With each major ArcheAge update comes a slew of new concept art, animations, and 3D models into the game, but what goes on behind the scenes? What are the artists thinking of when they create the Erenor we know and love?
We got the chance to spend some time with the XLGAMES art team and pick their brains on some of the new additions to the game!
Besides ArcheAge, what other games have you worked on in your career?
Many artists in the team worked in various projects such as games, movies, animations. The games are mostly MMORPGs.
There’s a traditional idea of a fantasy ‘Dwarf.’ How is your dwarf similar or different? What makes the Dwarf in ArcheAge unique?
ArcheAge’s Dwarf is quite similar to the general fantasy dwarf. One of the unique elements of the Dwarf is that their civilization centers around their unique mechanical engineering. Their Kingdom is based upon that technology; for example, they created the rail tracks that connect their massive zones together. [The Dwarf’s] Juggernaut form is another example of their enhanced engineering technology. It provides next level combat ability that surpasses the somewhat limited physical capacity of the race.
What was your inspiration behind the Warborn? Any inspirations from other games, movies, etc.?
Mad Max: Fury Road was the inspirational reference for Warborn. We could find many similarities such as dry lands, the concept of extreme survival, and more to present the Warborn’s life. Sunbite Wilds is designed to present this concept as it is a very dead environment. There, the Warborn struggle to awake to their true potential. We can see this as the clothing and the houses the Warborn live with are all based on recycled materials.
How are the new zones different from existing zones? And was there anything you wanted to emphasize in those zones?
The new zones for the new races are new environments and climates we have never seen before in the game. The freezing winter for Dwarf and the deadly desert for Warborn. We would like to keep filling ArcheAge with many more new worlds in the future. Other new zones added in 3.0 are Ahnimar which represents the calm and peaceful theme and Rokhala Mountains that presents the windy high mountain zone.
What was your inspiration when creating the Daru homeland of Ahnimar?
We intended to make a town for the Daru as they play many roles in ArcheAge. There are already a few towns of Daru in Halcyona, but the new zone will show more of their skills in machines, like their hot-air balloons. We are extremely happy that the zone represents the characteristics of the Daru.
What was the most challenging physical aspect to design for the Dwarf and the Warborn races?
The biggest challenge was to introduce new physiques. With the new body types introduced, all existing costumes had to be altered to suit the new models. Many of the existing costumes would look different on the new races. This would provide additional excitement for the players. To be honest, anything on the male Warborn looks epic (^_^). The players would be able to find the collar around the neck of Warborn too.
When Dwarves transform into Juggernaut form, what happens to their beer?
Despite their love of beer, they had to sober up to survive (^_^). Juggernaut is only possible because of their extensive knowledge in the engineering technology. We would like to see the transformation used strategically in massive PvP battles.
What was your inspiration for Orchidna? Any inspirations from other games, movies etc?
She appears again in ArcheAge as the Devil Queen. The returned queen consists the concept of human, Serpentis and devil all together. Her design was focused on replacing her old young human image with a charismatic, mature, majestic figure filled with hatred and revenge in her eyes. Charlize Theron in the movie The Huntsman: Winter’s War was a suitable real life figure inspiration.
What’s up with her snakes? Where do they come from? What is her relationship with snakes?
The snakes represent Serpentis. Her snake-like dress is used to represent the relationship between her and Serpentis. The blood of Serpentis is flowing in Orchidna’s veins and her return implies many similar themes.
What is the Thunderwing Titan (3 leg crow)? Is it a dragon? What was your inspiration for the Thunderwing?
Thunderwing is the giant bird that was raised by a villain in (Minhee) Jeon’s Story “가려진 시대”. The bird is a mythic being and controls the thunder at will. As its name says, its concept is inspired from the legendary three leg crow that was rumored to live in the sun (Ancient East Asia Legend). Its massive wings and ancient power displays that theme really well.
Thank you to the XLGAMES art team for taking the time to answer our questions, and for your great work on the beautiful art of ArcheAge!