• Tyler

A War in Pictures (Designing Leviathans: Armored Sky)

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

"Gassed" shows only one eye in the whole painting, a testament to the blindness found on the battlefield.

The Great War fought in Europe democratized the war narrative like never before with a largely literate fighting force writing letters back home. Archives all over the world store millions of letters, preserving the hearts and souls of the men who died in the trenches. But more than their words, soldiers fighting in the trenches were painters, sketchers, and artists who tried to capture but a snapshot of the war. These paintings conveyed not only through content, but also through form, the world these soldiers lived in. In our game, we utilize the art of Seattle native, Sanda Gavriliuc, to do the same. 

Paul Nash refuses to identify form in the wasteland.

The Influence

Though not as famous as John Singer Sargent’s masterpiece, Gassed, that shows a line of soldiers blinded by gas leading each other onward, Paul Nash’s We Are Making a New World gives us an understanding of World War 1 not found in realism. Notice how no-mans-land is depicted with unsure lines, colors that run into each other, and unnatural shapes that resemble the helmets of men just below a dead landscape. The form of the painting itself tells a story of how uncertain, how ever-changing, and how the battlefield itself takes a life of its own. 

Where Our Artist Came In

With Sanda’s artwork, we tried to recreate some of that feeling. The forms, the shapes, the colors, they are there, but they are unclear, shifting, undefined. As war breaks down reality, so also the art reflecting the battlefield shows that reality. We weren’t sure how, or even if we wanted to do this at first, but when we received the concept pieces back from Sanda, it was a clear choice moving forward. The first concept took its inspiration from some more traditional steampunk sources while the second took its influence from satirical maps around WW1. The third and final concept was what we went with, relying on Sanda's natural style to convey what we wanted.

Note on the above images, the zeppelins are from the concept artist, and do not reflect the ships that will be used in the game. We will be using the ships already created in the world along with some new ones!

Moving Forward

Leviathans: Armored Sky is going to be a game focused on story, and, as such, there will be many visual elements that work just as hard to tell the story. The tactical map, the air bound battlefield that your Leviathan will fight upon, will feature a detailed and meaningful landscape inspired by Sanda’s design. Our early release will come towards the beginning of 2021, we will only have a few maps to play with--though more information on that topic will be released at later time. If you want to stay up to date with Leviathans, follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our website so you don't miss a thing!

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