A few days ago, Fred walked us through some of the early design thoughts behind crafting the gameplay of Rawlins. Today, Art Director Simon Loche is going to take us on a journey through the wild west of Rawlins concept art.
Like Fred mentioned earlier this week, we already had Anne Bonny in our stable of warriors, and she’s a long-ranged shooter. So we wanted a short-to-mid ranged shooter. So when you think about long ranged shooting, you think rifle, like the one Anne Bonny uses. When you think about shorter-ranged shooting, you think about pistols. And we pretty easily landed on a character from the Wild West. We really wanted a badass character that would slot right into a western movie, and the team agreed on creating Rawlins.
We wanted a warrior that would say something that Judge Dredd says: “I’m am the law!” So we didn’t want an outlaw or a cowboy or someone who operated outside of the law. I always pictured Rawlins as someone who was charming, suave, but all the while someone who is extremely deadly.
We looked at the roster of warriors from myth and legend and realized there were characters from the Middle Ages, ancient Rome and whatnot. We wanted to extend the range of warriors, so having Rawlins makes it work. It’s just not Spartacus, Morgan Le Fay and Anne Bonny, but we also have a warrior from more modern times.
One of the main reads of the warrior was simply: guns. We exaggerate the size of the guns so they show up well in game. A pistol is a pretty small weapon, and if we maintained realistic proportions, it wouldn’t read well for the player.
We wanted his hat and sunglasses to read well, too. To emphasize this suave and charming US Marshal. We tried to put bullets on his hat, but it read outlaw more than marshal. Simply put, he could be a rockstar.
It took a few iterations to get his color scheme right, but when we landed on it we knew that it worked for him. We didn’t want a character that read like a cowboy. He’s a US Marshal, he’s clean around the edges but he’s willing to get his hands dirty if he needs to.
The jail was fun to create with the team, the idea of locking your opponents behind bars just sounded cool. And this puts your enemy in a dangerous situation since they are open to attack by your team. This Buildable was an extension of his story; he’s a US marshal and he’ll lock you up if he has to!
Now his other Buildable, the Barrel Dispenser…there’s a story behind that. We wanted to carry the western motif throughout the character of Rawlins, and one of the original designs for this Buildable was a tumbleweed. So the original design was there, in regards to an object that rolls across the battlefield and interrupts you. But visually, it wasn’t very aspirational. Just imagine Thorgrim getting hit by a tumbleweed! He would just squish it, a tumbleweed didn’t make much sense.
So we started to mess around with other ideas. We tried to use dynamite in a barrel, but where did the barrel come from? Then we thought, well, westerns have gold mines. Maybe this should come from a mining cart. And then it clicked, have the mine cart dump an explosive barrel that rolls across the arena. Fits Rawlins perfectly.
Rawlins is a fun warrior to play with, and I love the western motif of his character. There’s so much from history that we can pull from, and I still think there’s room to explore Rawlins’ personality and persona a bit more.