Borderlands 3: Time for a nice, relaxing ride [gameplay concept painting by Klopotinsha]


(yellow for cyan) #1

Klopotinsha presents another illustration about adventures
of Immortal Steel Cojones, Neverdying Protector of Jimenez, sworn enemy of the Incubus, Sharpshooting Champion, Conqueror of Mad Moxxi (and her arena),a friend of predatory birds, mighty Truxican Wrestler who pushed the Destroyer back to the Vault, collected hundreds of zombie brains, defeated Crawmerax without using the ledge and suppressed rise of the machines (haha even appeared as John Connor’s dad in one Terminator game universe), Protagonist of True Borderlands, whose good name was undeservedly disgraced in BL2, The One and Only, Badass of Badasses, the Great and Powerful MORDECAI!

The colors and rhythm of this composition were inspired by the song “Ezy Ryder” by Jimi Hendrix.

One hangover summer cycle morning Mordecai who took a ride on his scythid named Horse to his apiary to harvest some Rakk honey along the way got «ambushed» by bounty hunters from Fishermen-bikers tribe…

Fishermen-bikers are actually not bad people. Just another ‘Ain’t no rest for the wicked’ since they had to leave their home lands after bloody appropriate of Aquator by meanie Capitalists. So do not worry, Mordecai won’t kill them, maybe only torture a little bit until they learn few lines from Shakespeare…

I enjoyed the gameplay process of while i was making this «screenshot» on physical medium that don’t gives a sh~ about blackouts (whatman on plywood tablet).
Each element is elaborated from the point of view of the plot, setting, visual design, internal device, possible interaction in game mechanics and, of course, implementation on UE4.

As you can see, the setting on this painting related to BL3 which you can get to know from Klopotinsha’s stories, and might not correlate to whatever Gearbox were doing lately, because we have here badass sci-fi-western scene with elements of ethno-punk, and not some snobbish baronessas, vapid office plankton or other stylistically inappropriate infantile antics.

I also always thought about the sound accompaniment.
For example, you see the motorcycle has Eridian stone instead of gas tank? Its engine probably sounds like monotonous rubbing moistened finger along the rim of the wine glass mixed with noises from large hadron collider.

Pay attention on unique differences in Jose’s anatomy compared to not elite Scythids, such as he has additional pair of eyes placed on «head» which make easier for him to read books from Mordecai’s library and perform empathic impact on humans.

On early sketches I thought to equip Mordecai with an artifact similar to Sirian Bracelet used by Sam Stone, or Energy Leash that Gray Hunt has, but these wunderwaffles seemed not enough brutal and versatile, so i gave Mordecai a lasso made of a simple tangible rope.

And how about the gun that drops from Aumanil?
I think it works like «shotgun version of upgraded Dispersion Pistol from Unreal1».

I can write detailed design document about each item, but Klopotinsha would actually like to add here some interactivity.
So she says: Humans, you can gaze and share your thoughts.


"Way of the Hunter" Borderlands art series by Klopotinsha
(Isthiswill) #2

That you even invoke Ezy Rider is enough to put a huge smile on my face. Beyond that, this is great work! Well done.


(SixtySicksShooter) #3

Awesome stuff. Will Mordecai get fat for the next game? :>


(Fuz) #4

Amazing art, as usual. Love the use of colors.
They really should hire you as an artist for BL3.

Btw, I’m not sure I understand why the Terminator reference on your intro.


(yellow for cyan) #5

Thanks for your feedback!

@Isthiswill, I always wondered if anyone can notice links to music which I leave next to my illustrations.


Wow! I did not expect that anyone here will notice that Mordecai on the painting has an «unusual» model.

In case with Mordecai it should be uh… physical manifestation of life force!

I don’t believe this misleading Hyperion propaganda against Mordecai, especially ‘Mordecai is skinny because dislikes eating’ – is unreasonable bullshiт.

True Mordecai from BL1 sounded like a person who well versed in food. The only problem is that on Pandora turn out to be nothing edible… except cannibalism and tasteless 3D-prints which are like the same cannibalism, considering how often people use New-U stations.


Both options are absolutely unacceptable for Mordecai, so, the only thing left for him is to sublimate, watching his bird getting a treat.

