OK. This is awesome. Matt Rhodes, one of the best concept artists in the business, has opened up the vaults and shared some of his work on the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series from before you'd seen a screenshot. Suffice to say, things are different.
When I say the images are from the earliest stages of conceptualising those series, I'm not kidding. Shepard is a half-Reaper cyborg. There are Cerberus designs that are wacky. There are Dragon Age character designs that look nothing like the party members you'd get to know over the course of the game. There's some ideas on Tali's face before they realised they better keep that a secret.
What's better than the art itself, though, is Rhodes' commentary on the pieces. The job of designing characters and building worlds is one of the most important in gaming - it's a big reason why I run this feature - yet it's also one that rarely gets a public airing, where those involved can tell us why a hero looks the way they do, or how the team decided to make a world look the way it does.
I've included some image highlights here, but you really need to check out his full post for the complete rundown.
To see the larger pics in all their glory (or, if they’re big enough, so you can save them as wallpaper), click on the “expand” button in the bottom-right corner.
Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios. If you're in the business and have some concept, environment, promotional or character art you'd like to share, drop us a line!