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)

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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.


Tango. Duke Nukem Jr.


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




My favorite:


Jackal. Preppie mastermind:




And my personal favorite Jackal design:


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)






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.