IN FO­CUS

Artist Ben Chan­dler on cre­at­ing the rooftop scene for Wad­jet Eye’s ur­ban fan­tasy ad­ven­ture Unavowed.

PC GAMER (US) - - CONTENTS - By Andy Kelly

FLO W CHAR T

Chan­dler starts by giv­ing writer/ de­signer Dave Gil­bert a sketch to test the playa­bil­ity and flow of a scene. “Af­ter this I fo­cus on com­pelling blocks of color,” he says “At this stage it’s more about at­mos­phere than de­tail.”

OLD SCHOOL

Clas­sic ‘90s ad­ven­tures were a big in­flu­ence on Unavowed’s art style. “Ful­lThrot­tle’s shad­ows, GabrielKnight’s eerie tone, Loom’s Forge of the Black­smiths, and Se­cre tof Mon­key Is­land’s Cav­erns of Meat in­spired the style of the game.”

UR­BAN DE CAY

“I’d wanted to do a fiery red pal­ette in a sci-fi game for years,” says Chan­dler of Unavowed’s strik­ing col­ors. “But see­ing a sim­i­lar pal­ette in Hell­blazer and Bat­man: The An­i­mated Se­ries con­vinced me it would work in an ur­ban set­ting.”

LIFE STORY

Rather than tak­ing the player on a tour of New York, Chan­dler wanted the city to re­flect the char­ac­ters. “There are iden­ti­fi­able land­marks in the game, but the lens is closer to hu­man sto­ries and the fo­cus is more on them and their lives.”

WORD CLOUD

Gil­bert, who is pri­mar­ily a writer, de­scribes scenes to Chan­dler with ad­jec­tives rather than com­ing up with vis­ual ideas. “I wanted the city in Unavowed to echo his nar­ra­tive and re­in­force the tone he wanted the game to con­vey.”

REF­ER­ENCE POINT

Set­ting a game in a city as well known as NYC is a unique creative chal­lenge. “You can’t rely as heav­ily on in­vent­ing vis­ual el­e­ments to sell an idea,” says Chan­dler. “This means there’s more fo­cus on us­ing pho­tos as ref­er­ence points.”

LEFT: New York City is, ar­guably, one of the most overused set­tings in videogames. But the vivid col­ors here re­in­force the fan­tasy as­pects of the game.

BE­LOW: Chan­dler posts stud­ies of clas­sic ad­ven­ture game back­grounds on his web­site, and ap­plies the tech­niques he learns to his work.

RIGHT: Chan­dler also had to cap­ture the grimy de­tails at street level.Unavowed has a down­beat, neo-noir at­mos­phere, and the art re­flects this.

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