Jan 25, 2013

The 3D Art of Darksiders 2 And Warhammer40K - And Some Clues About The Unannounced Vigil IP

(Via)
With THQ dissolved and Austin's once prosperous Vigil studios rendered into a mere asset in a bankruptcy hearing (All employees were laid off following not finding a buyer this last week), former employees have started to upload their work to portfolio sites in preparation of finding a new job.

It's a shame to see the company go, because Darksiders 2 and other unreleased Vigil projects (Warhammer 40k, anyone?) were shaping up to have some of the best art direction I've had a chance to experience in a long time. Following the departure of creative director Joe Madueira and some bad decisions on the part of THQ in regards to handling their companies, it definitely didn't pan out for studio's longevity.



A good example of the types of decisions that ultimately sank THQ and marked the beginning of the end, the neutering of the Warhammer 40k: Dark Millenium Online into a single player experience. Having had the chance to talk to some former Vigil folks, it turned out that THQ simply dropped a large scale MMO project (Based off a license no less) onto a developer with only one title under their belt and no experience developing massively multiplayer online games, let alone a team that could properly handle such a massive undertaking. Having to hastily put together a new team inexperienced with working with each other typically never goes very smoothly. Rumors also suggested that Joe Mad wasn't a fan of the Warhammer IP, which probably didn't help.

That said, the work that senior 3D character artist Tohan Kim, lead character artist James Brian Jones (aka 'BoboTheSeal') and character artist Crystel Land created for the entire library of Vigil titles, including the new work posted for Darksiders 1&2 is truly some amazing work, faithfully translating the concepts into awesome stylized models, down to the painterly texture work matching the concepts by Paul Richards, Joe Mad and other folks who once populated their concept team. The interesting thing is that Tohan also uploaded some 3D sculpts titled '???' in the last few hours, perhaps hinting that the work might have been from some of the unannounced IP's included in the THQ bankruptcy hearing. Check them out after the break, along with Bobo's awesome work, and let's appreciate the thousands of hours that talented employees at Vigil spent crafting the beautiful world of Darksiders, a franchise that may as of yet still have a chance of finding a new life at some other studio.












Now the concepts below were uploaded just recently by Tohan with no description aside from a cryptic '???,' perhaps implying that these might be from an unannounced project, especially due to the fact that the models seem to retain that iconic Vigil 'house art style.'







The 3D work below is from the lead character artist at Vigil, who goes by the name of 'Bobo The Seal.' As a bonus, he also uploaded some Warhammer 40K related work from the canceled project.











Crystel Land also recently uploaded a few pieces created for Darksiders 2, although it appears that a good chunk of her time was spent on Warhammer 40k : Dark Millenium Online.







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