Painting the picture of war I

With the release of Valkyria Revolution I wanted to make my next art book post about the first game in the series Valkyria Chronicles. The world of Valkyria is set in the fictional region of Europa and is loosely based on Europe in the second World War. The game series has a very distinct art style which ties pencil drawn images and watercolour paintings together in a three-dimensional world. It was first released for PlayStation 3 back in 2008 and was later remastered for PlayStation 4 and PC in 2014.

Valkyria Chronicles: Design Archive is one of the thicker art books I own and comes in at a hefty 400 pages long! With this in mind I’ve decided to split the book between several posts so I can do each section justice. To start, I’ll be showing you the evolution of character designs from the game. This chapter is around 132 pages and features character bios, rough designs, early development sketches, rejected concepts, equipment detailing, in-game models and final press pieces. Surrounding all of these images is notes from the Designer explaining their thought processes and decisions throughout this stage of production.

Although a little pricey now, I do think that this art book is one of the better game ones available. The sheer amount of content and detail that is shown is astonishing and these insights really describe what goes into the development of such a successful game.

Journey. The art of game development

Journey is not your stereotypical video game. It makes no demands on the player and doesn’t ask you to do anything specific in order to finish it. It’s a relaxing experience from start to finish as you uncover what your journey is about. If you haven’t already played Journey then I really encourage you to download and play it. It’s available for download for free on the Sony PlayStation Store and can be played on PS3 and PS4.

Before I continue with this art book post I have to point out that there will be spoilers. You’ll understand more about the images and descriptions if you’ve already played the game so I really do suggest playing it before continuing. It’ll take you a maximum of 3 to 4 hours and everything below will make a lot more sense afterwards!

This is in no way a book review just an opportunity to display some of the work that went into such a wonderful game. This book is a very rare and as far as I’m aware the book is no longer being published. Feast your eyes!

This is a fantastic art book and the above images are only a small selection from it. I might revisit it in the future as it really is an excellent look at the amount of work that goes into the development of a game.

Thanks for reading/looking!

Shedding light on dusty pages.

I saw a post on Artstation a couple of weeks ago by an Environment Artist called Devon Fay. It was about how he had built up a collection of art books over the years but had only opened and flicked through them a few times. They are now just sat on his shelf gathering dust. I’m in a similar position myself with my art book collection. I don’t even have enough space for them all in my own home…

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In an attempt to breathe new life into them Devon is doing a weekly blog about each of his and he has inspired me to do something similar. Unfortunately I can’t read and write about one every week but I am going to aim to do at least one a month (to begin with). As you can see from the pictures some of them are a lot thicker than others so I’ll need a little extra time to peruse them. Some of these books are a little tricky to get hold of so I want to do each book justice. Expect lots of pictures, maybe not so much writing!

If there is a particular book you want me to do first (or ones for subsequent posts) then get in touch! I’m thinking about writing my first book post on one that takes us on a Journey.