News: Over three years were spent in pre-production for the architecture of Dishonored’s central city Dunwall, more than any movie ever, the team behind the game’s astonishing visual design have revealed.
“Very rarely in the life of a developer do you get to start a brand new IP. Mostly everything successful is a sequel today,” said Viktor Antonov, Visual Design Director for Zenimax as he introduced an astonishing presentation on the visual work that went into creating the world of Dishonored.
They focused in on the city of Dunwall itself, Antonov says, because “there are not enough science fiction places done properly these days,” and he cited the films Metropolis and Blade Runner as key influences in their city-building.
But their efforts to create an entirely convincing world from scratch went far beyond any film, with Dishonored being “probably the biggest pre-production of architecture in any game ever, and bigger than any film I have heard of.”
When searching for architectural influences, the Arkane Studios team first asked: “How can we make something that is contemporary and cool, but also a period piece?”
This led them to focus in on London: “It had to be Europe. London had Jack the Ripper, a lot of Steampunk and had a lot of science fiction associations, but hadn’t been used much recently. London is both exotic and familiar to Americans and Europeans.”
Dishonored’s strict focus on the city setting rather than a larger world to explore was deliberate, Antonov said, with Dishonored being “not about quantity but instead quality and density of experience.”
“We have a world that is handcrafted,” Antonov said, rightfully proud of an astonishing design effort. “Every detail, every smokestack, every light would have a meaning and a story to it. They all obey the rules of the God that is the game world.”
You can keep up with all the latest Develop Conference 2012 news here at BeefJack.