Playing as Mordecai from the 1st person in BL1, I actually sometimes forget how exactly he looks like from side. Self-confident notes in his voice often draw the image of someone big and strong, fearless and… Invincible!
I think Mordecai himself sometimes considers he’s bulletproof. So he breaks into the very middle of melee fight not understanding the jokes of his teammates about someone’s thinned build… and after a while we hear ‘WWHHYYYYYYYYYY!?’ :joy:

The change in Mordecai’s model on the BL3 painting may indicate of knowledge he gained about local livestock and mastery to breed specimens without toxic and elemental effects; the onset of a favorable late-summer/early-autumn cycle on Pandora, and opening access to other planets (Mordecai could have been appointed as reliable keeper of Arch keys, after turned out that Tannis is not what it seems).

Considering the improvement of the graphics engine, i think, yes, in-game Mordecai needs to get more complex model that requires very qualitative animation.

Also, it can be reflected in gameplay mechanics. Logically heavier build should give Mordecai a good bonus to recoil reduction, however, it may quickly spend stamina while running (which in general does not play a role when there is reliable riding scythid and the bird who can pick and give everything)

And although cute cheeks still don’t make a man bulletproof, such model can bleed out much longer, so teammates and pets will have more time to save Mordecai if he yells ‘WWHHHYYYYYYYYYYY’.


(yellow for cyan) #6

Can be noticed that 97 percent of references in Klopotinsha’s speeches on these forums related to other works of Mordecai’s epic actor Julio Cedillo (for example, Jimenez – it’s a magical place!)

Previously I was describing the phenomenon of “Morde-Kyle”-- version of canonical Kyle Reese with notable Latin traits honed under Julio’s voice acting

I find this example pretty illustrative in the context of understanding the concept of Mordecai character from BL series. Because pay attention on these peculiar properties that make Kyle from Dawn of Fate slightly different from standard Michael Biehn’s version. The same peculiar properties that make Mordecai work.

On Borderlands purebred Mordecai and "Perry, who not so serious this time" named Brick will have to suppress the rise of the machines once again, teamed up with Buffalo Soulja and Psionic Girl in killing a quite amount of F* robots in Robot Revolution DLC.


(SixtySicksShooter) #7

I forgot that initially Mordy was bulkier than what we had in the game. I hope he gets in shape for B3 though, cuz you know, the “juggernaut” is coming. :>


(yellow for cyan) #8

Yes, Klopotinsha prefers to count prerelease versions in the same Continuity with what we had in the game. (Even with higher priority than semi-canon of BL2)

Such long-living character brings so much ambience to the world of the game. He really been through alot, seen so many things, become so emaciated that Helena Pierce didn’t even recognize him right away… Daym, how many friends named Roland Mordecai has already buried…

By the way, in teaser of my BL1 graphic novel was already shown some exploitation of early Mordecai’s design (for flashbacks).

And what exactly this line about “juggernaut” supposed to mean? Some sort of trolling through intentional inattentiveness?


(SixtySicksShooter) #9

I’m sorry,Karina, but
“trolling through intentional inattentiveness” is probably you thinking out loud. I had no such intentions. I just wanted to post this song a.k.a “the juggernaut” . Take care. :>


(yellow for cyan) #10

Well, that’s why i prefer forums with nice relaxing longposts more than jumpy shortcut chats.
Sometimes it’s better to spend some time to express the idea more concretely.
Because even such simple phrase like “take care” can have multiple interpretations;
In Borderlands quests it usually means “murder this”, or “murder many of these”… or “decapitate someone’s wife and throw his deaf daughter into a vat of acid”… the last was a creepy part of 97%.

I naively assumed that line about the “juggernaut” was written on-topic (and Josh Homme placed for the ambience) this way it at least wouldn’t contradict its own narrative logic.

I was thinking about Mordecai’s combat specs and features of gameplay with increased mass in context of potential and kinetic energy.
and “juggernaut” style is clearly not for him (it more fits for “rigid” characters such as Brick, Ellie, or Mr. Torgue)

Previously I brought the example from BL1 with Mordecai breaking into the very middle of melee fight as a comedic example of silly behavior frequently generated by players just 4 lulz.

But proper game as the Hunter class character implies that the enemy is not even able to get close; or only after special permission it may crawl on its last legs to The Hunter’s feet, so exhausted and tired that there will left only to lazily poke it with a sword and begin to show off with a new trophy.