Project: Z (Zelda)

What is Project: Z?

It’s something like a case study for concept art. The basic idea is to take an existing classic IP and re-imagine it. In this case I’ll be using “The Legend of Zelda” as my subject.

Zelda arrived with our families’ first NES. Its legacy spans approximately 99% of my entire gaming life and is a mainstream definitive classic. It has also seen it’s fair share of style deviations over the years, each with it’s own merits.

In this way it’s like a classic myth which is retold a little differently with each storyteller. As a director might take on Shakespeare with a twist or a comic artist would give their own flair to a Batman series, I would like to attempt “my version” of Z.

The output will be a series of concept art and documentation that would outline a hypothetical version of the game and show my creative process.


Why would you do that?

After 10 years in game development and a lifetime making art, I’m reflecting on what I’ve learned. I’d like to examine my philosophies and methods for effectively crafting a visual direction. I’ll be using this project as a way of displaying and defining those ideas.

I hope that aspiring artists will find a few good ideas that they can employ in their own work and that I can shed some light on the discipline of creating art for games. I also hope to learn more myself, finding gaps and improvements to be made in my process.


But, really… why?

Those are my professional goals; my others are purely nostalgic and childish. As a kid, I spent as much time drawing characters from my favorite games as I did playing the games themselves. I want to revisit that place that catalyzed my love for this medium. In other words, I want to have some fun.

When you do this professionally, lots of factors become involved in any decision you might make: scope limitations, technical limitations, legacy content alignment, team opinions, executive directives, market viability, etc. These are all valuable things when you’re trying to make a sustainable business so everyone involved can pay their bills.

But, when I was a kid, I didn’t have any of those constraints and my daydreams were grand, ridiculous and often silly. I’ve decided to design these with that sort of spirit and I hope you enjoy them.


Where is it at?

I’m still in the early stages but have begun serious concept work and development. I’m streaming the process on Twitch, which will act as my “Dev Diary” and hopefully share the process with others. I’ll be updating this page at various milestones to show the current direction.

Project Z Concepts