If you download and play the demos of Kingdoms of Amalur and Mass Effect 3, you can unlock two different armors and two different weapons for use in their respective game. I think it is a great promotion and I can’t wait to play both demos so that I can get my exclusive content! I believe the demo for Kingdoms of Amalur comes out on the 17th of January, so don’t forget to download it!
For more information about the exclusive content and how to obtain them, visit the Kingdoms of Amalur site. You can also read about it on Kotaku, Game Informer, IGN, and pretty much any other gaming site around.
When Big Huge Games first approached me to design a Shepard inspired armor for Kingdoms of Amalur, to say I was excited is a gross understatement. Mass Effect has always been one of my favorite games, so I was honored to design a Mass Effect armor for the hero in KoA.
I also designed the female version of the armor and I am happy to say that I was allowed to keep the covered up style from Mass Effect’s female armor designs. So for all the fans out there that want functional female armor, you should be happy. It was really fun trying to translate some of the ME design cues into a fantasy based world while not going too far into the sci-fi realm. Hopefully the Mass Effect fans won’t be disappointed.
Several months later Big Huge Games e-mailed me again about creating a marketing illustration featuring both of my armor designs for the Mass Effect 3 and Kingdoms of Amalur crossover. Shepard’s armor is actually an armor I designed previously for Kingdoms of Amalur, with the exception of the helmet. I believe Todd McFarlane may have designed the helmet. I think he did a great job on the helmet and I think it really fits in with the Mass Effect world while still staying true to my armor design.
That is the other crazy thing about working with Big Huge Games. Not only do I get to work on awesome promos with games like Mass Effect 3, but I get to work with Todd McFarlane who has been one of my art heroes since I was a kid. My picture with him when I was 12 still cracks me up.
As it is with most illustrations, this one was not without its trials and tribulations. Since this was a very high profile illustration from two different games and three different companies, a lot of people had their hands in it. Not only did I need approvals from Big Huge Games, but I also had to get approvals from EA and BioWare.
The first final I turned in had a completely different background. Since I was illustrating two different characters from different games and different genres, I tried to keep the background fairly generic. I wanted one that looked like it could possibly belong to both worlds. I really wanted to avoid any architecture since that would be very hard to fit in both worlds.
The image to the left is the mockup I received of the changes they wanted. What I didn’t expect was to completely redo the entire background. I hadn’t kept my characters on separate layers either, so I needed to go back and mask them out before repainting the background. I also need to make the changes by the next day.
It was decided that Shepard needed the iconic background from Mass Effect 3 and the hero from Kingdoms of Amalur needed one as well. Trying to make two different backgrounds, one of which was from space looking down on a planet while the other one was on the surface of a planet, mesh together was a little challenging. I didn’t really want two separate backgrounds with a harsh transition down the middle, so I tried to blend them a little more by using that large rock shard element as the transition point.
As soon as I started blocking in the dark space behind Shepard I realized that my lighting scheme on Shepard was now completely off. I had to rethink my lighting scheme in order to make Shepard fit a little more with his surroundings. I also needed to repaint the Omniblade daggers and make a few other little changes. Ten hours later I turned in my revisions and got approval from all three companies! A few weeks later my painting was released and the crossover was announced. Now hopefully I’ll see it in stores!