

work from previous year: Digital painting and life drawing.

And towards the end of the 1st year: Same again.

Well to me I dont feel at least in a traditional sense, that i've improved much artistically from where i was at leaving my foundation course. That's my own fault though, I knew I just haven't been drawing enough, what with the other two modules needing equal attention and taking time away from visual design, and me having very poor time management. However I have learned a bunch of new skills working with 3ds Max and Photoshop which is important and will be very useful this year.

So  anyway we all know the result as I'm still here, so what about now, what do I need to do to make it through this second year and bag nothing less than the best possible grade I can? Not what I've done so far anyhow... Ive been lacking passion, and that's made the difference of me not progressing in skill much beyond knowledge of how to use 3ds max.

To sum up this first term, I would have to say that I have been trapped in the worst head space that I've ever been in during any educational period. My mental attitude and passion for art took many small blows during the first few weeks since I moved into my new house in October. I wanted to start this New Year with a fresh attitude and build on the things that I have learned from last year like anyone else . 

However, it seems I set myself up for a bad start. One reason was because I am doing my best to juggle a long distance, long-term relationship alongside meeting the demands of the course. However, this wasn't the main reason I've struggled with my attention to work.
 I haven't been maintaining a healthy diet and exercise plan. Each day that I ate poorly and did no exercise weakened me, and on top of that I let my sleeping pattern fall into disarray. So far these three things are the same things I struggled with last year only just a little bit worse.

 The last and probably most significant reason I've been so distracted, is probably an odd one. It's my new pet. I was given a young pet rabbit by my family for my birthday in September; she was to be a companion for my new home and something to break the boredom I knew I might face in my room. In retrospect this was a bad idea.

I knew very little about rabbits and as it turned out, she was sick from the moment we bought her and has developed new and more complex health issues as time went on spanning this entire first term. This meant I spent a lot of time caring for a sick animal in my room where I work and a lot of money paying visits to the vet. Of which both things really badly affected my mood and served as a distraction. I think it's because I did this alone and had no choice about it that allowed it and everything else to crush my enthusiasm and motivation towards coursework.

So I fell behind and not just a little bit... each week seemed to pile on more pressure and more from me to fall further and further behind on. Slowly but surely the mountain of work rose in front of me and it began to look too steep for me to climb. And yet I still couldn't feel motivated and couldn't be excited about any of the projects.

My desire to draw when completely out the window and I found that in order to keep up with at least one module I had to virtually ignore the other two which is what happened with Game production. I often wanted to draw and catch up but my brain said:

Now it seems at last I'm at a turning point. Pressure has finally driven me to push past that barrier stopping me from working and at the same time I've finally got some good luck with the rabbit and can relax my concerns so I can focus on work.

 It feels like it's been one long drawn-out battle the I've been losing up until now . Because right now I'm feeling much more positive and by no means do I want to return after Christmas with anything near the same attitude as prior. In fact I mean to return with a completely radicalized strategy to succeed, whereby I will plan out my days intelligently and devote nearly all my interests and time to art. I miss losing myself in a sketchbook and drawing with a uncluttered mind. I've also realized that my body can’t cope with the workload if I don't also exercise and eat regularly so that I can maintain a healthy body and mind. What I find with this kind of work is without those things it becomes very draining very quickly.

So to conclude this term has been a bit of a train wreck but now I'm thinking straight again, and I plan to return after Christmas with a new realistic game plan to pick up momentum and hold it. I want to really see what I'm capable of and I believe that so far I haven’t pushed myself hard enough or challenged myself to really see what I can do. No more feeling like I’m actually going backwards in terms of my artistic ability. I need to go forwards and not stop, and that’s what I plan to start doing.


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Abbey Park

What a beautiful, quiet, tranquil serene park Abbey park is. Shame the 35min walk to it wasn't!
Yay more environments, which means more tree's! just what I like, not.

On a serious reflectional note, I do like trees its just I'm not pro at rendering them yet so they tend to be a bit of a pain to draw. Just time consuming really but hey its all good fun, Im sure ive learned something new from this project.

