The BlizzCon 2010 StarCraft II Art panel revolved almost exclusively around the new custom maps Blizzard is making.
Aiur Chef, Left 2 Die, StarJewled and last, but not least Blizzard DotA!
You're controlling a Protoss Zealot/Celebrity Chef and you're running through the level, trying to defeat your opponents. As well as doing a lot of cooking.Left 2 Die
Basically a Multiplayer version of the second Dr. Hanson mission in the Wings of Liberty campaign. StarJewled
A jewel crushing game. When you crush jewels, you get cash, which you can use on troops that you can send on your enemy to smash their castle area.Blizzard DotA
Made because Blizzard are huge fans of the original DotA. This gave Blizzard an opportunity to remake many of their old favorites from WarCraft III. Will most likely include Diablo characters as well.
Left 2 Die Zombified Models
Allen Dilling (lead artist StarCraft II) explains that for Left 2 Die they modified existing models and zombified them. The four mods will not be using only the basic campaign art, as many of the models are created from scratch.
Model modifications in Left 2 Die:
The Baneling has been modified to the Kaboomer. A scaled up version with more polygons and spikes.
The Brutalisk, which you might recognize from the campaign, is now the Hunterling. It's been given some wings, some green zombified goo coming out of him. He will jump over your troops and walls and will fly all over the place.
The Infestor is now the Choker. Desaturated and greyed out texture. Steam clouds around him, tentacles that will grab units and pull them into him.
The Overseer with some tweaks is now the Spotter. Eyeballs removed, smoke coming out of him and his big snout that he shoots out huge spit balls on his enemies with.
And of course the Ultralisk. This version is called The Stank, he's all gnarled up got emmisive glowies all over him, and is basically all zombified and nasty. When he comes to your base, it's pretty much GG.
Blizzard DotA Hero Models
Blizzard have for a long time wanted to develop their own DotA mod, and with the release of StarCraft II and it's brand new editor, a good opportunity arised. Traditional WarCraft heroes have been modified to fit the StarCraft universe as well as its engine.
As an example, Blizzard added some Zerg and Protoss plating to the WarCraft III Orc Blademaster in order to mimic the Lenassa and the Zer'atai Dark Templar tribes from the StarCraft universe. Each hero has a good and an evil version of itself.
The Dwarven Mountain King model is actually a modification of the Marauder model. The hero, named Muradin, currently has some range abilities, but will, according to Allen Dilling, be changed to a completely melee oriented hero.
The nasty looking Undead Abomination, Stitches (A World of WarCraft low level quest mob), has been outfitted with marine armor, for the good side, and various Ultralisk parts for the evil side.
Everyones favorite Marine Murloc, Grunty, has earned himself a spot in Blizzard DotA. A new visual take on the Murloc has been made, and he is now green and more evil-looking. Apparently he is also the fastest hero in the mod at the moment.
Sylvanas Windrunner, before and after her forced turning to the Forsaken Undead, will also make an appearance. According to the developers a powerfull lategame hero.
Samwise Didier's art piece of the Tauren Marine brought to life in Blizzard DotA.
Blizzard DotA Spell Effects
From left to right, top to bottom: Level up effect. Death effect. Muradin spells Storm Bolt and Thunderclap, respectively.
Blizzard DotA Hero Animations
Jay Hathaway (Senior Animator) has done all the animations for both in-game characters and portraits.
The evil version of the Orc (Fel Orc actually) Blademaster, Za'Muro, with his Bladestorm ultimate spell.
Sylvanas Windrunner, pre-undead.
Muradin, the Dwarven Mountain King, good version.
L80ETC(Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain), the Tauren Marine. We have only seen one version of this hero, so far.
Stitches, the Undead Abomination, with neither Marine nor Ultralisk armor.
Blizzard DotA Portrait Animations
Za'Muro, Fel Orc version.
The Undead Abomination was the hero Jay Hathaway has had the most fun creating animations for lately. Though the Abomination is horrendous, the animation is also quite amusing when seen in motion.
