December 11, 2016

Designing Characters for Nerf N-Strike Elite

So, this last year I had the awesome opportunity to do a bunch of concept work for EA Salt Lake’s Nerf N-Strike Elite. Now that the game is officially released, I can show some of my work. The majority of my efforts were spent on updating the character designs, but I’ll show a little bit of my other work in some future posts.

In the beginning I was given quite a bit of latitude in the redesign. Early on I did a quick pass of all the characters, without really doing any exploration:

(all images below are Copyright 2009 EA Salt Lake)

Click to Enlarge

S4_lineup_bd

Generally, when developing visual ideas, I like to push the concepts as far as possible, and leave the editing to someone else. This was no exception. After this first pass I was asked to go back and start some exploration on each of the individual characters. These are some of my favorite sketches. There were a lot of crappy ones that didn’t make the cut.

Shane. All American boy.

shane_1shane_2

Tango. Duke Nukem Jr.

Tango_5

Komodo. Fast talking, quick draw specialist. Probably the funnest character to explore.

komodo_sketch_1

komodo_sketch_3

komodo_sketch_5

My favorite:

komodo_sketch

Jackal. Preppie mastermind:

jackal_sketch_1

jackal_sketch_2

jackal_sketch_3

And my personal favorite Jackal design:

Jackal_tight

These designs generated some good ideas, but we wanted to make sure the characters fit the designs of the previous year’s game. With that in mind, we took the art from last year, and painted over it, giving last’s year’s characters a new wardrobe.

(note: the paintings I started with were done by the very talented Xavier Garcia, so the images below are a combination of our work)

Jackal_color

Komodo_color

Raven_color

shane_color

Tango_Color

Lastly, the I created some turnarounds based on this artwork that were sent out to be turned into computer models. After that point, the designs were out of my hands and progressed until their final states. You can see a few of the final models here.

Next post I’ll include a little bit of technical drawing and robot design.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the mention! Personally I loved the style you had in mind initially and I wish “they” hadn’t tried to mold your designs with my style since my initial “instructions” were to be very bland and uncreative, so I’m afraid that dampened your in put in the long run.

    But eh, this stuff happens. Fantastic job as usual.

  2. Fantastic-looking art! I can’t wait to see how the game turns out.

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