So I took a fair few pictures during my stay, not as many as I'd have liked however. And I meant to return, hopefully on a day with cheerier weather : /  but sadly never managed to fit it in. SO here is a few i had to work from, ill add scans of my thumbnails as soon as I've scanned them...

I ended up chosing this one for my digital final because I have never tried painting a reflection, or this many leaves for that matter, so i thought if i can pull it off then ill have learned something valuable in the process -

After about 10 hours... *ouch* here is my final result and where I decided to stop picking at it.

I based it as accurately as i could on the reference image but for sake of shaving some time off the total, I left some out. I didn't like how grey the original was so I painted in more saturated colours.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Birth of a Colossus

Reforged in the fires of mount Doom!!!

The Birth of a Colossus as never witnessed before.

Agal'matol - The Ancient Guardian

 This is what happens sometimes when im bored. I end up going back to my old work and seeing if I  can give it a new lick of paint, so to speak.
So thats what happened with this old fella, and im fairly pleased with the outcome. I wanted to portray head in the air and spewing magma as he lifts out of the churning fires of death.
Dramatic yes I know. lol

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Masters Project: Frank Frazzetta Study

The Artist I've chosen to emulate as closely as possible, Is one of my all time favorite artists Frank Frazetta, I talked more about in my first blog.

His artwork is one of the sole inspirations that pushed me into art when i was growing up and since discovering his full works at a young age, I was mesmerized ever since. Frank's work had that affect on a lot of peoples lives so I've learned. He is considered a grandmaster of his genre of art, and his legendary status will carry on through his legacy.

This is a kind of tribute to him as he recently passed away last year and I've always wanted to try and emulate his style and hopefully unlock some secrets by doing so.

I am going to be painting Death Dealer, one of his more famous and iconic illustrations

Here is my first stage done. I focused on masking out an accurate silhouette before adding colours with digital brush strokes trying to emulate the oil paints he used.



Interesting Character...

Sanchez the Gardener.

Master Gardener

Elements of game design, part 3: Character

 For me I would say that the character's importance in a game varies depending on its genre. But increasingly more and more these days, developers are focusing on developing a story behind the avatar you might play in an attempt to give you that same emotional connection that a good film does with important characters. If you can develop an emotional connection to your Avatar then the world around you and the NPC's that fill it become largely more important and interesting. Dull mindless games ultimately lead to boredom and the novelty of new special effects, increased graphics or new combat mechanics, just doesn't excite in a lasting way for true gamers.

Most films try very hard early on to make you invest in their character(s) so that if something happens to them it will provoke a memorable response be it good or bad. Epic films such as The Lord of The Rings trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson, have a job finding the right actors for the characters that are already alive in the books. And it can be incredibly difficult to successfully give a face to something that has long since existed in the imagination of thousands of Tolkein fans prior. But he pulled it off because he had a vision, like all those other readers and he hunted them down till he found the ones perfect for the job. And it pays off as anyone would know from seeing the films. So i do think that games should consider the appearance of their characters, and sometimes no matter how interesting the story is or the world may seem. If your character runs like he's soiled his pants and was smacked in the face with a frying pan before he learned to talk, well then I think some serious rethinking and redoing is needed. And that is enough to kill any game.

  "To create a truly immersive game experience with a compelling fantasy world, you have to populate that world with real characters. Not just characters that behave realistically on the screen, but characters that ARE real to you, the game’s creator. The more you know your own characters, the more real they will become, and the more they will help draw the player into your game’s imaginary word. It’s not enough for your characters to have distinctive speech patterns and tics. They need actual histories, motives, dreams, and secrets. Then they will have real depth with which pull the player in, and your fantasy world will be come a real place that the player loves to visit, and can't wait to get back to when they leave."
Frank Cifaldi

Most games now days that attempt to emphasize the main character you play as and the world your in, have you play in third person view. This allows you to take in more of your surroundings, and to more importantly, view how your character passes through or interacts with the game assets present. Almost like you are the hand of god unseen but every loving and caring for your avatar guiding them through the story.  The Mass Effect games one, two I would say for me nearly nailed the character design and story driven 3rd person action/adventure. The worked hard to make sure you had a lot of choice in the game as to what kind of hero or Villan you were going to be as the story lines played out. And it felt quite fresh how they did it with the multi choice menus during dialogues and in game cinematic type cut scene. For most it made you really become aware of the intricacies of the story and think carefully about how you made your decisions as Commander Shepard .