Sylvanas Windrunner, also known as the Queen of the Forsaken, post-undead. Described as stoic and stuck-up.
Grunty, the Murloc Marine. Quite hyper, according to the developers.
Blizzard DotA Tower Models and Game Board
The visual theme of the map has been described as influenced by chess and tabletop role-playing games. As one can see from the tiles and dice in screenshots of the map.
Aiur Chef Player Model
Aiur Chef Props and Doodads - Presented by Brian Sousa
The First Heart of the Swarm Concept Art Pieces
A Tribute to FruitDealer (GSL Season 1 Winner)
Possible Campaign Unit in Heart of the Swarm - The Infested Bunker
Q: This question is for Brian Sousa. It’s a two-parter. The first part would be: Brian, how did you get so sexy? And also, the second parter would be, I hear you have magic fingers. Will you be demoing this later?
Brian Sousua: Yes, well first of all, my parents are right over there so you can thank them for how sexy I am. That’s not really up to me, but, you know, this is who I am. Second part, yes, I did dabble in massage therapy for a while, so. Aside from being an artist, I’m a massage therapist, but that’s in my past now. Sorry.
Q: Hi, I’m actually a digital arts student, and I was wondering if you guys had any advice or words of wisdom for someone that wants to do what you guys do?
Samwise Didier: Sure. I’ll start. So, you’re obviously into Blizzard games, correct? Do you have a favorite one? Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo?
Q: I’m a fan of StarCraft, I play WoW, really all of them.
Samwise Didier: Okay. So say – first of all, you’re going to school, learning some of the different programs? If you’re into doing concept art, I would definitely suggest to be – do some fanart for us. Draw some fanart of the different universes because we want to know that the people we are hiring can kind of do what we do. You know? If an artist comes in and they’re amazing and they have the most realistic bowl of fruit – it doesn’t really fit the games, right? I mean, if they can’t draw an orc, or a zerg, or Diablo, it’s kind of tough, right? So know the style you’re going for. And then also, what I really like, is to see what the person’s personal art is. So if I go onto someone’s website, and – like I said, maybe it’s a bunch of drawings of realistic buildings or fruit or portraits, that’s great, but I want to see if their personal art – what their passion is – is related to kind of our games as well. Like, if I go to a website and someone has Thor fighting Captain America, and there’s like a Pegasus and a unicorn dueling in the background, we’ll look past the Pegasus part but that Thor and Captain America, that’s pretty awesome. So definitely, if you’re sending it to any company, not just Blizzard, know what the company works on and kind of stylize certain pieces to what the company is. And include new art as well. I’ve looked at portfolios where there’s – 2006 was the last new piece that I saw, and it’s like, “Well, what have you been doing for four years?” You know? So. Yeah. That would be my suggestion. You guys have anything else you want to add?
Allen Dilling: I was going to say – another thing is – to get you in line with the production of video games and figure out the whole mindset and the pipeline is, do mods. I mean, it doesn’t even have to be a StarCraft II mod, I think we’re going to release the art tools at some point in the future, but even other engines out there, like Unreal, you know, all sorts of different ones you can make a lot of your own art and kind of understand what it takes to put it into the game. And, you know, limitations on textures and polygons and animation, and that kind of stuff just is kind of like hands-on material right there trying to teach you how we do things. So that’s always a good start right there. If you can show us something actually running in the game, that’s one more extra bonus you have on your portfolio.
Q: Alright. I’m also a digital arts student, but what sort of thing in the portfolio – like, would you say having a specific portfolio or more of a wide range? Like, I do a lot of modeling but also sketches and, like, programming. So, like, altogether? Do they like to see a wide range of talents or excelling at lighting?
Samwise Didier: I would focus on whatever your best effort is. Like, if there’s something that you look at that you’ve done and you say, “That’s okay.” We may go, “Well, that’s okay.” So whatever you think your best strengths are, show that and anything else is also good.
