Late last year, the studio behind the Darksiders game franchise, Vigil Games, closed. It was a massive blow to the many full-time creatives there, but as the saying goes, as one door closes, another opens.
Substrata was conceived by concept artist Paul Richards as a way to reunite his fellow artists from Vigil Games. The project resulted in 80 brilliant concept artists working together, all for a never-to-be-made game, releasing a stunning art book along the way.
"The group is already steeped in dark fantasy, so this was the best way to get them excited," says Paul, who wanted the project to enable artists to experiment with twisted concepts that would scare conventional publishers.
"We wanted all of the things you're not supposed to do, with an open-ended design brief where people could choose from an array of game-driven content. Some decided to deliver on one aspect, while others conducted a more thorough exploration of their own universe."
The 240-page art book has been published through UDON Entertainment (opens in new tab), and features concept art, character designs and illustrations from over 80 top game artists from around the world.