Monday, January 23, 2017

The Familiar: Fans Give Concept Art New Life

In 2016, we were privileged to publish two issues of the Familiar, a digital magazine filled with unique behind-the-scenes material about the cRPG industry and Baldur's Gate games in particular. Since then, fans have been asking when they'll see issue three.

Dear adventurers, warriors, rogues, clerics, and mages, the Familiar has migrated to our blog as a special ongoing series of community spotlight entries. This will be the place to find great original community content about games you all love.
Julius Borisov
Beamdog Community Manager

For many players, the story of a character begins with the quest to find the perfect portrait.

Avid RPG fans will often spend hours and - in many cases - even days thinking about a future characters’ backstory, attributes, adventuring party, and relationships. All this must be summed up with a single piece of inspiring art to envision as the face of the hero throughout the coming adventure.

We’re always astonished by the level of enthusiasm, creativity and care for detail among the Baldur’s Gate community. And now, thanks to our amazing fans, players all over the world can enjoy their favourite characters with entirely new portraits.

More than a year ago, a fan in our forums, WithinAmnesia, discovered the existance of an early version portrait of Edwin Odesseiron, a well-known Red Wizard of Thay and popular companion in both Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II.

With a bit of digging, the team here at Beamdog found a high-quality digital version of that portrait in the well-maintained archives of Baldur’s Gate artist Mike Sass's hard drive and shared it with the community on the Beamblog.

Fast forward to January 2017 when another Baldur’s Gate fan, Parys on our forums, did a little detective work while digging into the Baldur’s Gate II Demo files and found early, in-progress portraits of the characters who would eventually become Cernd, Anomen, Viconia, and Mazzy.

Of course, the community would never stop at simply sharing these images in black and white. They took these images and began colouring them to create ready-to-use portraits.


Here we see forum users Pecca and lolien offering views on a character who could have been Cernd. For some players, these new portraits may fit the protagonist they’ve always imagined. For others, this portrait could be a base for a brand new interesting NPC they can tell stories around in a future mod.


We also saw an amazing collaboration between Pecca and LavaDelVortel lead to this alternate Mazzy portrait. So cool!

From what we’ve heard, this is only the beginning. Work continues with coloured portraits for concept versions of Viconia and Anomen. We can’t wait to see what the community comes up with!

It’s amazing to see fans still managing to find new easter eggs, dialogues, details, and portraits in the Baldur’s Gate games. What will they find next?

Are you a Baldur’s Gate player? Come join the fun on our forums and experience a whole new side to the series!


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