With the release of Arkane Studio’s Deathloop right around the corner, the developer is sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the game. Specifically, the Lead Character Artist for the game is offering a detailed dive into how the game’s main characters, Colt and Julianna, went from concept to reality.
In a lengthy post on the official PlayStation Blog, Assistant Art Director and Lead Character Artist for Arkane Studios Jean-Baptiste Ferder went into how the game’s characters were created from their personalities, quirks, and flaws to their badass final designs and everything in-between. As Ferder explains, this all began with the same question that any new project from the studio begins with; “What do we want to retain from our previous titles and what do we want to push in other directions?”. For Deathloop, this meant keeping the stylized cloth and anatomy that is identified with the studio’s Dishonored franchise, while introducing more realism with proportions and anatomy.
Another big factor in the creation of Colt and Julianna was the setting for Deathloop. Once the Art Director for the game introduced the idea of grounding Deathloop in the 1960’s, the team ran with it: “We gathered hundreds of references and looked at important figures from the fashion world of the 1960s. Courrèges’ clothing, Pierre Cardin’s vibrant colors, Vidal Sassoon’s distinctive hair styling, and many, many more.”
When it comes to how Colt and Julianna looked, the two were always conceived as a “stylish fighting duo”. Ferder shares that the team always knew that the two would have “tons of dialogue and interaction with one another, and we wanted them both to look elegant and engaging”. To achieve this, the team took extra care into how each character dressed.
For Cole, his primary outfit is straightforward and immediately tells you a lot about the character. The team knew very early on that Cole would be a veteran pilot from the military and that would be obvious in his outfit: “He wears an old pilot leather jacket he cherishes (or he would if he could remember why he was wearing it), and heavy leather gloves. Thanks to his background, he knows his way around firearms and how to behave on a battlefield. Even despite his amnesia, his military-trained reflexes will save his life more than once”.
Meanwhile, Julianna’s clothing speaks more to her fighting style than her background: “Julianna’s jacket is purposely loose and oversized. She is dressed in tight elastane pants to be free of movement, implying she is fast and agile. The gloves she wears are inspired by archery gloves to evoke the fact she’s a hunter”.
The creative team on Deathloop wanted every small detail to tell a story and this is evident in the care they took with Colt and Julianna’s design. As you play through the game, pay close attention to what the characters wear as it may reveal some hidden motivations and background information otherwise overlooked.