The Popular Culture Art of XCOM 2

August 25 2016
EN-The Popular Culture Art of XCOM

The Ads that pop up on screens, billboards and all around you influence your world every day. You walk out the door any given day and you’ll see the signs. Same goes for the ADVENT-ruled Earth in XCOM 2. Concept artists helped set the stage for the game world by crafting pop culture art that permeates the landscape. Today, we got concept artist Dongmin Shin to share some samples of the art in the backgrounds of XCOM 2 that you may have noticed while you were busy returning fire.

 

 

 

 

Wanted posters – “While I was working on interior decorations for our civilian homes, Aaron Yamada, one of our senior concept artists, encouraged me to create a kid-friendly version of the ADVENT troops. In the game’s world, this cartoon character, unofficially named “Captain ADVENT,” is used to make the evil organization appealing to children. I had a lot of fun working in this style and went on to make the other enemies as well. Unfortunately, the other aliens look scary no matter how cartoony you try and make them. We didn’t want the images to go to waste and found a good use for them as wanted posters in the Shanty environment.”

 

 

ADVENT Burger – “Creating deco for ADVENT Burger was a bit of a challenge. We wanted to make it look like an actual fast food restaurant, while at the same time different from the hundreds of actual franchises that exist in our world. I had to avoid all fast food TV commercials, digital and print ads, and the restaurant buildings themselves as much as humanly possible. What I did use for research was promotional material from the 70’s. This helped me create futuristic, but familiar fast food signage.”

 

 

 

 

XCOM Propaganda – “The challenging aspect of these posters was keeping the shapes and overall designs simple. We did this for two reasons: One, so it would reflect the actual Soviet Union and American World War II propaganda posters we based them on; Two, so it would be easily readable by the player who can only see the poster from far away.”

 

 

Consumer tech – “Since the game takes place in a made up futuristic city, we had a lot of freedom to create the ADVENT world of entertainment, sports, and lifestyle. I love the work of Futurist Syd Mead and used this as inspiration to create dozens of futuristic car posters, fashion show illustrations, ballet performance ads and consumer gadgets like smart watches and cameras. The goal here was to make images that were believable in a future setting and familiar to things we see in our real world.”

 

What were some of your favorite ads that you’ve spotted in the backgrounds or on the burnt-out battlefields of XCOM 2?