Doomseeker: Designer Diary with John Cadice
Doomseeker Designer Diary
by John Cadice, Creative Director
I have been a fan of the Warhammer fantasy world for decades. My earliest hobby memories have always been about playing with toy soldiers, and growing-up immersed in this industry. The time I spent with Games Workshop was time I cherish. Because of that, it was an absolute honor to be considered and to ultimately secure a license to work on and with a Games Workshop property. When deciding on a product to create, the mind reels at the possibilities. Then game design, scope, and reality all come rushing in.
We set out to design a Warhammer experience that is fun, colorful, and playable by anyone; be they fans of Warhammer Fantasy Battle or not. I immediately fell in love with the idea of a simple party game where your goal was simply to die the most glorious death fighting monsters and Chaos in the Old World. And what more fitting and tight theme than that of the dwarf slayer!
I’ll let David Freeman talk about how we went about concepting the game design in a future article. For me, it was all about visualizing and paying homage to the decades of design and evolution of the Warhammer vision of the dwarf warrior and the iron-hard dwarf slayers.
I wanted this project to be rich and full of detail, and really complement the vision of the many contributing creators from Games Workshop over the years into an image of dwarfish splendor. Rich and fiery gold tones emboss and frame the artwork and card backs. Runes and sigils were carefully researched to ornament and fill the corners and out-of-the-way details. A strong visual language designed to represent elements of gameplay is carried across the layouts, and bind up the package of components.
The first thing you will notice when you get your copy of Doomseeker is the shockingly rad artwork of a dwarf slayer in all his fierce manner, standing astride the box cover, battle axe in hand. The work of our in-house designer Daniel Dussault, this awesome illustration has a lot of punch and perfectly suits the cover for a product with such an esteemed pedigree.
With just as much punch, the “DOOMSEEKER” product logo is a stony and unforgiving presence on the cover - its fiery colors and bold, brutal shapes bleed the style and design of the dwarfs, while being a unique logo to itself. Another masterwork from Dan.
As you open the box, and the cards and characters are laid out, bold fiery orange dice, the color of a slayers dyed hair and beard, stand out. The various card backs identifying each type of card, from Grudges, to Dooms, to Treasure, are each lovingly crafted to be thematic and bold. Our illustrator David Lanza takes credit for the game board and the card backs, as we worked long and hard to digest the many years of work from Games Workshop into a unifying theme that binds, as well as separates various components. Fans of the Warhammer Fantasy world will feel right at home.
When planning the fronts of the game cards, we were granted access to a great deal of archive artworks for filling our Doom cards, including wonderful illustrations used over the years from Games Workshops’ own studio, and other licensors like Fantasy Flight and Sabertooth Games. David Lanza and Dan Dussault worked to fill out some of our magic items and treasure cards, portraying runes of power, weapons, and other talismans to fit the theme, all lending to a unified and high quality look for the cards throughout.
But as we began to draw the whole project together, the real icing on the cake was the design of new slayer artworks from illustrator Shen Fei, who had previously illustrated for Games Workshop. We worked together for months to design and render the eight burly and rugged slayers you will find in your box. Each one pulled from the background of the Warhammer world, allowing you to visually explore a Long Drong pirate, a female slayer, and heroic wanderers from various dwarf holds and regions of the Old World. Small hints to their origins are worked into the illustrations, as are their backgrounds.
The cherry on this sundae was to render and illustrate three heroic Dwarf slayers of legend. They will be made available for promotion during the launch months of the game, and I was excited to work with the Games Workshop licensing team to get them just right. So, now with Snorri Nosebiter, Malakai Makaisson, and Gotrek Gurnisson added to the mix, we have a product to be proud of!
So, as fans say goodbye to parts of the Old World, and hello to the Age of Sigmar, we are still proud to present this entertaining and lovingly crafted vision of the dwarf slayers at their height, righting wrongs, fixing grudges, slaying monsters, and stepping off into legend as true heroes!
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