Tia’s Voyage – 3D Character Art – Making of

    During the course of the 1st semester in my final year at Teesside University, we had a module called Beta Arcade. This module focused on team work, recreating as faithfully as possible, a work environment similar to that of the games industry. During this module, students across multiple courses needed to form into “game teams” of 10 to 20 people and over the period of 12 weeks, create a fully playable game demo. We had Games Programmers, Designers, Animators and Artists all coming together during this module.

     The team I was a member of, called the Beta Bunch, consisted of 4 Artists, 3 Programmers, 2 Designers and 1 Animator. I can truly say that I was extremely fortunate in having met some of the most fantastic people I could ever hope to work together with. The chemistry in our team was superb.

     My role in the team was to be the Character Artist. We decided to create a Pegi-7 rated, third-person role-playing puzzle game, which, eventually was titled Tia’s Voyage.


The trailer for our game can be viewed here:

Trailer created by Robin Coils.

    In the planning phase, we decided to go with a Polynesian look to our game, but then added a touch of Mayan/Aztec influences to everything. Not yet certain whether we wanted a male or a female protagonist, I created some quick concept sketches for both genders:

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The Eternal Dragon Emperor – Making of

   Back in February this year, during the 2nd semester of my 2nd year at University studying Computer Games Art, we started a module called “Creative Portfolio Development“. Ignoring the fancy title, in a nutshell this module was all about doing one project that interested us and helped develop skills in our chosen fields. The subject could be anything we wanted. Needless to say that, to date, this was my favourite module at Uni.

   Wishing to be a Character artist, my project’s focus was the creation of a high quality, animation friendly game character.  I have chosen the Eternal Dragon Emperor, Dariandaros from my favourite urban fantasy book series; “The Chronicles of Elantra” by Michelle Sagara, as the star of this project.

   I got a bit ambitious and decided to also create a 3d environment for him in my spare time. Though I love environment art greatly, I do not feel the same passion for it as for character art, and thus, I often neglect it, even avoid it in favour of doing more character based work. I felt this was the perfect opportunity to force myself to focus on the environment as well as, the character.


   Boy, was I fooling myself. I did not factor in just how extensively time-consuming my other module, “The Journeyman Project” would be. What spare time? I barely had time to even finish Dariandaros, much less work on an environment. So though the environment was started, and is about 75% finished, it never actually got finalized. Not yet, anyway.


But I digress.

   As with every project I started sketching out ideas. I mainly focused on the robes of the Emperor. The style, the cut, the colour scheme. I created many variations on this to try and get a sense of what might work best for an immortal dragon Emperor.

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