With our recent focus on crafting stations, we decided to skip the standard fireside chat this week and get an interview about the inspiration and direction of the crafting stations from our lead writer Devin Kleinschmit.
Dev Diary: The visual feel of Utherous – Crafting Stations
The visual concept is a highly collaborative process involving several teams. The crafting stations were initially conceptualized by the writing team, then designed and produced by the art team. I am here to talk about the conceptualization process for the crafting stations.
Utherous’ world takes place in a unique setting. It’s not true Victorian Steampunk nor is Classical Fantasy, rather, it’s a blending of the two genres. In house we have taken to calling this Steamknight. So when we looked at the crafting stations we didn’t want them to be too medieval looking as well as too Victorian or industrial. Keeping in mind the time period of the Utherous back story, where the people of the world are just restarting their journey down the path of technology (or technomancy as the people of Utherous would call it). So I began looking for a historical frame of reference. A time period where industry still had that individualistic artisan element to it that you see in medieval crafting. A particular historical period that we (the writing team), look to for inspiration is the mid to late 18th century. The early part of industrialization.
The only problem with using this as a conceptual basis for Utherous is the people of that time didn’t find industrialization to be a great subject for painting and they obviously didn’t have cameras. Fortunately, there are some great sketches left behind that were 19th century reproductions and, in particular, the art form known as etchings. The concept for our crafting stations started with these sketches and etchings, beyond being quite beautiful works in their own right they had the right feel. A cruder feel for technology, but the process was still rooted in machines. Machines that would be recognizable to us today as industrial machines.
The picture above is a great example of 18th century cottage industry, and this is the visual concept, look, and feel for our crafting stations in Utherous. From this point our art team took this basic concept and developed some great looking crafting stations!
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more dev diaries.
In our next post we are going further explore our crafting system, with a look at the animations involved as well as some example recipes.
As always thanks for reading and for those of you in the US, have great holiday!