I thought it would be fun to share a couple old character concepts with you that we came across the other day. They’re thematically appropriate because, as we said in last week’s Battleplan, Thanksgiving is coming up here in the states. Even more than that, they offer a bit of insight into what the character pitch process was like when Battleborn was early in development.
I touched on the character pitch process in a Reddit post a few months ago, but I’m not sure if it was ever mentioned here on the forums. Basically, anyone studio-wide could submit an idea for a character. People would pair up with an artist and flesh out a basic look and sketch out what the characters abilities and skills may be. At this point, there were A LOT of characters that were eventually pared down and then further refined into the characters that we know and love today.
From Creative Director Randy Varnell (@jythri):
“While we would sometimes task specific concept art to go with ideas we had, one of the great sources of inspiration during the project was something called “Daily Pop”. In the Daily Pop repository, artists would warm up their drawing skills in the morning by quickly sketching a character with a short listed description of their gameplay skills. These two pieces were from artist Erik Doescher, one of the most prolific of our Daily Pop creators.
Erik made a piece almost every day during the years he was on the project. We literally have hundreds of these types of concepts. Some of them were more serious, others far more ridiculous. Erik would often follow themes for a week or more. The two drawings here were inspired by Thanksgiving. We have some for most of the major holiday. Erik did a series of drawings based off of sketches from his toddlers, where he reimagined the simple line art as something more tangible. He also once did an entire set themed from menu items from the restaurant Black Eyed Pea.
While most of these would never make it into the game, Erik’s creativity inspired all of us and helped us to remember to explore wildly different ideas.”
We thought you’d enjoy seeing a couple of these designs and getting a little bit of info on how they were created!