I’ve drawn plenty of video game characters in my day, some real, some imagined, but none of them ever got transformed into the real thing by a professional artist like this kid’s did.
Say hello to “LEOPARDEN!,” a Hearthstone minion dreamed up by someone’s 9-year-old daughter. According to her, “He lives in the caves and eats Kobolds!” For reference, Kobolds are rat-like sprites that live underground. When he’s played in a match, he apparently says “you Kobolds are DELICIOUS.” Meanwhile, his clothes are made out of Kobold fur. Neat!
The budding artist had her father share the creation on Twitter and asked him to tweet it at Ben Brode, Hearthstone’s game director, which, being a good dad, he did. The Blizzard employee responded, calling it “awesome,” but it was freelance artist Kate Holden who actually turned the sketch into a finished-looking Hearthstone card. Who knows, maybe The Leoparden will show up in one of the game’s future expansions.
Holden told Kotaku in an email that the project was a fun, end-of-the-day warm-down exercise she was able to finish in about an hour. “Attempting a piece in a Blizzard-inspired style, based on a child’s drawing, meant I could really go wild with vibrant colors and exaggerated proportions,” she said. Her prefered subject matter when she was young and scribbling on paper were Sega-inspired creations. “I came up with a bunch of characters who were almost universally anthropomorphic animals (with attitude!) who wore cool leather jackets and sunglasses, because it was the nineties.”
This pink guy’s name was apparently “Criss-Cross” and could run up the walls like the mouse from Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap. Sadly, Criss-Cross hasn’t yet gotten the Hearthstone fan-card treatment.