Michael Ballack, the captain of the German national soccer team, concentrating before a film shoot and Rene Adler, the goalkeeper, is doing an interview in front of our scenography. Cologne, September 2009. A couple of exciting days for us from North Kingdom when the film shoots for Adidas Teamgeist took place.
Here is my personal thoughts and pictures from this autumn. These “Making of” parts have been very important for me to me to keep when I want to collect parts of the process, which never is seen in the final result and to have something to look back on when we work with new projects in the future. Working as an Art Director for this kind of projects can be pretty difficult. Big complex game campaigns for big brands, where lot of different parts runs parallel. You need to keep everything in the same style and quality, and you always have a client with very high expectations. Times like that, the most important is to have a well working team, which we have in North Kingdom! Many of us at NK have been working together over ten years so we know each other very well. Nobody is afraid to say what he or she thinks. A project will never turns out good if people in the team don’t say what they have in mind. It is so true that the details will betray you, so when Marcus Ivarsson (our Project Manager) said “Every single pixel need love” I couldn’t agree more.
I’m pretty happy with the final result. The sound and voice overs are absolute fantastic! DinahMoe did a great job! They handled all sound dynamically at runtime, all integrated and affecting each other. Visually it is almost perfect. With little more time I think we could make the game itself a little harder in the last two chapters and with more variations. But still, we had over 500,000 games played the first three weeks, chosen FWA Site of the Month, and a very happy client, which is most important. However, I have to admit I wasn’t totally sold about the game idea, the strategic style, but it gave me even more reason to try to make it as visual outstanding as possible.
My first rough concept drawings from August 2009, showing how the white takeover would look like, how the players would transform to these white “ghosts” without any identity, history or power.
During the project I worked with two very talented illustrators; Therese Larsson (intern at North Kingdom), who did the covers and Anton Eriksson, who was in charge of backgrounds, based on our 3D sketches. The graphic novel style came from 180 Amsterdam who did the very cool “Spark” movie for Adidas earlier this year, which gave Adidas a new mystic, dark feeling. I wasn’t so fond of the rest of the campaign they did, when their graphic novel style was too lame and to regular. Adidas let us make our own style within the genre which we both loved and thought would be necessary for a great outcome. Basically I got free hands with my illustrators. Why can’t all clients be like that?