Did you miss Roberto Cirillo’s Question Time on the Community Facebook pages? Not to fret, you can have a look at the questions Roberto answered right here!

Roberto Question Time (follow-up blog)_Facebook_1200x630.jpg

The following has been collected from both Question Times held in December 2018.

Question Time List

Simply click on the title below to go to the relevant section:

The Sturginium Lounge dated 19th December 2018

The Dark Council dated 21st December 2018

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The Sturginium Lounge

The following questions and responses have been collected from the corresponding thread on The Sturginium Lounge (The Official Dystopian Wars Community Page).

From where would you say you draw most of your inspiration for your creations? Sarah Cawkwell

Hi Sarah,

Good to hear from you, love your work by the way.

So, to answer your question, it would be relatively difficult for me to pin-point it down to any one specific source, generally it will depend on the subject I’m working on. However, I find common powerful sources of inspiration are Nature and Architecture. Let’s face it, nothing beats Mother Nature when it comes to design! Anyway, specifically when working on Dystopian Wars new designs, I remember going through tonnes of WWI battleship images and related technical info which served as catalyst or, in some cases, as launch-pad for a number pertinent new ideas.
— Roberto Cirillo

A lot of the ships in the game have their weapons primarily forward, rather than an even split fore/aft as on real life battleships. Was this something that you preferred the look of when designing or was it something decided in the game play that you then had to work with? Josh

Hi Josh!

Currently, only the Union and the Russian Battleships have this kind of configuration which ( in their case ) I’d say was mostly dictated by their rules within the game. Generally, however, I would happily say that has been down to a solid combination of look and game-play design. The weapons placement play an essential part in defining the look and feel of a warship ( even more specifically for the larger vessels like the Battleships ) especially in defining their profiles/silhouette on the tabletop. This helps to determine a specific visual profile for each of the various factions making them at the same time more characterful.
— Roberto Cirillo

When blending the mythical into a steampunk setting, how do you differentiate the boundries between them. Take the Wendigo, is it mythical creature or genetic monstrosity born of mad science? Chris

While blending the mythical seeming into steampunk science fiction is one for Roberto (for Friday), the second part to your question relates to the background so I’ll take it.

The origins of the Wendigo are one of myth if you talk to the average man or woman in the Badlands. If you were fortunate enough to speak to one of the dozen Wendigo left in the world yourself, you would find them of the belief that they are an incredibly ancient species that predates humanity. They feel they have had their world taken from them, by mankind, and have been driven to the verge of extinction. The Carcosa, for that is the name of their people, number less than fifty in the entire world. Significant numbers for a skirmish level game like Wild West Exodus but insignificant to the point of being irrelevant in the grand stage of the Dystopian Age.
— Stuart Mackaness

When looking at historical images of Naval Vessels of the pre-WW2 era, what design aspects have you been able to incorporate into your designs and what have you been unable to, but wish to, incorporate going into the future? Bradley

Hey Bradley!

Most of the new designs are based on the original first edition ones which already included a strong and deep pertinence to the pre-WW2 warships architecture. The intention was to evolve those designs and increase their visual character by enriching/ strengthening their individuality as a faction without losing that primordial ‘dreadnought’ feel you’d normally find in the pre-WW2 warships.

I’m extremely happy with the end result that came out from everyone’s effort here at Warcradle Studios and all of the positive and constructive comments and suggestions from the players... but I’m pretty sure I’ll find something extra to put on the next Dystopian Wars designs.

Thank You!
— Roberto Cirillo

What are your main sources of information about ships and naval combat in general? Is your design based more on relevant information and laws of physics or rule of cool looking models have priority? Michal

Hi Michal!

Whenever I work on a design, whatever the subject, I tend to generally favour the rule of ‘COOL’. However, since in this specific instance DW is actually based on an ‘alternate-historical-reality’, the designs needed to have a believable relation to that ‘reality’. All of the new ideas and designs applied to the various ships have to support that relationship even when taken to an extreme. Like in every game of this sort, there will be a compromise between elements of science-fiction versus realism. I feel that it’s only when we push those boundaries to a critical crossing point we can end up with a unique result.

