Translating the Warcraft Aesthetic to Mobile with Arclight Rumble | Pocket Gamer.biz
It can be said that the art styles of mobile games have a shared ubiquity due to the appeal of a much wider and international audience. The pastel brightness and accessibility of the casts of Candy Crush and Clash Royale have a common stylistic DNA.
It’s also key to Activision Blizzard’s approach to the Warcraft Arclight Rumble art style. Jeremy Collins, Art Director of Warcraft Arclight Rumble, told PocketGamer.biz, “We want to make sure our energy is focused on people who already love World of Warcraft and IP in general. But it’s important to expand the art style to more people around the world.
For Blizzard, turning Warcraft characters into miniatures – both central to the miniatures art style and for the small screen – meant going back to basics. Collins continued, “It starts with readability. On mobile you have unique challenges, one of which is how you allow players to get an immediate playback of the game, especially from a top-down RTS camera angle.
“It really informed the way we designed our characters. We had to make sure there weren’t a lot of material breaks, and that we nailed the silhouette of the characters as people recognize them in World of Warcraft.
Break your toys
The result is a plastic toy style that aligns World of Warcraft’s colorful aesthetic with more common art styles on mobile, though it shares strong similarities to Supercell’s Clash Mini, which also converts the franchise’s recognizable cast. Clash in miniature toys.
One of the earliest art styles that was eventually discarded was, according to Collins, “a masters of the universe game”, inspired by the scale, tactility, and interactivity of the Castle Greyskull toy. However, he continued, “One thing that didn’t work was making the whole world plastic. It seems pointless.”
Warcraft Arclight Rumble will be available on iOS and Google Play, and will enter closed beta in specific regions in the future. You can read more about the announcement here, as well as Activision Blizzard’s monetization strategy for Arclight Rumble here.