Setting the Stage for a Unique EA Original
Continuing our partnership with EA Originals, we worked closely with their internal creative team, as well as the talented developers at Jo-Mei Games, to craft both teaser art, and key art introducing their game Sea of Solitude to the crowd at E3.
The game takes a deep dive into the human psyche, exploring the pretty deep concepts of loss, depression, and loneliness… You know, what most of us go through every morning before we get a cup of coffee. For as serious as the concepts are, the game wraps them in a beautiful submerged world where players have to help the protagonist, Kay, through her real-life issues that are dragging her down.
Send an SOS to the World
With any piece of key art, the task is to balance giving the consumer a feeling of the game, without spoiling it outright. Our creative team developed a range of options with varying themes that connect to the symbolism of the game. Aesthetically, we restricted the designs to adhere to a limited color palette, and tell the story through Kay’s relationship with an undersea monster (which has some importance in the game). The environment would play a passing role in establishing a vast ocean, with a submerged cityscape teased within it.
Once we had a layout approved, our illustrators got busy working through various styles. For example, some of the designs had a looser painted look while another had a more controlled use of brushstrokes. We wanted to show the developers a range of emotionally driven styles, as some of the more impressionistic options said more about the fragility of Kay’s situation.
The theme of loneliness came through in every decision we made within the art. From Kay’s scale relative to her environment to the negative space that surrounded her.
E3 Teaser Art – Working with the development team, we honed in on what was important to them to properly tease their game at E3. We wanted to shroud their protagonist in mystery while showcasing the “monster” that became the key visual of both the teaser art and the key art. The style was loose, painterly, a quick brush stroked style symbolic to Kay’s mental state. This piece of key art was used at E3 alongside a teaser trailer for the game and used across EA’s marketing channels leading up to launch.
Key Art – An evolution of the teaser art, the key art solidified the imagery and painted a broader environment that Kay was navigating. Submerged city elements bled into the background fog of the ocean, and center to all of it was Kay alone on her boat navigating the (somewhat) calm waters. The monster’s form took on a feminine silhouette to allude to the core theme of the game.
Doing Justice to a Game with Heart
We’re fans of indie games. We respect those developers who pour their heart and soul into their art, working tirelessly to have people enjoy their creations. Jo-Mei Games and EA Originals is crafting something beautiful with Sea of Solitude.
The art style of the game is as impressive as the story being told. Encapsulating the game in a single piece of art is an iterative task, working hand in hand with both teams at EA Originals, and Jo-Mei.
It’s a process we love, and one we look forward to every time we get a call. This time around it produced two pieces of art we proudly stand behind. We can’t wait to navigate the waters for ourselves when Sea of Solitude releases.