Monday, 25 February 2013

Inspiration: Lionhead Studios

One of the areas I looked to for inspiration on Echoes was Lionhead studios, creators and custodians of the Fable franchise. Their art style is a fantastic mix of exaggeration and classic British sensibilities, and I love the way their animation style matches it perfectly.

Lionhead have a long legacy in the British game industry. Starting out as a breakaway group from Bullfrog Games; makes of beloved classics such as Frogger and Theme Hospital, they produced excellent games in franchises with a great cult following. In 2006, they were acquired by Microsoft and their Fable series became a flagship title for the Xbox consoles.

The first of their games I played was the god simulator; black and white 2, and later the Fable games. Throughout  all their games, Lionhead maintain a consistent visual style and theme. Their games downplay menu navigation in favour of focussing on the art and animation, which strongly contrasts the usual design of strategy and role-playing games.

In my work on Echoes, I want to utilise this same emphasis; keeping the art primary to the game, and not having it subsumed beneath the nitty gritty of gameplay elements. Lionhead’s aesthetic for animation also suits Echoes well, with a chunky, solid feel which helps to place it within the game, and make it feel more alive.

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