BlazBlue Artwork design approach

Bristol January 2010

Zen United is proud to announce the release of the official European box art for BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger before the European retail release in mid March. The artwork shows Noel yielding her two hand cannons in one of her familiar poses.

The History of the BB cover artwork

Last autumn Zen United took a brave and innovative approach to the marketing of their most recent game BlazBlue– Calamity Trigger. They announced that they would be holding a competition to the general public to create the box art image in preparation of the European release of the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions.

The brief was purposely left open to interpretation and the guidelines were simple– make it different to the Japanese and US versions and be creative! Zen wanted artwork that would capture the spirit of the Manga style and appeal to the European market. They also wanted the artwork to jump out from the shelves to the consumer and for it to be easily recognisable to the fans of the game.

The NeoGaf gaming community hosted the competition and were asked to decide upon 10 finalists from whom Zen United would pick the final winner. The best work of the remaining runners up would be used within the manual and the eventual winner would have his or her artwork on the front cover of the European version of BlazBlue– Calamity Trigger.

The competition had a huge response and Zen United were stunned by the variety and quality of the entries, and as the dust settled and the votes were counted there could be only one winner. Daniel Lam AKA radientdreamer produced a splendid piece of work which was regarded as the stand out winner by the NeoGaf community.

With some video game industry experience, Dan was already an established artist and a huge BlazBlue fan. The final artwork had a grungy feel and showed a brooding image of Ragna the Bloodedge walking past a wall graffitied with the BlazBlue logo. Joe Ryan from Zen reported“We loved the raw art style of the Ragna image and thought it fitted perfectly with our vision of a contemporary and confident box image.”

Zen were curious to see if this art style would work on other characters, so before the Ragna image was approved they commissioned Dan to create an image of one of their favourite characters, Noel Vermillion. Zen knew Noel was a firm favourite within Europe and not long after the rough sketches had been sent through and approved a final image had been sent to the Zen offices. Zen were delighted with the image and believed it surpassed the Ragna image for filling the brief and so decided to use this as the front box art image.

With a minimal amount of tweaking and some colour correction the final image was now ready for release. Zen United is very happy with the final result and is excited to see the response from the public when the game goes on release in March. You can also check out Dan's website on www.radientdreamer.net


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