As we gear up for the launch of Heroes this month, we asked our Art team to give us a behind the scenes look into how they decided on an art direction for the upcoming release of Heroes!
The design of the Hero cards appearance was some of the earliest work we did for the feature. With limited space, how could we showcase these characters while still conveying all the necessary mechanical information?
We explored several different options in terms of placement and shape. While we considered unique designs based on each character, ultimately we liked invoking the feeling of a real deck of cards. That meant keeping more of a consistent, rectangular silhouette for the frame, with the heaviest visual elements being the character and their name in the center.
Rarity and Progression
Color is another great way to communicate information. We utilized VFX, color on the background and frame, and increasing particle intensity to visualize card rarities.
Leveling up a Hero is a big moment, and we wanted that progression to feel special. Notice how the frame on Daenerys’ card begins to crack and reveal more of that fiery core as her stars increase.
Increasing the star level on a Hero not only increases their stat values, but also slowly amps up the visual value of the card as we add more fanfare leading up to maxed out Hero.
Like all assets in the Game of Thrones: Conquest, we aimed to have these cards feel like they could realistically be forged and assembled in the world of Westeros.
Using a cast metal material for the overall frame gives the card a heavy, physical feel. We chose to have the card back art be a separate 3D mesh insert that can be replaced with future designs. For the release of Heroes, we decided to go with a design reminiscent of the familiar astrolabe in the Game of Thrones TV show intro. 3D tools such as ZBrush and Substance Painter help us achieve that goal while also letting us quickly iterate materials and concepts.
We hope you enjoyed this look into the process of designing these Hero cards! You can read more about this feature in our announcement here.