What is your role and what do you do here at Fatshark?
I’m a concept artist. My role is to do sketches and paintings that help guide the visuals of the game.
What would you say is an average workday for you?
I get coffee and start painting. I like to get right into the work while my mind is fresh. A couple of times a week I attend meetings with the level design and art teams to discuss the levels we are working on. Other than that it’s pretty straightforward, but there are usually a lot of concepts to be done so being focused is a must.
What was the key ingredient for creating the artstyle of Vermintide 2?
When creating the artstyle for Chaos specifically we referenced metal covers (yes, seriously), some elements from the latest Mad Max movie as well as clothing and equipment from the Sami culture, an indigenous people living in the northern parts of Sweden and Norway. And spikes, of course, you can never have too many spikes.
The general goal for the environments in the game was variation and diversity compared to Vermintide 1. We wanted to have a lot of natural light and different lighting scenarios introducing some color into the otherwise muted Vermintide world.
How did you become a concept artist?
After highschool I messed around a bit and ended up studying art history at the University of Gothenburg. It wasn’t really my thing, but I started to become interested in art. During that year I ran into an Environment design tutorial by Feng Zhu, he’s a super talented concept artist. Before this, I had never heard of concept art but once I realized you could make a living drawing and painting stuff for video games I was hooked.
So I started drawing when I was 20. Unfortunately there’s no concept art program or school in Sweden, or no really good art schools for that matter, you just have to wing it. But I was lucky enough to get into a game development program at Skövde University where I studied game art. We learn the entire art pipeline, from modelling, texturing to rigging and animation. I spent 3 years there working hard.
After graduation, I landed my first job at a small indie studio (Pieces Interactive, owned by THQ Nordic) doing hand painted 3d art and concept art. I worked there for a couple of years, then I did a short contract at Paradox Interactive before going freelance doing concept art and illustration full time. During my first years of working, I took a lot of classes during the evenings. There are a lot of awesome concept artists and matte painters providing online classes. They helped me get my art skills to an industry standard.
What would you say is the biggest difference between Vermintide 1 and Vermintide 2?
I didn’t work on Vermintide 1, but I played it. So for me, everything was pretty fresh. But I’d have to say the Chaos!
Including a new faction provided an opportunity to expand the visuals in another direction than the Skaven. And the Skaven got some more fleshing out. I got the opportunity to design some architecture and a Skaven stronghold which was fun!
What are you the most proud of in your work for Vermintide 2?
I like the Skittergate, the portal structure in the intro (and the last level). It was a really challenging thing to design, with a lot of moving parts and lore considerations as well as VFX design for the portal opening itself. The art team did an awesome job with how it looks and works in the game.
What is the best part of making art in Warhammer and Vermintide?
The breadth of reference that’s available. I’m a hardcore Left for Dead fan, so working on a game in the same genre is really fun.
Do you have any fun facts about your work?
No fun facts, painting is serious business! I did a concept sculpt for the dove statue at the start of Convocation of decay. Somehow it ended up in the game without anyone touching it up, haha!