Shiverpeaks (GW2)  

Guild Wars 2
The Shiverpeaks are the longest mountain range in the world, running from the hot jungles to the south, through the dusty and forested areas of eastern Ascalon, up into the snowy wild lands of the icy north. They are populated by the independent Norn, a bold race of survivalists who prize strength and courage in the hunt. Where once the Norn were a legend, now they are an established culture, mastering the mountains around them with rugged self-reliance.

The great Lodge of Hoelbrak provides a meeting place for Norn adventurers to tell their tales, and for their expert ironsmiths to trade some of their finest wares in the world. The Norn revel in their harsh surroundings, allying with the warlike Charr in ferocious common interest: the thrill of battle. From the impressive mountain vistas to the lost Dwarves ruins, the Shiverpeaks provides a land of discovery for players to explore.

The various races of the Shiverpeaks have to deal with harsh cold and difficult terrain, and the buildings and dress had to show a certain care for the environment. The Kodan, in particular, were based on polar bears, so their clothing and armour had to show they were wearing the material for show, and for protection-not because they were particularly cold.

The artisitd came up with this fascinating idea - a city, floating on an iceberg in the cold northern seas. Although the design staff had no plans for such a thing at the time; the image was so evocative and amazing they immediately had to find a place to include it.

We saw the Norn race briefly in Guild Wars: Eye of the North, but in guild Wars 2 we wanted to expand on them and really develop their culture. Their reverence for the spirits of the wild, their independence and strength, these were things we wanted to bring out when concepting their art and atmosphere.

We wanted the Shiverpeaks to feel weighty, like heavy drifts of snow against twisted trees. The creatures living there have the same heaviness, a certain solidity and depth.

The Norn are a warrior race, who value the resilience and strength brought about by generations of living in dangerous territory. Unlike the charr, who fight to dominate and conquer, the norn fight to challenge themselves and test thir ability against powerful opponents.

In character and creature design, it's important to use all available avenues to communicate persona to the player. For example, armour design stemming from research of real cultures can tell players a lot about a race. Accessories, tattoos, weapons, colour palates, textures, even wear and tear reinforce a character's theme, helping both story and game play.

A hundred and fifty years ago, the second of the great dragons awakened in the far north, dividing the norn into the southern Shiverpeaks. Some creatures - and Norn - were not lucky enough to escape the dragon, and became corrupted by his icy power. We foreshadowed this in Guild Wars: Eye of the North, but it got better and better in concept art for Guild Wars 2.

Often a simple black and white sketch will suffice to let a modeller know the basic design of an object of environment. However, in the early stages if developing a new region, fully rendered concepts are crucial to establish the mood and feeling an area should ultimately evoke in the game. A fully rendered piece of concept art can inform everything from general level design down to textures and lighting.

The horrible fleshreavers are one of our most disturbing monsters. Born as little more then a skeletal structure; the parents assure the survival of their young by layering dead muscle, tissue and flesh over the delicate newborn. A fledgeing fleshreaver must continue the handiwork of its parents, aquiring new flesh pieces and musculature to attach to its skeletal structure in order to supplant its rapidly growing form.

Ancient Dwarves ruins and new dredge construction, as well as the work of other, lesser races, pockmark the imposing mountain vistas. We wanted the Shiverpeaks to feel like a place of discovery, where unique and interesting things are often hidden just beyond the next row of peaks.

Even beneath the ground, there are impressive locations and compelling settings where adventures can occur. Discovering these, and exploring their secrets, is one of the most wonderful things about Guild Wars.

Category: Guild Wars 2
This page last modified 2011-01-14 03:51:14.