Rail Empries : Iron Dragon is a computer game for the PC platform based on on the popular strategy board game from Mayfair Games. The computer game was developed by AnitGravity Box and is publiished by Eden Studios. From 1999 to 2000, I was involved in production and development as creative director, artist and animator. In July of 2000 the game was released to critical acclaim. It features mutlipayer online play as well as local play agianst up to five AI opponents.
This page displays some of the production art and animtion for the game. Below you can see various shots from the game maps, cards, and animation elements. The technique I used generally began with a number of pencil sketches, from which I drew traditional pen and ink renderings. These were then scanned, and I proceeded to add color and composite in other layers for framing element, eventually flattening out a final bitmap image for a given element. The animation followed this general proccess, with the result being a series of images and a script for how to program the animation into the runtime engine.
You can learn more about Rail Empries : Iron Dragon, download a free demo version, or buy a full release version at the Iron Dragon web site.
The main map was far and away the largest photoshop document I ever worked on, at over 2000 x 2000 pixels x 24-bit color, with upwards of 50 layers and dozens of hand-drawn elements.
The Iron Dragon: Rail Empires computer game features hundreds of contextual animations that enhance the gameplay and visually represent the game state. They are generally triggered by an event and either persist ambiently or are played as a one-shot. All animations were sets of hand-drawn or photoshop-drawn cels, and typically they consisted of a series of phases, with control flow triggers for linking them together. The versions presented here are detail excerpts encapustuled as Shockwave movies, originally developed for testing purposes, with explicit user control provided to step through the phases. To see the full set of animations in context, download the game from the Iron Dragon web site.
See also Iron Dragon Development