When we work with illustrators, we’re still using much the same process as we did with King of Dragon Pass. We first get a thumbnail sketch to figure out the basic layout of the illustration, then get a more refined pencil sketch. We’ve also been reviewing an inked version, and then a colored version. Some of these terms are no longer as literal as they were back in the 1990s (more artists are using a digital process, so there may not be actual pencils or ink pens involved), but the same basic idea of refinement is the same.

One thing I’ve found a bit different in this project is what different artists consider as a thumbnail. I had never seen color used in a thumbnail before, but two artists have done so. And some of the thumbnails are very polished.

A few artists will also produce a lot of alternatives (in one case, a thumbnail was so different that it generated a new scene).

Here’s a representative sample, from five of our artists.


I chose these to show the range of detail. Some of these may not actually end up in the game. But they’re all perfectly good thumbnails that start the process of illustrating an interactive scene.

Author: David

Creator of Six Ages and King of Dragon Pass

9 thoughts on “Thumbnails”

  1. Looking very promising! You’re right, that last thumbnail looks almost as detailed as a final product 🙂

    I’m glad you’re going with custom illustrations for the in-game scenes themselves; they really helped KoDP come to life. If you’ve had contact with Moon Design Publications about the project, I wonder if they’d be open to letting you reuse or adapt some of their extensive art library in places where there’s a good fit (perhaps in background or lore screens etc). There is lots of great stuff in past publications and the recent Guide to Glorantha (much of it by KoDP artists like Jan Pospisil):

    1. We are definitely in contact with Moon Design, and worked together on a map. At the moment I don’t think there’s existing art we would want to use directly, though the Lore screen has not gotten a lot of attention yet.

      Jan Pospíšil is the lead artist for Six Ages.

  2. Interesting insights, as always! I’m curious, how do you deal with keeping the style consistent between different artists? Do you give them all a general direction/examples to mimic, or simply look for artists whose styles are naturally similar?

    1. Both. Jan defined a baseline style, and I try to find artists who I think can be reasonably comfortable working in a style that’s close to it.

  3. Hello! I’m a massive fan of the series who has easily spent hundreds of hours playing this game, and have bought several of my friends a copy of Dragon Pass. The art, music, and mixture of genres and the incredible lore all mixed together truly make this game something special. I do however, have a favor to ask!

    I love sending my sagas to other players, but considering how many nobles and how long a game can go, keeping track of who is who is nearly impossible without reloading to a pervious save. Is there any way in the Six Ages that, for example, we can get a graveyard page so we can click on the image of a dead advisor and what their stats were before they died and how they died? That would truly make things much more enjoyable.

    May your future have many cows!

    Oh, and a second question! Will this game have the same features on IOS and PC, and will they be released at the same time?

    1. The graveyard idea is interesting, I’ll have to think about UI. (Tracking how they died is not something we’re doing, and not sure I want to go back and rework in 150+ places. But we could track when).

      We’re not ready to say anything about release until we have some idea when it will be (that is, with a lot less uncertainty than there is now).

      1. Thank you for considering it! When you have a ninety year long saga it’s hard to remember names, but I guess perhaps putting it in the saga screen itself, and organized by date of death?

        1. Yeah, the Saga screen is one thing I’d thought of, but it doesn’t really have a lot of extra space. Then again, what does on a mobile screen?

          1. I’m sure you can think of something! I’m super appreciate it instead of having to reload backwards, and I’m sure others would as well. Even an entirely separate page. Heroes Hall or something like that. Just a screenshot of their stats, face, how they died and when. Bring back memories and want to scroll back to that period, or even change fate!

            Also, will this take before or after Dragon Pass, canon wise?

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