These pieces were done for Dominance War III, an international game art character design competition. I was awarded 14th place, which may not sound too high,
but given the skill level of many of the entries, it was an accomplishment to get into the top 50. The top 20 won prizes, and I was pretty pleased to have been judged highly.
First, a little background:
For the contest, they give you a premise for a game character – in this case, must not use technology, must use specific types of magic, must have a magic artifact, must be able to do battle with robots, but incorporate your sponsoring forum’s team logo/colors, etcetera. For the Concept Art division, we had to include a full-color posed shot, a sheet full of front, back, and side views, something a 3D artist could build a model from, and one sheet showing miscellaneous development images. And then let everyone create the coolest thing they can. There was a wide variety of characters. It may sound like the restrictions were tight but they were really just rough guidelines, not overly limiting at all.
A few quotes from some of the judges:
My first choice, by walrus, looked like a very new and striking character. It possessed a charming personality with lots of wits and humor. This combination gave this entry many attractive attributes that a team could easily have fun with while putting it into a real game.
– Kyoungseok [Alien1452] Oh – Grigon Entertainment – Concept Artist
Thank you for having such a great sense of humor, Michael. The concept world really needs more of you. The way each character emotes (even the faceless robo-drone) draws me right in and makes me feel invested. Make no mistake: whether man, mecha or moray, you are not safe from Sesslyth! Extra props for not taking the all-too-obvious electric eel route.
– Paul Richards – Vigil Games – Concept Artist
(This note was especially rewarding as I’m a big fan of Paul’s concept design work)
This is another entry that caught my eye because of the creativity and humor that went into the design. This concept brings back the sweet memories of the Earthworm Jim character and I would love to play this guy in a video game! Very inventive!
– Brian Yam – Insomniac Games – Senior Concept Artist