Star charts have an amazing aesthetic that feels foreign and esoteric, but mesmerizingly detailed. Combined with the use of astronomical symbols, I sought to create an art direction that gave the sense that you're peeking into this whole other alien universe through the perspective of its inhabitants.
A memorable color signature can really help a game stand out. Like any design decision, color should always point towards the story or experience you think will engage the audience. I always want to find colors that are unexpected and complex, but functional and serve the story and setting.
There's an inner child in me that guides almost everything I work on. The sense of wonder I had when experiencing new worlds when I was young is one of my biggest reasons for creating games and settings.
From the perspective of the work that I produce, the gaming industry allows the rare opportunity for me to create a complete product. For most of the games I work on, everything in the box, and the box itself, is designed by me (apart from the game itself of course!), and that level of ownership is pretty rare.
Working freelance isn’t for everybody. You have to manage your time and your workload as well as deal with crunch periods (or self-doubt in the opposite situation). It’s often a good idea to go for projects for which you don’t necessarily think you’d fit, as they often are a good opportunity to try out some new things.
With any game design, before making a big change, you have to understand what the problems are that you are solving. My process is to find what's fun about the game and design everything else around it in support of that fun.
I was so pleased to be able to work with such a diverse brief because diversity REPRESENTS. The idea was to include several characters with some cultural-anatomical features. Latin people, Asian people, Arab people, white people, gender fluid or/and androgynous people/trans people, curvy people, gay people. I think this is the right direction to work in. Visibility matters.
Although we were using a lot of fantasy tropes, I always found it odd how so much of fantasy was so white. It made sense in Tolkien's days, but being persons of color ourselves we felt like why not create a world where our heroes could be from other backgrounds?
I look back on the work from those years and it seems like every brush stroke and ink spatter holds some little story of personal struggle, tragedy, or triumph. I chose to inject humor and lightness into when my day was painfully absent of it, or some little bit of cartoony pathos and sadness when that's what I needed to vent at the moment. They're just weird little cartoon cards, but there's a lot of my heart in them.