DISCLAIMER: All of the content below is concept art. Concept art is a form of illustration used to convey an idea for use in video games before it is put into the final product. It often goes through many stages of iterations and changes before it gets in the player's hand.
Winter Army Concept Art.
One of the main objectives of the Winter Army update was to flesh out the infantry weapons. We wanted to give infantry more anti-tank options and start the ball rolling on faction-specific firearms. This process allowed us a pass to reevaluate the weapon types in-game, add some new functionality and finalize the long-promised tripod weapons.
The Infantry weapon concepts went a lot faster than the new vehicles in the Arms Race update. This is solely thanks to the camera angle and scale of the game. For the most part, the concepts were drawn as side views, make it easy to design shape language rather than dealing with perspective. I trusted Leon’s love and knowledge of historical guns to finish the 3D models. More detailed drawings were only necessary when the information was hidden in the drawing.
A priority was adding more anti-tank options for infantry at different points along the tech tree. We took the opportunity to add theming for how each faction's infantry engages armour. The most exciting part of this was the inclusion of new burst fire mechanics. We previously did not have this supported but now that we do, I have more options for future weapon design. The choice to expand second slot weapons is also exciting for the future.
The new warden MG has some interesting development notes. We knew we wanted an MG skin for both factions. This gun takes elements from the St. Etienne Mle 1907, MG 42 and the Mitrailleuse Modele 1931. I am really happy with the way it turned out. After the design was finished, we re-evaluated the small tripod mounted on the existing MG. Knowing we were going to add the large tripod HMG, we opted to make all MGs use bipods as visual and class distinctions, bringing them in line with the AT gun and new PIAT. This meant retrofitting a new handle, trigger and stock. Leon and I worked together with some ref images and I didn’t actually draw anything new. It also meant they were easier to support, aka program, for use in trenches.
Here it is worth noting as a general theme I have decided to not make clips, magazines, drums or platters faction-specific. It’s my personal opinion that that is too specific a thing to say ‘Colonials don’t use drum magazines/ platters just because they are round’. It seems most natural that gun makers on both sides just used what was best. I really want to focus on good design.
We have shown some of these tripod weapon concepts before but it is worth pointing out that we spent some time considering what the tripod, as a heavy item, would add to the game. Why not just have it already attached to the weapons? The end result was to add a trade-off of more functionality at the cost of setup time and difficulty moving. Examples include more range, the heaviest tier of infantry firepower, unique abilities like arching fire.
We are also planning on making the Storm Rifle a warden-only rifle and giving it a visual redesign. As well as as adding a new Burst Pistol to the Warden arsenal.
These infantry weapons are only the beginning. You have seen about one-third the total I have concepted. Look forward to more Warden and Colonial small arms, anti-tank and tripod weapons in the future.
The Colonial medium tank.
The planning for what tanks both factions will have was done a while ago (aka the big 300+ asset list in Arms Race). However many ideas were tossed around as to what the first colonial medium tank should be. Mark and Max were most excited (more than me XD) about the idea of the mass-produced tank. After some debate, it won the day. A benefit of this was the support for ‘mass-production’ vehicles. I can see us applying this to existing and future units.
"The Falchion" tank design has had the most work done on it to date. There are so many more concepts done for it than I can show (the reason will be clear at the end).
The idea was to add a KV1 or T34 style tank. Visually we wanted it to still be Colonial but to feel different. In the lore, Colonials have a number of territories under their banner. I thought this tank might come from a yet unexplored (visually) region. Matt eventually chose Kraunia. The theming of ‘mass-production’ led to a fun idea that the chassis was the mass-produced element. A successful workhorse now made all over Colonial territories with the turret varying based on the needs of any region. To this end, I will show off what I can of the concepts for the first variant.
Some inspirations for this tank were the mentioned KV1, T34 and Valentine. As well as, oddly, the Elefant.
During development, we had many debates over the size of the same model. We blocked in and tested a number of turrets, including designs I can’t show you yet. There was even a debate if one turret looked too high quality to be a mass-produced vehicle. At one point Max and I wanted the chassis to be thinner but Mark had a ‘Helm’s Deep’ style last stand to keep it the curred width. Leon wanted to add top roller guide wheels but I thought Colonials would cut them out of a mass-produced tank. Something we all liked with this final design was the reuse of the barrel shield from the LTD. This worked with the lore idea of different turrets from different factories.
Warden Scout tank.
On the other extreme of workplace discussion: "The King Spire". For this one, I had a really clear image of what I wanted. I pitched to Mark the idea of an old forgotten Warden tank repurposed into a scout tank that was so ugly and utilitarian that it stood out from the rest of the Warden tanks. I pictured this tank being cramped and uncomfortable to drive and operate. Warden tank crews didn’t want to be assigned to it. I really like how it came out. I took the opportunity to show off what Warden suspension looked like and made a rugged-looking teapot. The antenna, also ugly, was designed to look tacked on when the vehicle was repurposed to a scout role. There were ‘sketches’ for this tank but they are connected to something else I can’t yet show off.
Warden Mortar tank.
Actually, little to say on this one other than it was a Warden variant we wanted before the Colonial mortar half-track. It was always open-topped but originally it was going to have two mortars. Mostly for fun, I sketched out the interior of the light tank so that Adam would have a drawing to model in case the in-game camera could see the interior of the tank.
Originally the scope of the artillery revamp was not clear to me. I didn’t know the scale of the mad science Mark wanted for it.
As time went on, Mark grew to not like the look of the howitzer model in the game, so I redesigned it into what is now the Emplaced Light Artillery. I thought it would just be a straight replacement of the asset, then Mark made it clear he wanted faction-specific artillery pieces. A ton of development meetings went into what Artillery would be at Foxhole 1.0 and Winter Army is the first step. The funniest part for me was figuring out what emplaced Colonial artillery looked like and how it differed from Warden. This has a lot of implications for the future including designing Colonial EATs and EFMGs.
This promo art contains a few ‘teasers’ for uniforms and a mysterious Warden tank. The funny thing is these were planned and got pushed back after I finished the art. Winter coats and hats may show up one day, but for now, you can all freeze in the cold!
This has been my favourite update for the game so far. Beyond my portion of the work, I think we have really made something that touches on every element of the game. It will be fun to see the new meta set in. I am really proud of the work of the entire dev team and everyone involved, including all the players whose suggestions helped shape this update. I think this is a big step towards the future and Foxhole 1.0.