Brian Sousa: Yeah, but it’s definitely quality over quantity. If you do, like, two things very well, send those two things in. Don’t pad it with a lot of stuff that you’re not really proud of, because then we’re going to see that also. And, you know, we might look past the two pieces that are really good if you have a lot more that is just okay or not your strengths. So if you’re not a great animator, don’t throw in a couple, you know, just simple animations on something to make it look better. But I would focus on what you’re good at and just tighten that up the best you can.
Jay Hathaway: So another thing though, is, you’re a student, and you’re trying to fill out your portfolio. And, generally there’s kind of three different areas for games. There’s fantasy, World War II, and – what’s the third one – sci-fi. So if you have a quiver of different models that you’ve worked on, polish them up, make them look really good, and then customize your demo to whatever studio that you’re going to be applying to, you know? So if they’re working on fantasy games, put all your fantasy stuff in it. If it’s World War II stuff, put all your World War II stuff in there. You know? So that you kind of have – you can mix and match, it doesn’t have to be the same demo for everybody. You can kind of customize it.
Allen Dilling: That’s a good point. When I first applied here, I took a picture that Chris Metzen had drawn, like, a long time ago for, I think, the Warcraft II manual. And it was, like, an orc and an elf fighting, and I just modeled it down in 3D, exactly how it was. And, you know, just kind of – one extra little thing is impressive. So, you should always try to be unique and stand out. It’s totally cool to multitask. A lot of us at work have multiple skills. Just make sure, like these guys said, that it’s, like, your best stuff because you just want to show the cream of the crop.
Q: Hi guys. Just wondering, when you guys are doing the design process, have you ever had a clash with each other? For example, you’re designing a model, and then the other guy just says, “Your design is horrible!” And then how do you guys solve that kind of situation?
Samwise Didier: You usually just hit the guy, kinda – BAM! No, usually when we come up with the design for StarCraft and any of our games, a lot of it – I know it sounds a bit hokey – it’s a team effort. So, design will come to us and they’ll say, “Alright, we’re looking for a specific type of unit that does this. Say, I’m looking for something that is an air attacker that only attacks ground.” We don’t want it to look like the Banshee in StarCraft II because that’s what that already does. So, we have to come up with some other ideas. Well, what could it be? A lot of times, also, the artist will just draw a cool picture, and the designers will go, “Oh, yeah, this is awesome, we got to put this in.” Now we got to figure out where to put it in. So, there’s a lot of ideas that get passed around the team, and a lot of times we’ll just make a really really rough model and we’ll let them kind of work around with it. We don’t do – we used to do a lot of final art and then they would say, “Yeah, this unit’s just not working out, we’re going to get rid of it.” Now, we still kind of have some of that in StarCraft, and all those end up being in our single player campaigns, so, certain things – like, you know, you’ll see the Firebat, you’ll see the Goliath, things that aren’t in the multiplayer, we had at one time made them for multiplayer and then decided, “No, let’s see if we can make something cooler,” or the designers will say, “Let’s make something different.” And so, a lot of times we sort of bounce ideas back and forth on each other, and then put in something that’s placeholder, and if it works, then we’ll make the final model.
Brian Sousa: Yeah, it’s all about the iterations that we do. We start with one thing, and, you know, over time, that one unit that we started with three years ago will have completely changed by the time we actually get it in the game – for the final game anyway. So yeah, we iterate on almost everything that you see, and that’s why we’re not done until we’re done. We can always do something better I think.
Allen Dilling: A good example of that is the Thor unit, where, we came up with this idea of, you know, back when they were brainstorming after Warcraft III, and it’s like, “Cool, giant robots!” You know, some kind of awesome mech thing. We didn’t know exactly what it was going to be, Sammy had some cool concepts, and – so we finally modeled it, we put it in, you know, years ago, and design was like, “Hey, that’s awesome! We don’t really need that right now,” and we’re like, “But it was so awesome,” they’re like, “We understand how much that adds to the game and the flavor.” So, they actually were super-cool about it, and over the years we finally found a good role for it, and we tweaked it a lot, so much so that, even during the beta, we actually changed the model. So, the shipping one and the beta one are actually two different Thor models. So that, again, shows us – even, like, at the last hour, we’re always working for perfection and trying to iterate again and again.
