Outcast Odyssey interview with artists Chuck Pires and Warren Louw

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Later this year, Bandai Namco Games will be releasing Outcast Odyssey, a brand new free-to-play mobile card game for Android and iOS devices. Developed by Magic Pixel Games, players build powerful decks and evolve their cards to create the ultimate deck while exploring the world and creating powerful strategies, which will be helpful when you take your decks and face off against other players in the arena.

Outcast Odyssey features 600 cards that were designed by different artists who have added their own touch to each card. We had the chance to chat with two of these artists, Chuck Pires and Warren Louw, and ask about their artwork and what it was like creating the cards for this new title.

Chuck Pires

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*Image from Chuck Pires’ Deviantart

You do some amazing work. How did you become involved with Outcast Odyssey?

Why thank you! I’d been posting my art online at deviantART.com and Jonathan got a hold of me to see if I might be interested. Honestly, I remember being a bit weary because I’d been contacted a few months earlier about contributing art to another mobile card game, and the experience wasn’t great. Mostly due to them being a Japanese developer and they were using one person to translate all their notes and information to English. We had a lot of miscommunication. I’d ask questions and he’d tell me one thing only to find out, after I’d drawn it, that it was completely wrong in every possible way.  So I wasn’t really looking to step into that again. Luckily I rolled the dice and everyone at Magic Pixel and Namco Bandai has been great to work with.

What type of influences did you have when working on the cards?

I think it’s safe to say we pulled ’em in from all 4 corners on this one. I’m a total gamer so when they said, “the cards get upgraded as they gain levels,” I immediately thought of that old SNES game Knights of the Round. Wicked fun game. Anyway, it was the first game I’d played as a kid where the character would get new and better armor as the game progressed, and it LOOKED newer and better. (Not just better stats or anything.) That really stuck in my mind while working on this game, and I wanted to give people that feeling of seeing these amped up gnarly cards. That, and I just wanted to make something fun to look at.

There’s a lot of art out there for card games nowadays that’s technically impressive, but in my honest opinion, not a lot of fun to look at. With that in mind, I tried to push the colors and designs as far as they could go and I think that was a mindset we all had making this game. If someone had an idea it pretty much got incorporated in some way into the final card. Ha ha. At one point, I was struggling with the look of a character and my wife came in and saw it. She goes, “You should make her look like a Disney character,” and that got me on to a completely different train of though than we had been working with up to that point, so it’s been a lot of fun helping develop these characters.

What was your favorite part of working on this project?

Honestly as much fun as the cards were to do, I’m working on the web-comic promoting the game, and I’m actually finding that to be some of my favorite time I’ve spent on the project so far. Just like the game itself the comic focused on telling a fun story…with as much nudity as I can squeeze into a mobile game marketed at families. Haha! Spoilers: not a lot.

What were some of your biggest influences that led you to becoming an artist?

Well, The movie Vampire Hunter D first and foremost. (You know, the awesome old crappy one?! >:D ) I was at summer camp and one of the older kids had it and we watched it on this like 4-inch camper TV that had green bars running across the screen. The audio would come in an out and I could barely see it but I watched the whole thing and was convinced I’d never seen anything so awesome in my entire life. (I was 11 so it was probably true.) There’s no doubt in my mind if I hadn’t seen that movie, I’d have ended up being something horrible like a ditch digger or a doctor. (Hah!) Frank Frazetta for sure. I know, you look at my work and go, “Really, dude?” But my dad gave me a collection of his books when I was a kid and they became some of the most crucial influences in my work. Then Joe Madureira and Chris Lichtner come next. Last but not least GAMES, GAMES, GAMES! The Breath of Fire series, The PS1 Final Fantasies, Xenogears, there’s too many to name really…

What are some of your favorite video game titles?

