It was important to us that we get a print and play out so that folks could check out the game. I was nervous about this because while I felt like the mechanics were solid, the art still had a long way to go. I’m glad that people have been downloading the print and play and enjoying the game but it’s also important to me that you all get an idea of what I intend for the final game to actually look like. Thornwatch is designed to feel like you’re playing through a graphic novel and so obviously the artwork is going to be a huge part of the experience. With that in mind I wanted to show you some behind the scenes stuff as I work on the storyboards.
The sketches that you see right now in the print and play are the first step in the process. Generally I’d say that’s the hardest part and takes the most time. Coming up with the layout, the designs for the monsters, the dialog, all of that stuff takes time and I end up sketching lots of ideas out before landing on a design I like.
Once that’s done it’s time to ink. Laying down all the line work is time consuming. Inking a full storyboard like this takes me in the neighborhood of 4 hours depending on the complexity.
Once the inks are done it’s time to color. This entire process takes another 5 to 8 hours for me. I start by laying down some large areas of color. I’m just trying to get an idea of the overall tone of the piece.
Once that’s done I start drilling down on the individual components of the piece.
I tend to hop around from panel to panel at this point.
I ended up finishing the large center image on this one first. I knew that if I could get that one looking the way I wanted it would sort of anchor the rest of the piece.
I still have some work to do on this particular board. The text layout and the design of the rules box still needs some love. It’s getting closer to “finished” though and I wanted to share my progress with you all. (click for big)
As I’ve said before, I really want Thornwatch to feel like you’re playing through a graphic novel. The storyboards are a big part of that but they are just one component. Each map tile is going be a little painting. I want them to look like background paintings from an imaginary Thornwatch animated movie. These are even more time consuming than the storyboards for me as they sit a little outside my normal skill set. I’m pushing myself on these tiles though and I am really happy with the results so far.
When Thornwatch is laid out on a table I want it to look like nothing you’ve ever played before. I cannot thank you all enough for your support of this Kickstarter. I’m working as hard as I can to make sure that the game you get at the end of this is as beautiful as I can possibly make it.