Every year, GameArtisans.org hosts a large game art contest called Dominance War. A premise is given for a video game battle scenario and artist are asked to come up with a game character that fits the specs given. Each year the contest gets bigger, with more prizes, more sponsors, more publicity and more contestants. This year they also added a 2D Concept Art category, where in the past it was just a 3D contest. So I entered with these guys: an Eel-bear amge named Sesslyth and his recalcitrant octopus buddy Ezekiel. Only the top 20 were awaded, and I came in 14th place.

For the Concept Art division, we had to include a full-color posed shot, a sheet full of front, back, and side views, something a 3D artist could build a model from, and one sheet showing miscellaneous development images. And then let everyone create the coolest thing they can.

Here is my posed color shot:

Sesslyth and Ezekiel

This is the model sheet:

Sesslyth Modeling Sheet

And the general concept page:

Sesslyth Concept Sheet

Some works on the heads and early costume ideas:

Sesslyth heads and costume roughs

And some refinement of the outfit:

Sesslyth clothing development

A few quotes from some of the judges:

My first choice, by walrus, looked like a very new and striking character. It possessed a charming personality with lots of wits and humor.
This combination gave this entry many attractive attributes that a team could easily have fun with while putting it into a real game.
- Kyoungseok [Alien1452] Oh - Grigon Entertainment - Concept Artist


Thank you for having such a great sense of humor, Michael. The concept world really needs more of you. The way each character emotes
(even the faceless robo-drone) draws me right in and makes me feel invested. Make no mistake: whether man, mecha or moray,
you are not safe from Sesslyth! Extra props for not taking the all-too-obvious electric eel route.
- Paul Richards - Vigil Games - Concept Artist
(This note was especially cool as I'm a big fan of Paul's concept design work)


This is another entry that caught my eye because of the creativity and humor that went into the design.
This concept brings back the sweet memories of the Earthworm Jim character and I would love to play this guy in a video game! Very inventive!
- Brian Yam - Insomniac Games - Senior Concept Artist


previous image close this window next image

Michael Dashow - 4676 Reinhardt Drive, Oakland, CA. USA - 510-336-2666
mdashow_at_michaeldashow.com - http://www.michaeldashow.com/visdev.html