Fashion isn’t typically a topic I show any interest in, but so long as it has anything to do with Guild Wars 2 I am game. ArenaNet released a new blog on their website today discussing design and fashion in their upcoming MMO. If you spent any time with the original Guild Wars then you can understand just how important this area is to ArenaNet. I think it’s safe to say that we can expect above and beyond that in Guild Wars 2.
Character artist Kristen Perry delves into the differences between design in Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2:
“Oh good golly, we had to completely reinvent ourselves. There are leagues of difference in terms of process and result between Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. Perhaps one of the most significant new tools is the use of normal maps. For the first time, we can make use of much higher modeling techniques to add richness to an otherwise modest poly budget. We do have more polys to throw around as well, but there’s a lot to be said for the smoke-and-mirror use of a good normal map. I think perhaps what I love the most, besides normals and the fun of 3D sculpting, would be the silhouette polys I can now add and the higher texture resolution that goes with it. A collar may have edge depth, whereas before it may have just been a texture shadow. I can add more fullness to forms and folds and really get a nice layered look.”
I’ll mention it again, I know little about fashion, but it’s hard not to become interested when someone like Kristen sounds so passionate about her work. It’s not an area that’s typically discussed in gaming, but the amount of detail and background required to work in the area must be astounding.
In reference to fashion design principles with regards to race, Kristen had this to say:
“…focusing on the details and traits that are unique to the race culture will add to the overall world direction. As with any project, all these pieces need to work well together: environment, props, characters, etc. So for the humans, I needed to design in the vein of what, for example, Divinity’s Reach townsfolk might look like. What would a pauper in Divinity’s Reach look like? Or a noble? A merchant? They all have to fit their roles and fit well together.
Humans are probably the most familiar and flexible of the designs, as folks will wear just about anything. However, pulling from particular time periods in history is just the start. Though Divinity’s Reach does have a distinct flavor, this is also a fantasy environment, so my methods are more about designing a convincing, functional outfit – with a twist.”
The design process that must go on behind each race and their clothing must be very complex, but that how you know that Guild Wars 2 is something to look forward to. The unique aesthetic look that Guild Wars had is being carried into its sequel and appears stronger than ever. How much longer can they make us wait?
Any thoughts on the fashion of Guild Wars 2, Ranters? Make sure to check out the full article to hear more on Kristen’s design process.
Source: Guild Wars 2 Blog