Q: Is that why it takes ten years to make just one game?
All: (laughs) Yeah.
Q: The other thing is, are you guys going to put – I saw the Protoss Purifier in the art gallery, are you guys going to put that model in-game anytime soon?
Samwise Didier: You know, we had it at one time in the early versions of StarCraft II. It was called the Soul Reaver, it was called the Purifier – we had all different kinds of names for it. We’ve learned to not name anything anymore, and just call it New Zerg Unit One, Two – I mean, we just don’t give a name because we end up calling it that years after. But you can probably bet that a lot of the old concept art that we still have will be resurrected at some point for something. If we like an image or we like an idea but it’s not appropriate at the time to put it in a certain thing, we’ll just hold on to it instead of messing up the game and forcing something in – like we did with the Thor, thank you. We’ll kind of wait, now that we’ve learned our lesson and hold it until it’s ready to be added to the game.
Q: Hi. For the development of these mods, and what you do on a day-to-day basis, how closely do you have to work with the engineering team?
Allen Dilling: Well, we work with the programmers quite a bit. I mean, there’s a couple of different layers, like the main code guys that handle the fundamentals of the engine and what’s happening, and we also have some guys called the data specialists, and they’re kind of like the liaison. They actually implement all the stuff, and we have a really cool system that, very quickly, within minutes, we can put a new spell together. It’s like, “Hey, we want something that shoots out Banelings, and when it explodes, it turns into a bunch of SCVs and then they gravitate towards somebody and explode in five different colors.” And with our system, we can put together stuff really quickly. And the cool thing with the mods, is, we have such a huge library built up from making Wings of Liberty that we can really quickly put something in there, prototype it, and if we dig it, then we’ll go in later on the next day and start putting, like, real art for it. So we work pretty closely. I work with the data guys every day basically. From e-mailing back and forth, they go to the desk, we hang out and talk about, like, the best way to do things because, a lot of times, you have an idea, like, “This is going to be badass, and it’s going to do this awesome thing,” and then you realize, “Okay, the engine quite can’t handle that,” or, “The frame rate could be an issue,” or you know, gameplay stuff. So then you talk with them and figure out what’s actually viable, what can actually do it and you kind of compromise and, again, it’s just like everything, we keep iterating and, you know, we just try to come up with that middle ground that works best for our end design.
Jay Hathaway: Another thing that’s really cool about the mods is that you’ll see them do stuff with it, you know, in the community that it was never really intended to do. Like, when you see them mod it out and it’s a first person shooter. You know? It’s like, “Oh my God, I never intended the animation to look like that,” but it still holds up, and the textures and stuff. And I always find that amazing that that works.
Q: I was wondering; what kind of programs do you guys use to design your models and animations?
Samwise Didier: We don’t know, I guess.
Brian Sousa: No, no. For modeling we mostly use 3D Studio Max. And everybody pretty much relies on Photoshop for any digital painting or texturing. For animating…
Jay Hathaway: I use 3D Max for animating. A lot of people like to use Maya. It doesn’t really matter what package you use, all the principles of animation still apply to both, so there isn’t one that’s better than the other.
Q: Hello. This question is for everybody: what’s the favorite thing that you’ve been working on recently?
Samwise Didier: The favorite thing I’ve been working on recently is Blizzard DotA because it’s allowed me to always fulfill the dream that I’ve had of one day creating a Blizzard fighter where – we don’t necessarily have a Street Fighter game where we can have our characters battling each other but this one sort of takes care of that for me. So, I love to see the franchises duking it out in a non-lore-screwing-up environment. For all the lore people out there, it’s just for fun. It’s just fun. So that would be my favorite. Mister Dilling?