Heavy Rain, created by Quantum Dream for the Playstation three, is a good example of publishers pushing the story telling aspect of the game with a large portion of the game being cinematic in its play style. Meaning you watch your character go through a set choice of scenarios which you influence but they play out without direct control of your character. It was a bold game and quite novel but it did very well and I think since there has been a increase in cinematic games.

Elements of Game Design part 2: Art Direction

Art Directors In games

What do they do?

Im an art Director [click]

An art Director for game design is responsible for a number of very important things. One being in charge of the overall look and feel of the game being produced, both in the way that the player see's and interacts with his environment and how they play the game. The term 'art director' is really just a general title for a multitude of similar job functions such as advertising, marketing, film and television, publishing and Video games.  They are also responsible for both the active and passive art in the game. This involves them working with an art team to produce the best adapted look for the game they are trying to create. The position is a relatively new one within the games industry and has evolved alongside the constantly changing industry, where once it was tasked with the producer thair role has shifted more towards managing the time efficiently and completing the game on time and on budget.

What is involved in terms of IT?
95% games these days are created exclusively using digital art, as well as designs in a 3D rendering program, or traditional 2D animation program.  Computing power makes the job of animating a character, or manipulating the camera in an environment a breeze, and scanning and rendering are done entirely with the aid of computers saving masses of time and money. An art director needs to have knowledge to understand and harness all of these elements so that they can guide the visual aspect of the game well. The all have to be able to speak the same lingo or at least understand it. Guided by the art director and their vision, the lead artist works under them to carry out that vision with the team.

Art Direction in films:
 "Art Directors act as project managers for the biggest department on any film - the art department. They facilitate the production designer's creative vision for all the locations and sets that eventually give the film its unique visual identity. Art Directors are responsible for the art department budget and schedule of work, and help the production designer to maximize the money allocated to the department. Art Directors are usually requested by the production designer, and are responsible for the assistant art director, the draughtsman (as many as 20 draughtsmen may be employed on big budget films), the art department assistant(s) while simultaneously monitoring the budget, this is highly skilled work. Many Art Directors work on television dramas and commercials, as well as on films. The hours are long and the job can involve long periods working away from home. Art Directors work on a freelance basis."

In many ways the job of an art director in the films industry is the same as in the games industry. but they have evolved for two different commercial machines and so what most significantly differs is the team behind them. Where an art director on a film may need 10 draughtsmen to plan out the scenes before they go to film, there is less of that in games. However games have to consider elements that films don't access such as player experience interacting with the environment, mood, feel, sounds and game play. In the games industry an Art director has to finely tailor those crucial threads that keep the game cohesive and smooth so the player has the best possible sensory experience.

A good recent example of a game that uses artwork as its main selling point would be Bastion. The entire game is hand painted apart from you play a 3D character from RTS point of view. Bastion has been quite successful because the game feels like it all fits. And its a joy to look at and play. The soundtrack is totally in sinc with the art of the game and the play style. And that was all carefully orchestrated by the team that worked on it. Guided by the art director and their vision, the lead artist works under them to carry out that vision with the team.

"An Art Director in Game Design works closely with all forms of art, digital, pencil, painting and sculpture, in order to be able to properly express their creative vision.  An Art Director also works closely with animators and computer programmers to express their art in a way that doesn't draw attention to the technical processes involved.  Those who love a well-sculpted game environment and want to help make their own would do well as an Art Director"

Elements of Game Design part one: The Designers!

