38 Studios at Comic-con - Exclusive Concept Art!

38 Studios which was formally known in the community as Green Monster Games made an appearance at Comic-con this year and we had the privilege to meet with them on Friday.

We sat down with Thom Ang, Scott Cuthbertson and Mary Kirchoff to talk about their first game in development code named "Copernicus", though despite our greatest efforts, we were still unable to get a real look at. To our disappointment they didn't announce or show Copernicus on an official level this year but according to Mary, they 'didn't want to reveal anything if they couldn't reveal everything'.

Thom, who was very recently hired and thrown into the 38 Studios frying pan, took charge from early on and made it clear that he wanted to talk about the concept art that they had to show us. One of the first topics of our conversation was "Idealized Reality", which is going to be the official art standard or rather ‘calling card' of 38 studios. The vision is that a game enthusiast will be able to look at a screenshot or video and be able to tell that it's a 38 Studios game. They certainly seem as if they all have a very clear idea about the direction of the art: this game is going to be visually stunning.

We talked a little about the art team makeup and how Todd Mcfarlane has played into how things are created. There are 4 art leads on the team handling different areas of the game all with their own unique expertise. Thom commented on how hands on Todd has been and how he is in the office all the time giving his feedback and making sure everyone is on the same collective page.

"I feel like I've been handed the best team in the world" - Thom Ang, Director of Art


At one point we talked about how all cultural areas will look very different and diverse. Some of the examples we were shown backed those statements up. Remember how EverQuest was when it launched? Wood Elves in suspended tree cities, Dark Elves in dark and shadowy hovels, Dwarves inside a mountain kingdom carved of stone - you get the idea. This is exactly what they seem to be going for and with the art direction I think they can pull it off. I asked how easy it would be to reproduce these types of art assets down the road; obviously concerned about the longevity of the game. Thom replied that he felt as if only their current team would be able to produce "Idealized Reality" art. As a long time gamer, that does concern me.

Naturally at this point in the conversation I started to remember some of the things I hated about newer MMORPG's: namely EverQuest II; recycling art assets, i.e. using the art of old areas and repopulating them with new enemies. I made a comment about how hard the art sounds like it will be to produce and wondered if the art would be ninja reused as a shortcut technique to develop new content later on. Thom, smiling at this point told me that anytime you have an art asset you're going to try to use it as much as possible but he said confidently, "we're working on ways to make everything look new".

Switching gears, we started asking questions about the front & back end, storyline, rating, possible baseball mini games - no seriously, we asked but received a humorous "No". I did ask about the rating that they were going for and if they anticipated a game with suggestive themes, gore, language, drinking ale in taverns, etc. 38 Studios is really going for a teen rating for Copernicus at this time.

"Our larger goal is to tell the story" - Mary Kirchoff, Chief Marketing Officer

Having already gone over the amount of time we were going to spend with 38 Studios, we still found ourselves captivated about what we were being told. In turn, we were still asking questions and begging to see screenshots of the game. They were nice enough to give us two exclusive pieces of concept art which I've attached to this article. I hope that they get you as excited to see the real thing as they did with me!

During an interview published on the 38 Studios Website Brett Close, President and CEO of 38 studios said "We're in a situation where we really have a lot of freedom to build the best products possible. I truly believe we're unstoppable". When I first saw that, I laughed; after hearing what Thom, Scott and Mary had to say about the game - I'm starting to believe.

Andrew "Tamat" Beegle


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# Jul 29 2008 at 9:25 AM Rating: Excellent
1,154 posts
That art they gave makes me want to hop into that world RIGHT NOW! *cries*
Copernicus Interview
# Jul 28 2008 at 7:04 PM Rating: Excellent
2,703 posts
Hmm, very neat. It will be interesting to see where this goes. Concept art looks beautiful, hopefully that translates into the physical game.
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