Allen Dilling: I have to agree that the DotA map is probably our favorite ones because, again, like you said, we get to do something outside the norm. We get to make a tileset that doesn’t have to be like, “Oh, and planet so-and-so, and you know, fifty years ago, Kerrigan did this, and it has to be like that.” We enjoy the franchise a lot and the lore and history that goes with it and we have a great time with it, but sometimes it’s fun just to do something totally random and off the beaten path a little bit.
Jay Hathaway: I really enjoyed working on the abomination. He’s a lot of fun. I mean, when you look at him, you’re just like, “Aw, that’s so cool! I want to make this thing look so fat,” and yet he’s really super fast. And I went back to Phil Gonzales on him, and I’m like, “You know what that guys needs? He needs more fat back-boobs on him.” So he went in and he remodeled it for me and stuff, and I put in some bones and made it all jiggly and stuff and it worked out really good. So, he was a lot of fun.
Brian Sousa: Well, for me I’m actually trying to do a little more concept work especially for Heart of the Swarm. So, trying to get back into doing some painting which I’ve been neglecting for the past couple years and tightening up those skills. So I’m actually enjoying learning again.
Q: Hi. For the Warcraft III art tools, they used a very very old version of 3DS Max. For the new art tools for StarCraft II, will you be using – will it be compatible with the most up-to-date version, or will we have to go to, like, version six or seven or…?
Allen Dilling: I think we’re going through like a 3D Studio release one, possibly. No, that’s a really old old old, in case somebody –
Samwise Didier: Geek jokes! Alright!
Jay Hathaway: You’ll have to work on your Amiga for that one.
Allen Dilling: Actually, we were not going to release a whole lot of information about that right now, except for, “We are going to release art tools sometime in the future.” But the plan right now, basically, is to have it to be the most up-to-date version possible. At the time we release the tools. So I can’t say what version that is, but yeah, we’re trying to keep it a lot more current than the old War3 tools.
Q: My question is about the art direction for the next expansion. Like, the current Wings of Liberty had a really big difference in art direction from the original StarCraft. I’m wondering if, like, there’s some new artists that are influencing your art direction for Heart of the Swarm.
Samwise Didier: No, we have the same team that worked on StarCraft. Basically, like, Brian Sousa back here was also on the original StarCraft, myself, a lot of the artists on the team are from the original StarCraft. So, the way that we’re going to be proceeding with Heart of the Swarm is sort of the same that we did with Wings of Liberty, is take kind of what the basic direction of the original is and then try to update it to a new 2010 sort of look. You know, we’re dealing with a 3D game now, so things are going to look a lot more sharp and crisp than the ten-pixel-high Zealot we used to have in, you know, 1998.
Brian Sousa: Well, we’ve all learned so much from StarCraft 1, and the designs and everything, we’ve pushed it to the next level I think. If you look back, a lot of the art is similar to StarCraft 1 but when we have a 256 palette to work with versus now the 16 million palette, we can get so much more colors and details into these that we couldn’t have before.
Samwise Didier: But it’ll basically look more with, like, Wings of Liberty than StarCraft: Broodwar.
Q: Hi. So, when working on StarCraft II on the art side, what was the most frustrating problematic thing that you had to deal with?
Samwise Didier: The art team, mostly. It was so hard to get them to do anything that I wanted. No, I’m just teasing. One of the things that was actually kind of a pain to deal with was, we had all just come from working on Warcraft III and The Frozen Throne. We had come from working on some World of Warcraft, so now we were in a sci-fi world. And, a lot of times, our stuff started looking a little bit too bright or a little bit too super-heroic in proportion, a little bit too bouncy in the animation, so we had to regear ourselves to kind of learn what StarCraft was again. And I like to make the joke, we would have something on the screen – okay, scale the head down by a little bit, by fifteen percent. Scale the hands down fifteen percent. Drop the saturation, that’s like kind of the brightness of the color. Make that about fifteen percent less. And then it started looking more StarCraft. So, whenever we make something that is looking a little too Warcraft or something, we just say, “Hey, fifteen that,” and they kind of know what to do and it turns out looking like StarCraft. Yeah, for me that was one of the most difficult things we had to do is, try to keep StarCraft, StarCraft, and make sure Warcraft stayed over where Warcraft was.