— Roberto Cirillo

Are we likely to see more fortifications/installations making an appearance and, if so, will you be looking to make these more neutral in design or factionally influenced? Dayve

Fortifications will form an important part in a coastal/beachhead expansion for Dystopian Wars in the future. They would likely be faction based, though share common elements. It isn’t something the studio are working on at present but is certainly something for down the line.
— Stuart Mackaness

Now that Wild West Exodus and Dystopian Wars are both part of the combined "Dystopian Age" what, if any, are the design concepts that straddle both games? Obviously, they will both have your style at the heart of them but are there any particular flourishes you've been conscious of? Parker

We’re only at the beginning of our journey throughout our Dystopian Age ‘Universe’, so there will be lots more developments that will bring these games closer and under that same umbrella.

The typical one so far has undeniably been the UNION. As I mentioned, there will be more ‘things’ that will, over time, enforce that already existing relationship.
— Roberto Cirillo

The Dark Council

The following questions and responses have been collected from the corresponding thread on The Dark Council (The Official Wild West Exodus Community Page).

In your opinion, what is the theme (classical fantasy, high-Eberron-fantasy-type, sci-fi, cyberpunk, steampunk, etc) that offers you the most in terms of artistic freedom? And what is your favourite? Jethro

All of the themes you’ve mentioned, and anything in between, will offer me incredible levels of artistic freedom: most times it’s not down to the theme but to the limitations dictated within a brief. To answer your question, my favourite theme would be found somewhere between the Fantasy and the Sci-Fi, a perfect example would be ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ ...the Necromongers!
— Roberto Cirillo

What sort of design limitations do you encounter when attempting to translate a miniature from concept drawing into a workable mould for a model? Michael

That side of the process is taken care of directly by the sculpting team, working in sync with the casting team. I only directly take part during that stage if major re-design work is needed. There are several guide lines that we try to follow to avoid any major re-design and/or re-sculpting and that may include fragility of the parts, undercuts, attachment points due to a specific pose and level of detail that needs translating clearly to the finished article. The list goes on though as you can easily imagine, thanks!
— Roberto Cirillo

Favourite models you’ve designed? Chris

Hey Chris!

I knew I would get this question... Me and the rest of the artists here at the studio put so much effort into every single creation that it would be impossible to ‘single-out’ any of the miniatures we end up releasing. Having said that, I can give you an idea of what I feel most in love with in terms of my personal preferences when it comes to games, and that would be the horror, mysterious and weird.

So, that would imply the Hex in general but also the Enlightened: Dixie Resurrection and the new Legendary Eiffel Mechanical Spider ( due to come out next year ) for example.

Thank you!
— Roberto Cirillo

Do you have a faction based style guide with basic motifs that you integrate into most members of a faction? After designing a model have you had to change the styling due to a overall aesthetic change to a new posse? Brad

Hello Brad!

Yes, we have a clear code of ‘style of conduct’ for each and everyone of the factions. This is necessary in order to achieve cohesiveness across the faction, at least from a visual point of view. I honestly can’t recall any such specific instances or at least not to a point where I had to drastically changing the look of a character... having said that I can’t exclude that it may have happened in a subtly subliminal way!

— Roberto Cirillo

How big a part and at what stages of the design brief and process, does the game rules come into play? Jens

Hi Jens!

Good question. All of the approved designs will have gone through the game-rules process stage.

When I get given a brief it usually (if not always) means that it has already gone through that stage and ticked all of the ‘requirement’ boxes for the game. If a character has a grenade launcher, for example, it’s not just because he/she will look cool with it - often these elements are predetermined by the needs of the game as a whole and the game-play (rules) requirements. Of course, it will happen at times that we feel a posse really needs a great looking Boss for example so the conversation will start from the looks but it will still need to check all of the required boxes related to the rules before a final brief can be put together.

The design of a character is never a random event, it’s always a part of a planned process.

— Roberto Cirillo

Are there any design motifs that you have adamantly stood by despite issues with physical production or game inclusion? Parker


Ok - one of my key tasks as the studio Art Director is to make sure the style of the product we’re developing (Wild West Exodus in this case) remains true to the very end. That task also includes helping to find pertinent visual solutions to the unforeseen issues we encounter when going into physical production.

Although, I will usually only intervene or be called back into the process when major re-designing work is required.
— Roberto Cirillo