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 Post subject: Narrative art
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:46 am
Posts: 3
Hello everyone,

You might have noticed that the wallpapers we put up are not the usual screaming monsters or armies clashing together you are used to see in other games. While we still enjoy big monsters chewing up some poor soldiers, we decided to use concept art as a mean to show various slices of story to give you an idea of what it must have been like to live in the world of Ex illis.
We call this ‘Narrative art’ at Bastion. Here’s a quick explanation of what each piece represents.

This is the very first image that was made here at Bastion, with a style slightly different that what the final art direction ended up being. With this piece of art, we wanted to show the innocence and vulnerability of a child amidst the violence and insanity of men.
It takes place in 1278 during the great Inquisition instigated by Charlemagne. Here, an inquisitor, with a host of papal and angelic warriors, is storming into a small hamlet, arresting everyone who shows signs of ‘impurity’ and killing those who oppose them. The Church conducts these raids from time to time to demonstrate its complete power, both spiritual and physical, over the Christian world. During this period, anyone who dares disoblige it ends up dead.
And here is a man, visibly tired and wounded, who is standing up against the Church to protect his child. Child mortality was extremely high (roughly 33% of the population didn’t reach the age of 6) and this would be even more the case in a time like Ex illis. For a man to risk his life like this, the child must represent a very important person in the man’s life; maybe the last member of his family, the living memory of a beloved wife.
And thus, even if he doesn’t stand a single chance, the man looks at the inquisitor who claims his son and replies “Over my dead body”.

The image with the two soldiers was made by the artist Nick Oroc. This piece was pivotal because it really put in image the art direction we had envisioned for the project.
The scene takes place in 1287 during the Crozada Coeli, a large war between the Church and its allies against various European states. It is located somewhere in southern France; we can actually see the coat of arms of the Comté de Toulouse (still very much alive today) on one of the fighters in the back scene.
The image depicts the aftermath of a battle which took place the night before. A soldier is caring for a mortally-wounded brother in arms, and brings him to a quiet stream so he could let go of life in peace. Here we wanted to put into relation a dying man with the beauty and peacefulness of the countryside. We also wanted to highlight the fact that dying by sword is not clean or quick like we see in movies or videogames. More often than not, it’s a long, messy and painful process that sometimes can take up to hours or even days.

This image, made by artist Florent Masurel, depicts Frankfurt after the Mongol army took hold of the city.
During the invasion of Germany, the Mongols rushed deep inside German territory and, seeing their position might be a bit more stretched out than ideal, decided to use an incredibly cruel but efficient intimidation technique. They offered the city two choices: either a complete surrender, in which case only the rulers and their family would be executed, or a siege, in which case everyone would perish. Unsurprisingly, the rulers tried to defend the city (they themselves didn’t have much to lose!) but were no match for the Mongols who where renowned for their excellent siege engineers. The matter was quickly resolved. Once the Mongol horde flooded into the city, they decapitated every living soul, men, women and children, and piled their heads outside the walls as a warning to others.
The rest of the German cities were much more compliant.
The image was done in a rougher style than usual, giving the piece a harsher tone in order to capture the intensity of the moment.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these quick explanations and that they’ve given you a bit more of insight into the world of Ex illis. I’ll try to do this from time to time when we post new images.


 Post subject: Re: Narrative art
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:48 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Camas, WA
This is some wonderful art. I've got one (the one entitled "volta" in the URL) set as my desktop right now. :)

It's great to see such beautiful art posted already in advance of the game's release.

 Post subject: Re: Narrative art
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:17 pm 
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