Brian Sousa: I just want to say something, because – Dave Berggren isn’t here right now, he’s lead environment artist, but I think if you just mention cliffs to him, he will know exactly what you’re talking about. I think he was in cliff hell for about three years making and designing all of the cliffs for StarCraft.
Samwise Didier: How many pieces do the cliffs add up to?
Brian Sousa: There’s over two hundred.
Samwise Didier: There’s over two hundred different versions of cliffs in StarCraft that need to be able to fit together and not have big screw-ups in it.
Brian Sousa: And then for all the different ones too, because there’s Protoss cliffs and there’s Terran cliffs and there’s, like, natural cliffs. So, all of those had to be modeled by hand by Dave one piece at a time.
Jay Hathaway: So, Berggren means “cliff-builder” in German.
Q: So, I had a question there. I’ve noticed some people have managed to import models from World of Warcraft into StarCraft II and I was just curious what you guys felt about that.
Samwise Didier: Uh, it – it looks cool. [laughs] You know, I hope one day we can be able to support it where people can, you know, maybe make their own models and stuff like that, but I don’t know logistic-wise or anything like that how the company’s stand on it is, but when I first saw that I thought that it was pretty cool seeing that. Not that I condone it. Because I don’t know if I’m allowed to or not. But it was kind of funny seeing that in our game – Warcraft stuff. That’s why we made Blizz DotA. Heh. Just kidding.
Q: Hi. I was just wondering if you could tell me who the main artists were that designed the look of the character Tychus Findlay, or was it just a whole bunch of people?
Samwise Didier: I believe the guy who did the concept of the marine armor, Joe Peterson, he’s still working with us, stuff like that. He designed all the intricate details and everything, and the guy who actually modeled that, I believe is Fausto de Martini. Both guys still at the company, but they – that marine armor is so frigging intricate, it’s – if you look at the front of it, it almost looks like a Volkswagen looking at you, because it has the lights here and the round – every time I see that now, I think of a Volkswagen. Yeah, and it’s so difficult to draw because of the perspective on it. I – not known for my perspective, as you can tell by my character proportions – so, yeah, the guys who had worked on the marine armor: Joe Peterson and Fausto de Martini.
Q: The artwork where it shows all of Raynor’s Raiders together – or I mean, Heaven’s Devils. That sepia-toned one. Who drew that? Because I couldn’t find the signature.
Samwise Didier: It was someone on our cinematic team. They were responsible for a lot of the pictures that you’d see in the bar room in StarCraft, or in the postcards, or things like that. They handled a lot of that. I’m not sure if – in the art book, it’s in there. I don’t know if you can see a signature on there, but – yeah, I’m not sure who did that one, sorry.
Q: This is for the DotA game question thing. The question is, I know you guys are going to make new – that you’re going to continue to create characters for the game, or are you going to actually create characters hundred percent new that aren’t in either of the games for the game?
Samwise Didier: If we have a really fun idea for it, I think we will. It’s just, it’s tough when we’re – we have these three properties, StarCraft, Warcraft, and Diablo, that have so many just iconic characters. I think we’re going to hit a lot of those first and then if some sort of thing pops up, like – you know when people were talking about Diablo and we did the little Diablo My Little Pony shirt with the rainbow? Like, we just made up some new thing that was kind of funny? You can probably bet that we’re going to be doing something like that one if some cultural, iconic character springs up in one of the universes or just though fan stuff, you know we’ll definitely hit that. Like, a Leroy Jenkins sort of thing. Who knows if he would ever end up in there? I think people would really like it and it would be fun to do. [laughter from background] Yeah, exactly. Everyone, let’s hear a “Leroy Jenkins”! Let’s hear it. [audience yells “Leroy Jenkins”] I thought this was a StarCraft panel, what’s going on here? [laughs] Alright, so, yeah, I hope that answers your question. So, we also – don’t start leaving right now, because we actually have a – after the questions are done, we have a small surprise for you guys.
