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Game News Seven Dragon Saga is still alive, gets new art director


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Jan 28, 2011
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Tags: Lee Dotson; Seven Dragon Saga; Tactical Simulations Interactive

In the month after the Seven Dragon Saga Kickstarter campaign was cancelled, its official development blog continued to received lore and narrative-related updates of a fairly humdrum nature. Today though, after a period of radio silence, there's something a bit more interesting:

Hi there – So things have been pretty quiet here news wise and that’s largely my fault. I joined up with the TSI about a month and a half ago to take over the art direction on Seven Dragon Saga. Since then I’ve read several hundred pages of community comments on the previous iteration of the games visuals along with digesting the exhaustive documentation for the games world and gameplay mechanics so I can feed all of that into our new look which is what we’re ready to talk more about today.

But before we get into that I should give a little background on myself. I’m Lee Dotson, I’ve been making art for games for about 18 years now covering almost every genre of game out there including games like Anachronox, Star Trek Online, and Diablo 3 but classic RPG’s are what make me want to create games in the first place so 7DS’s open ended storylines and rich X-Com like tactical gameplay makes this a total dream project for me.

Enough about me, here we have a small example of where we’ve been and where we’re going with the style and look of 7DS. The goal here is to push for a look that merges the sense of fantastic realism found in classic fantasy paintings by the likes of Brom or Easely with the rich colors and clear designs from classic dungeon crawlers like Eye of the Beholder so there’s a feast for the eyes when zooming in on characters while keeping everything legible from far away. For me this is particularly key because while it’s important to have a clear view of the game on a tactical level I love being able to immerse myself in a game’s world and see changes in my character.

There’s also a ton of work that here that’s not really immediately obvious, an engine change, armor that’s designed in a modular format for player customization, animations for the cover system and a lot more but we’ll have to save that for future updates.

In the meantime let us know what you think about this first tiny glimpse into the new direction. We’re super excited about how things are coming together and we hope you are too. I know a lot of people have a thoughts on 3d vs. classic pixel art, isometric vs. classic first person views that we’re happy to discuss our thoughts on over in the forums, facebook, twitter or wherever it is that you like talking.
So not only is the game's development continuing, but they're hiring new people. These guys are pretty determined. A new art style is good, and reading community feedback is very good. And I wonder what that engine change is, just Unity 5 or something more ambitious? Still, if Seven Dragon Saga wants to make a successful comeback, this stuff is just the beginning.
Sep 7, 2013
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It's a fun idea for a game, fantasy adorned in the motifs of another genre, in the spirit of Dark Sun or Shadowrun.


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Oct 14, 2012
The new art style does look better:



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Sep 10, 2010
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That is a major art improvement. Good thing this game is still in the works, fingers crossed it does not end up like Deathfire.


Apr 13, 2009
First job for the art director should be an animated talking head to replace that lead studio guy in the pitch video


Jun 7, 2007
It's a lot better, but it also looks very plastic-y. Maybe it's UE4.


Mar 3, 2015
This is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to see- learn what didn't work and make the right adjustments.

You can tell they old school and always were serious about the project. However, it just wasn't polished enough for people to get excited. This is more like it.


All the best of luck to these guys when they return to Kickstarter. Heres hoping they don't show us another demo that also looks like shovelware.


Sep 4, 2013

Now it does not look like real chinese did, but more like some fantasy chinese style cyber agents / ninjas, which by the way could sell way better. I will state also: dress them all in black leather. It worked for Star Wars, Matrix and etc. Black with green, blue, orange, white also works. Ahh nonsense, black works always.
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Feb 17, 2012
Yeah, flashier graphics - that's what everyone was calling for...

Fact is that this game probably would have been backed more if it didn't have any graphical overhaul from the 1990's Gold Box games. They utterly failed to sell the nostalgia factor to the 30 and 40 somethings with the funds to plough into this project. I was a day 1 backer for Pillars, BT4, Wasteland, Chaos: Reborn, Xenonauts, Elite and others because I saw something from my youth that I wanted to experience again. I waited a long time for this SDS kickstarter and didn't even feel a twinge of excitement when I saw the campaign.

OK, maybe they dont really want to make a Gold Box type game again - in which case pitch the game as completely unrelated and allow people to judge it on it's own merits. However the TSI guys seem to be stradding this middle ground of "Hey we're the Gold Box guys" (err... so where's the nostalgia elements) and "This is a new IP" (well, if it's a modern game it looked shit) which just made the whole thing look a bit of a mess.

Unless I'm missing something, the market has plenty of isometric dungeon crawl style RPG's but utterly lacks a Gold Box formula game of first person exploration combined with fully tactical view combat. Maybe the closest we had recently was Dragon Age: Origins (PC version) before the series turned into a moron-friendly Dynasty Warriors beat em up.

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