We sat down with the artist responsible for creating new equipment assets every month to look back on the past year of gear. They’ve even shared with us some of their initial sketches for season 5 Gear!

The scale of time that goes into the development process can be hard to grasp, even for something as consistent and predictable as gear releases.

We start our journey 6 months prior to release, with initial theme planning meetings for the entire month/arc.

From our artist on this process: 

“Armor sets all start off with theme brainstorming meetings with Design that look at specific character costumes or general inspirations from events in the show or books.

I gather references from the show, museum pieces, and historical recreations to create sketch concepts of the set as a whole.”

Any rounds of revisions are made until the final concepts are approved. From there, these can be colored and turned into the various assets needed around the game- icons, armory displays, key art, and more!

In the timeline, we are now 2 months prior to release. 

This ensures there’s time to incorporate art assets into our build release schedule, as well as hand these off to other departments that utilize art in promotions. (Which even includes the Community team! Follow us on our Social channels to get a sneak preview of the next gear set each month.)

While theming is nailed down very early, for certain things we do have to wait to make a final call on. For example, a lot can change in the gameplay meta in 6 months, so we like to take more recent gameplay data and feedback to validate that the planned stats and bonuses are still relevant and balanced before implementation.

If you have opinions on gear, make sure you’re telling us over on Discord in our #Gear-Discussion channel every month! Our little birds are listening. 

We also see the impact of time in the naming conventions of sets too. For example, what was initially called the Sandor Clegane set in pre-production months ago is now called the War Hound set.

Speaking of which, that brings us to the present day!

We actually couldn’t get enough of the War Hound set, so we asked our 3D team rig the iconic helm into a lens on Snapchat. (It even opens and closes!)

You can try it out for yourself by scanning the QR code below from your mobile device, or you could use Snap Camera from your desktop to use any of our lenses on video calls!