Q: Hi guys. I’m an aspiring modeler as well, and I was curious how much you guys go from, like, procedural animation or just traditional art or if you guys have a nice mixture in-between. Because I know a lot of guys that are more on the technical aspect and less on the aesthetic aspect and then they make a nice mix. What do you guys think about that?
Jay Hathaway: Do you mean – by procedural, you mean by motion capture? Is that –
Q: Um… I’m not sure what I mean by procedural. More along the lines of coding and scripting into your artwork.
Jay Hathaway: Well, in the game, you know, we have a game engine that makes, you know, the characters move around. And we do traditional animation that works with the game code, so it’s kind of a cross between both, I guess.
Brian Sousa: Well, as a – whatever, production artist, most of our stuff is traditional, like, everything we do is hand-painted, textures and hand models, so there’s no, like – until it gets actually into the game, is when the computer kind of takes over. But Jay draws – I mean, animates everything by hand, everything’s, you know, all done by hand and the same thing with the textures and the modeling. Everything’s done – and some of us – our team is really small, so we take it almost all the way through, like, I’ll take a – I’ll do my own concept work, I’ll do my own, like, modeling and texturing, and then if it does need to be animated, then we’ll take it to the professional here, Jay, so… But he does it all by hand also, so. It’s not like we have a computer that, “Oh, this is a walk cycle,” and we just throw it on there.
Allen Dilling: That said, we also have – we work together, we have two technical artists, and we work together with him to –
Samwise Didier: [hand on Allen Dilling’s shoulder, gives accepting nod] How’s it going?
Allen Dilling: Good.
Samwise Didier: [laughs] Sorry, go ahead.
Allen Dilling: God, attention hog. Geez. It’s because you have long hair and you have rock and roll. [chuckles] Um, where was I? Talking about some boring sutff – oh, technical artists, that’s right. So, we work together with technical artists and the programmers to actually figure out some of the art limits. Like how many bones we can have in the character for instance. Like, you know, can we actually afford to put fingerbones in there? You know, the joints, how detailed we can get. So, there is a lot of collaboration with that, involved with the pure art side, we don’t just go off and make crazy stuff. It’s got to work in the engine. We understand there’s not just one unit on the game, there’s five hundred battling with nukes going off, and so, in that regard, as far as limitations of it, and how to best solve certain problems, like, you know, trying to make a cool snakey Zerg tail, and how that’s going to run sufficiently in the engine. We definitely talk to the programmers and the tech artists about that stuff. So yeah, we definitely work with them.
Q: I was wondering if you ever, like, browse fan websites and seen their fanart and fan concepts? Did you ever maybe borrow them or ask permission to use any of those concepts before? Like, inspired by them?
Samwise Didier: No, usually the only fanart – specific, like, Blizzard-related fanart, I mean I look at a lot of the art sites, like, you know, ConceptArt and deviantART, things like that. You know, people will fort around cool artists. But the fansites I particularly look at are the ones that – I moderate the fansite that – not the actual fansite, but I look at the submissions that we get at Blizzard for the fanart. So, the fanart that goes up on our site, I kind of go through all the different art, select the ones that I think look the coolest and put them in the appropriate folders and then they update them. But as far as taking ideas from the fansites, it’s kind of difficult because we have so many artists on our team, that have a billion ideas that they’ll send you e-mails constantly and you have to look through them and – but yeah, I think maybe if we had a shortage of ideas, but as it is now, we’re still trying to get in – the reason why we made StarCraft II is to get all the ideas from the original StarCraft into the game that we wanted, it seems. So, we have a ton of ideas for you guys, so we’re not running dry yet.