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.