+++Incoming Astropathic Transmission+++

Greetings, Dark Heresy fans!

Most designer diaries are all about the game itself...but this one is slightly different. This designer diary is about the process of creating artwork for the Dark Heresy books. I have received many questions about what it is like for an artist or a writer working on a project like Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay . This designer diary is my opportunity to peek behind the curtain a little bit and provide an answer.

As an example, I’d like to show you some of the process behind the image above. Art goes through a three-step process: description, sketch, and final. At every stage, we go through an internal approval process here at FFG. After that, like everything else we do for Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay , it goes to Games Workshop for a second approval before we take it any further!

For The Radical’s Handbook , we commissioned Imaginary Friends Studios to create the image for the Goleph, a terrifying creation of Dark Technology in the form of a mechanical assassin.

First, the author (in this case, Reason), provided an art description of what he had in mind when writing up the entry in the book for the Goleph.

“A humanoid mechanical figure with sleek lines and thin limbs. It should appear non-human, with non-standard proportions (long limbs, elongated head, etc.) Powerblades should project from its arms, and there should be smaller powerblades that it can fire from its forearms towards a target. The powerblades look like 40K powerswords, but they have a more alien look.”

Next, this description was sent to Imaginary Friends Studio for them to create a sketch. You can see the sketch here, below. All art sketches are reviewed by both FFG and our licensor, Games Workshop. Once approved, the sketch is then ready to be turned into a final image by the artist.

At every step of this process, the artist receives some feedback about his work (or the author in the case of the art description), and the art piece will reflect that as the process goes on. Compare the art description and the sketch to the finished product, and you will clearly see how this process turns out to create some truly impressive and memorable pieces for Dark Heresy !

A Glimpse Inside the Radical’s Handbook

I have some exciting news about The Radical’s Handbook , the next sourcebook for Dark Heresy ...the book is at the printer as we speak!

I wanted to give the Dark Heresy fans a taste of what you’ll find inside, and I’ll be providing some previews over the next few weeks. The first teaser is a report from Inquisitor Vownus Kaede about an unusually fortunate Adept.

Of course, in the Inquisiton, even particularly good luck can be grounds for suspicion...

Preview #1 (Print Quality) (PDF, 8.5 MB )
Preview #1 (Web Quality) (PDF, 292 KB)

The Next Step

Coming soon, I plan on starting up the 2009 Dark Heresy Adventure Contest! This year’s theme will be focused around the Radical factions of the Inquisition, so get prepared if you plan on putting in an entry. This year’s prize: A signed copy of The Radical’s Handbook !

Dark Heresy is a roleplaying game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, the grim darkness of the far future. Players take on the roles of Acolytes serving the Inquisition, rooting out heresy and corruption from within the galaxy-spanning Imperium of Man. 

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