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Interview with Atomhawk Design: The Realm


By 3DTotal

Web: http://www.therealmgame.com/ (will open in new window)
Email: moc.kwahmota@ofni

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Date Added: 24th April 2013
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Our good friends over at Atomhawk Design have just launched their Kickstarter project The Realm, a point and click adventure game with some charming artwork. We catch up with Ron Ashtiani to see what it's really like to work at the design studio and get to know the game in a little more depth.

For anyone who is new to the world of digital art, or who is unaware of Atomhawk Design, could you tell us a little about who you are, the exciting projects you have worked on and what the future holds?

Atomhawk was founded by four artists from Midway Games back in 2009, with the vision of creating one of the world's best creative studios and creating the best art we could muster for games, films and digital projects. We had no idea at the time just how big some of the projects we might work on would be.

We've been in business for four years now and the team has expanded to 20 and includes some of the industry's best artists. We've worked on over 20 projects including games like Mortal Kombat, Driver, Dead Island, Devil May Cry and most recently Injustice for Warner Bros. We've also worked on J.K Rowling's online Harry Potter experience "Pottermore" and have provided concept art for a number of AAA Hollywood movies... that we can't talk about just yet (Laughs).

We have also been successfully designing outside of the traditional concept art work we're known for, providing user interface and user experience design for a number of devices and applications, especially for touchscreen devices.

As for the future? That is a tough one. I guess we just want to keep doing what we are doing as it seems to be working for us. I think key areas of expansion will be more movie work and UI/UX design, but concept and marketing art for games will always be core for us as it's where we all came from.

As many of our site users will know, 3DTotal created the fantastic book The Art of Atomhawk Design,

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which is a tantalizing insight into how your creative minds work together on each project. What kind of artwork and unique design elements should we expect to see in the concepts for The Realm?

The Realm is a beautiful and enthralling adventure game. Its engrossing story explores the growing bond between the two central characters. We are huge fans of the great point and click adventure games of the past, and of the emotional storytelling seen in epic journeys like Ico.

The story follows a young girl called Sarina, who embarks on an epic quest to save her dying mother. On the way she befriends Toru, a giant stone golem, and the unlikely couple go on a treacherous adventure together, across wild and beautiful lands.

We developed an art style that combines the finish and quality of lighting that you see in western fantasy art, and then combined it with the color palette, unusual location and heartwarming character relationships, influenced by Japanese creators like Miyazaki.

The Realm is set in the far distant future, when the world has been reclaimed by nature. Once proud cities now lie abandoned; overgrown with strange plants and twisted vines. Magic and mysticism has returned to earth and there are strange creatures lurking in the forests.

We wanted to stay well away from dark and moody future dystopias, and try to focus more on nature and how it can be both beautiful and deadly - often both at the same time!

We've tried to capture an almost Disney-esque quality in the characters, so they can be

appreciated by both genders and a range of age groups. This is something that was a lot harder than we thought it would be when we started; there's a reason why Disney have stayed on top of their game for so long!

The world features our local city of Newcastle, but significantly altered. The people of this world are our distant descendant. They haven't reverted back to being cavemen; they have just returned to simpler ways like farming, hunting, etc., but have taken some of the modern building knowledge we have today and applied it to rustic materials (very evident in our village designs).

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 196321, pid: 0) Ransford Ohene Wiredu on Tue, 07 May 2013 5:11pm
I like this project it will be awesome
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(ID: 195204, pid: 0) Atomhawk on Wed, 01 May 2013 3:06pm
We'd have loved to make a bigger game but Kickstarter budgets can only get us so far ;)
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(ID: 194632, pid: 0) Sanstin on Sat, 27 April 2013 6:23pm
My words exactly; you can't put such great beautiful artwork into just a point and click. Please guys if you read this try a plat-former or free roaming. Riven and Myst guys are long done and they were the masters. Let's keep moving forward.
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(ID: 193984, pid: 0) Nico on Wed, 24 April 2013 1:00pm
The design is absolutely gorgeous, a shame I'm not into point and click. Best of luck to them!
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