The Last Spark
Final Hour Studios
Made with Unreal Engine 4
Primary Role: Concept Artist | Secondary Role: 3D Artist
Project Duration: 05/14/2018 - 06/22/2018
The Last Spark is the adventure of a small hero restoring a once-lively world. Using platforming mechanics, players traverse an environment and save it from a dark corruption. In The Last Spark, there are enemies to overcome or save, items to collect, and secrets to discover. Progression of the game results in a dynamic shift from shadowy, sad environments to fantastically lit, colorful, and lovable ones as you restore them to former their glory.
Character and Creature Design
One of the biggest selling points for The Last Spark was it’s main character, Spark. Whenever I pitch projects, I try to include some art as a hook, but we only had two days to come up with pitches so I whipped up this quick doodle at my work counter and embedded it in the PowerPoint.
The original design for spark included two pieces of cloth that draped from the shoulders, and a third piece of cloth that ran down the back and dragged behind him. Given the we had less than six weeks to make this game, there were immediate changes. The third piece of cloth was too complex to animate in such a short time, and closely resembled elements of the character design from Journey that we didn’t want to steal. The two cloth flaps were eventually conjoined into one rigged object for the sake of easier animation and physics. Once we decided on these changes, I made a set of quick orthographic drawings to help our character artist construct the model.
The time limit that we had to make this game was extremely challenging. What was more challenging was that we only had one character artist, and only one animator, and they were not the same person. In order to have enough time to get the main character and enemies into the game, i had to draft designs very quickly. Originally, I made these quick concepts for three enemies, an additional one to be introduced in each of the game’s three levels.
Scale was a major concern given that our protagonist himself is incredibly small, so at the time I found it easier to just draw him into all of the concept sketches to give a solid reference. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we weren’t able to implement any of the above enemies, so we had to create a different, back up enemy that could recycle an existing character rig.
Fortunately, due to this recycled character rig, we were also able to implement some simple human residents, which I also created orthographics for.
The above piece of concept art was the only finished piece of environment art that I had the time to create, but it served as the main reference for designing the second level. I also created several concept pieces for props that can be found below.
I spent most of my time on this project creating environment and object concepts for the rest of the team to use. In the end I only got to put out one 3D model, but it was used as the base for how other objects were styled. I wanted to go in hard on a hand painted style, but we didn’t have the time to train everyone up to speed on that particular style, so we went with a softer format that still had just stylized enough to give off a whimsical vibe.
In addition to the concept art, I also created these icons to be used in game. We didn’t have much time, so they were drawn by hand, inked, and converted into SVGs in Illustrator.