Interview with Tom Bernardes, Lead Artist on Sticky Bandits: Wild Return
Sticky Bandits: Wild Return is a beautiful game with gorgeous graphics! We wanted to find out more about the process behind the art, so we sat down for a chat with Tom Bernardes, Lead Artist on the game. Read on to find out where he got his inspiration from and more.
Where do you usually get your ideas from?
I believe that most ideas come from our own experiences, so that makes everything a powerful source of inspiration. A trip, a movie, a game, etc.
How did you come up with the design for this game?
The design is based on hostile scenes in classic Wild West stories, so we tried to create a sense of danger with every asset in this game and that’s visible in everything – in the characters’ faces, the exciting animations, and the dark and moody backgrounds.
Where did you get your inspiration from?
We took our inspiration from the latest Wild West films and TV series. We also did our best to implement a storyline throughout the game flow.
Our moodboard included films like ‘Django Unchained’, TV series like ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ and ‘Godless’, plus console games with a Wild West theme.
Which outside sources influenced your work?
Because of my background in animation, I’m always influenced by the animation industry when I work on a game.
What did your work process look like?
The work always follows the same process. It all starts with an initial idea, and once we’ve figured out the right concept, the game is built on a sketch level. Then we start adding colour, light, and shadows as we move forward with the work. As we progress through each step, we start boosting the storytelling more and more.
What was most challenging?
The biggest challenge was to make sure that all the ornaments and details wouldn´t mess up the overall look of the game. We needed to find the right balance and I’m very happy with the result.
What was most fun?
The most fun part for me is always the characters, as I’m fascinated by the storytelling you can apply to them.
What are you most happy with?
I’m really happy with how well we worked together as a team. The most valuable thing in any production is the contribution from different people. Jonatan Wallén, Andrea Femerstrand, Anna Asker, and Lucas Johansson were all responsible for taking this game to a higher level.
Did you learn anything new when working on this game?
You always learn something new with every project. This one made us think more about how to manage the details and textures on every asset without compromising the overall readability.