Buckle up because here we go…I can’t decide what order they go in BUT…

  • Castlevania Symphony of The Night
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Xenogears
  • Demon’s/Dark Souls (Love em all, and while we’re here let’s just put Bloodborne on here too because there’s no way I won’t love that as well.)
  • Thief 1, 2 AND Deadly Shadows (That’s right, I said it. Come get me. Thief fans!!)
  • Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • The PS2 Prince of Persia series
  • Half Life games

What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on?

Working on the Infinity rule books for Covus Beli was alot of fun. They’re a great bunch of people to work for and they really did whatever they could for me. And of course, my whole experience working on Outcast Odyssey has been terrific so I hope to continue to do work with them well after the comic is done.

Can you name some of the cards you designed in Outcast Odyssey?

I’ve worked on Alexander the King, The Demon Queen and another card set I don’t know if I can talk about yet.

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 Warren Louw

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*Image from http://warrenlouw.deviantart.com/

You do some amazing work, I spent a long time on your deviantART page. How did you become involved with Outcast Odyssey?

Glad you enjoy my work 🙂 Well, they ended up contacting me on deviantART.com. As soon as I read the message, I was super excited and made sure to respond immediately. Not too long after, we all had a skype meeting to discuss the project and from there things moved forward.

What type of influences did you have when working on the cards?

The guys at Bandai Namco sent me a reference sheet of a few of their ideas for the card and once I got an idea about what it was all about, I did some of my own referencing. I did a lot of looking into photos or artwork of steampunk designs, animals in action and forest environments. I ended up spending most of my time working on this card with my girlfriend at her parent’s holiday house at the coast, which has a great atmosphere. She also managed to helped me out a bit with Darwin too 🙂

What was your favorite part of working on this project?

Honestly, working from start to finish on the artwork was a great experience, but working with my team was the best part. Having them excited about the initial concept, and really happy with the end results was just such an awesome feeling! From there, having them invite me over for for the incredible experience of SDCC to join and help them promote Outcast Odyssey has definitely been my biggest highlight of all time!

What were some of your biggest influences that led you to becoming an artist?

Hmm, interesting question… I got into art and scribbling around at a very young age (about 2 to 3 years old), so I don’t think I was self aware enough to realize what my intentions and influences were at that stage. It just felt good, I enjoyed it and getting better and better only felt more fulfilling – the feeling of achievement of overcoming challenges to only become more driven to succeed and go further beyond. Later as I became better and better, what started to steer my direction was all things that I found as beautiful. I’ve been really into beautiful landscapes – clouds, mountains, sunsets, architecture etc, but I also enjoyed drawing girls and hey, I got more attention for my girls, so I was driven to excel at that more. Now I’m at the point of pretty much only getting work for my girls, but my artistic influences and interests go much further.

What are some of your favorite video game titles?

I can say without a doubt that the Metal Gear Solid series are right at the top. Then its the Uncharted games, the latest Tomb Raider, Diablo with my girlfriend and LOVED Vanquish. Very disappointed that Kojima cancelled ZOE3 since I really loved the first 2.

What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on?

Outcast Odyssey has got to be one. I love getting cover jobs, so working on an ImagineFX cover and doing a cover for DC and Udon Entertainment was definitely some of my favs.

Can you name some of the cards you designed in Outcast Odyssey?

For the time I had, I was only able to work on the Maggie Darwin card set. There will be others planned for future updates 🙂

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I really love your tribute works on your page, especially the Robin Williams one you just recently added. What inspired you to work on that?

As a child, I was really into Peter Pan, so then going to see the Spielberg movie, Hook left me with a big connection to Robin Williams… It’s still to this day, one of my all time favourite movies. There is just something about him that always came across as fatherly, gentle and had an ability to make you feel good and happy with his views and humor. It was easy to identify with his emotion. I’m not sure if it’s also because I think my father looks slightly like him too, but there’s just something about his character that makes him very easy to bond with on a deeper level. His passing came as a total shock to me… as though I had lost a relative, so I made sure I immediately put aside what I was doing to get to a tribute for the great man who really did leave me with very fond memories.

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*Image from http://warrenlouw.deviantart.com/

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.