Years back when I was seriously into games on a day to day basis, i.e get home eat food, sit down and kill grunts all night kinda scenario. I did at times wish I could be sitting in the driving seat behind the making of these wondrous time leachers. But in all honesty I didn't understand squat of what it means to be a game designer. I just thought it meant, waking up in the morning and remember an awesomely cool creative dream I just had, as I often did most nights and still do. Then Telling the team about it and making it...
But of course in reality things aren't quite that simple. But the same principle applies. You need to have that kind of mind I guess, its just a whole lot more complicated and tricky to get your cool Idea anywhere but in fond memory. To this day I still hope to design a game at least once in my career. I would consider it an enormous achievement... unless it flopped big time. But even then, ah well. I just long to see some of my more vivid and startlingly unfamiliar ideas come to life in a working game environment.

So Game designers...

Ive unconsciously had a lot of experience with these folk and their creative directive genius. Certain Designers spring to mind that I would like to talk about and what exactly made them significant to me in my gaming history. But what makes these guys important is not just that they are key in the  ideas and stories behind the games, but also in directing the mood and feel of the experience and not to mention the delicate job of coercing the rest of the team to work their butts off and meet the deadlines. They deal with all manner of things from Communication and marketing to art design.

Game Designer number 1:

Ken Rolston: He was the lead Designer for Bethesda Soft works for the Elder scrolls games Morrowind and Oblivion and their expansion packs. As game designers go, I and many others I'm sure consider him a legend among few. Because those games probably ate the best part of a thousand hours of my spare time and "not spare time". And I still go back to them. Ken originally retired after completing oblivion and after 25 years working in the games industry. But soon returned only a year later to begin work on some more epic RPG's ;)
Good old ken.

Game Designer Number 2:

James Ohlen: He is a Canadian game designer who started out writing for and testing Shattered Steel, released by Bioware in 1996, and then he landed a job as lead designer for Baldurs gate. One of the greatest CRPG's of all time and, since then has worked on many other titles I loved and played over the years. Games Such as Neverwinter nights, Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic and most importantly Baldurs gate 2. Just wow. He is still going thought, recently he lead the design team for Bioware's MMO Star Wars The Old Republic which was only recently released.
Game Designer Number 3:

Cliff Bleszinski: Cliff is the design director for Epic Games based in Canada. He started young working on the Unreal engine and is acredited for his hand in the Unreal franchise. His biggest game to date arguably was Gears of war. Which was the first 18 shooter I'd played and was probably the first time I remember giving birth to true gamer rage. That game rocked, and partly because it as so team based, tactical and competitive, but mainly because of the insane gore effects it introduced to the franchise. I can remember many occasions where my jaw dropped because of shock and awe at what I'd seen in that game. Bare in mind I was under age to play it... Like anyone cared though aye.

These guys; and it isn't just coincidence that they are all guys, because only recently are women really starting to make an entry into the games industry and take up roles such as Lead Designer. It was a very uncommon thing indeed a decade back. But these people All have a few things strongly in common. If you ever hear them talk about their game projects or the vision. They don't just talk they story tell. Its clear they are very passionate and have a lot to put on the table that can help others to work together and share and understanding of the same idea. because as an artist, once you can see the world and understand the world, you an begin to see your own idea's being born inside that world, that fit and are cohesive. Because as a game designer, the last thing you want is a game full of mish-mash cliches but a solid idea. Its a terrible shame to be branded the classic review of "Had so much potential but just couldn't live up to it." Its all about that complete gaming experience.
All in all, it seems to be a good game designer, you gotta be prepared to nurture that game as it grows right from the first few roots and be there guiding it and evaluating it the entire way through to maturity.

Leicester City Guild Hall

This is my final render for the Visual Design Guild hall task.

I found a room in this old stoney cold Victorian guild hall upstairs, which seemed to be the library of sorts.  Its walls were adorned with bookshelves housing many hundred old tomes, leather bound and decaying. In prime position center of the room, stretched a long old wooden table and on top lay open a large book. It was there presumably for viewing purposes, but it was certainly antique.
At that time the Sun shone brightly through a window on the back wall and struck the book leaving most else unlit. Its pages illuminated and there was a sense of mystery about it. Written in Latin, I could not read it. But it was such a magical shot that I had to capture it. 

Painted digitally, using CS5