Tower of Souls (Concept Package)
The presentation was originally intended for a class with me as it's presenter, you will have to imagine my voice in your head instead.
The world is supposed to be many strange planes, aligned in a tower like shape connected with portals. This is the world where lost souls would get to without any warning or explanation, and they would have to figure out everything by themselves. 
The main idea behind it was simply "What if we don't get all the answers in the after-life".
Marketplace felt like a perfect environment to convey the strange multi-timeline-multi-cultural feel of the setting. It would also be very bizarre how souls can't really die...
They can get hurt, trapped, insane or even feral, but never really die.
You might end up with the same neighbor for hundreds of years, so cultures would never really die, just keep mixing.
Chinese, Hindu, Victorian and other cultures just mixed together, complete madness with magic and strange spiritual creatures.
A caravan creature made entirely out of magical-mechanical hands was also an image that got stuck in my mind.
I also came up with some of the factions and religions for this place, the Tower Temple in the back with floating square platforms is one of them, so is the cult of the Eye on the left side of the street.
I also knew that the palette had to be warm and saturated for that place, with vibrant colors everywhere to convey it's rich and vivid nature.
Eventually I realized that the composition of the image was wrong, I wanted to convey the sheer size of the place itself, crowd did not have to be such a center piece and from far away they look more numerous anyway.
Sadly by the end of the project I was hitting the deadline, I could not render the piece from start to finish and had to resort to a lot of photobashing, but that is the point of concept art, it doesn't matter how you convey the "concept" of a character or a place, especially on a short deadline.
Whatever works is fine for the client as long as it conveys the visual message.
Since I envisioned this as a video game setting for an action adventure game, a mostly silent protagonist with a clean primary color design seemed perfect. The inspiration obviously came from games such as The Legend of Zelda series, Shadow of the Colossus and a bit of Journey.
The ideas for the characters that would fit this world long predate it's conception, yet I instantly knew which of my characters would work in it. Akim was one of my older sketches.
His design is made to be simple yet recognizable with several key features like his turban and his scarf, the primary color palette serves a similar purpose.
Cloak completes his look and adds that mysterious flavor to him. Of course there would be times where he would not wear it, but mostly on his travels through the strange world an image his cloak flowing with the wind seemed nice to me.
His primary weapon and the McGuffin artifact of the story, the blue Eye, had to work as a jewelry piece that he could carry around, yet it would also have to be a multi-purpose tool that would unlock secrets and transform into a weapon.
I chose a design that concentrated on the crystal in it's center, the Eye itself, to focus on it's energetic powers, I also believe that a more overdesigned piece would not look right on the character.
The bow felt like a nomads weapon, and a weapon that would work better and feel natural in large scale environments. Technically the Eye could form other weapons, but Akim had training with a bow when he was alive and that is the weapon he chosses to summon.
devastated to find our that it was just the beginning of a new search, a new rush. 
Many people in The Tower of Souls gained grand magical powers, formed new cults, turned themselves Gods and tell others that they know how to escape this world, they know what comes after, yet just like before they forget to the Now. People in the after life are lost, just like in our world. There are many ruins and temple that used to serve a purpose, yet the souls in them went feral or simply disappeared, like a mountain plane of Lurjmta with the Walking City of Talos that used to have inhabitants...yet it simply walks alone now.
Akim as your avatar would take you on an existential journey that would deny escapism, and maybe he would not find the ultimate truth in his journey, maybe it doesn't exist, but he would at the very least find himself.
Tower of Souls (Concept Package)
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Tower of Souls (Concept Package)

Concept art package for my university finals. We had to create our own world, and I decided to create a surreal fantasy world.
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Published:

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