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Art Direction Summit: Not Just Reinventing the Wheel: The Art of 'Total War: Three Kingdoms'

Pawel Wojs (Art Director, Creative Assembly)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

This talk will be about the approach to art direction on Total War: Three Kingdoms. It will cover the process and challenges faced in taking a very established pop cultural theme and reimagining it within the franchise. As a western team it was important to immerse ourselves in the subject matter, and seek outside expertise to best represent other cultures. To be successful we had to challenge the status quo of a well-established franchise and move forward to modernize, make something more contemporary, and appeal to a new audience. With this came a focus on accessibility, and the entire 15-year-old legacy of Total War UI was redesigned. We will look at at how the style pillars were defined and specifically the way we developed the ink based interface as a foundation to achieving a fundamentally illustrative interface. Overall the talk will attempt to break down the process of developing a distinctive visual style for the game covering the challenges faced and insight into how they were dealt with.


Attendees will learn the importance and means of challenging the status quo of an established franchise, as well as the different approaches to establishing a unique visual style based on an already existing and very popular theme.

Intended Audience

Ideal for artists of all levels and other gaming creatives who are interested in building visual direction and immersion across cultural boundaries