It seems nearly impossible that the video game juggernaut Blizzard was once a small, upstart company. With over four thousand employees working on only a handful of titles, their production process seems exactly the opposite of what is associated with the current indie revolution. Every game they make is reviewed and polished by countless individuals, resulting in insanely polished and streamlined games. Even their product websites seem pristine; meticulously designed to show off the best the company has to offer while bombarding the senses with mixed media content.
Perhaps this is why I thoroughly enjoy looking at materials from Blizzard’s formative years. Their early work showcases a much rawer time in the company’s development; one where resources were stretched to the limit and the art direction was not as stringent. This is perhaps most evident in the widely varied illustrations that appeared throughout one of their first major releases, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.
Over the last couple of weeks we took a look at the artwork drawn for the human and orc factions of the game. This week we hit the really good stuff; the miscellaneous creatures, maps and scenes that are sprinkled through the game manual.
There are some enormously entertaining pieces of artwork in this batch, including my personal favourites: “ogre chowing down on a horse” and “saggy breasted orc”. Enjoy!