Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Got My Sword Nicked by a Shark

Update 2017: After some delays, I finally heard the final word from Fat Shark. They completely deny any inspiration, or even similarity between my design and their 3D asset. Apparently, that asset was inspired by "celtic swords".
Well, good to know. Here I was, thinking they just blatantly copied my drawing. 
Yeah, I'm not gonna go to court for 150-ish USD, which they of course know.
Still, I'll leave the blog up, as a reminder of their shameful display.
Shame! Boo! Thieves! 

(original post follows below:)
In October I got my friends a game on Steam, which I wanted to play with them.
It's called End Times: Vermintide and it's set in the Warhammer universe.
It's developed by Fatshark.

We had a good time, each playing a different character. After one session, I noticed the elven ranger Kerillian (played by my flatmate) used a dagger with a design which was somehow familiar.

///Edit: The post was edited to focus on the one specific sword design, the rest was confusing.

Eventually I realized it reminded me of a drawing I did in 2009: (2nd from the left)

This is what the weapon looks like in the game:

The thing is nearly identical.  

The way the crossguard is composed of two levels of curls (each curling in the opposite direction), the shape of the blade, even the pommel is heart shaped with inward curled edges.

Here's a comparison (thanks to Hessper), so you can see the designs together :

At first I thought it was funny, a big videogame company using designs from bloody DeviantArt.
Then I thought it was a bit lame. This game is a commercial product, they continue to make money on it, as it's still being sold and played by thousands of people every day.
I thought I should say something, because this should not happen.

It's especially baffling to me, since the game is based in the Warhammer universe, and has loads and loads of existing art under that license, any of which they could've easily use for inspiration.

So I decided to contact them, looking for an explanation rather than big bucks. (don't get me wrong though, I still asked them about a licensing fee)
I wrote them an email through their official contact and waited.
This was in October and I'm still waiting for any kind of reply whatsoever.

To sum up - Fatshark, if someone at the company reads this - I would still love to hear from You and find out how this happened. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

How to Get on Your High Horse

Just a quick thing I noticed one day, reading one of the many books on the Scytho-Siberian cultures: (both "Amazons" by Adrienne Mayor and "World of the Scythians" by Renate Rolle mention this)
How does one mount a horse if he's not using stirrups?
Something I didn't know - that the ancient Greeks mounted their horses by clutching at the mane and swinging, or using a lance as a pole. (this is according to Xenophon's detailed instructions)
Scythians (as we know via Herodotus) trained their horses to kneel on command.

We even have lovely depictions (probably) of horse training from the Chertomlyk mound:


Reading about this, I remembered the "Alexander" movie. See, his horse Bucephalus was said to be of a Scythian breed. And there's something interesting, if you watch two different scenes of Alexander mounting Bucephalus:
Young Alexander hops on the Greek way: (around 2:54)

While older Alexander riding to the battle of Gaugamela mounts the Scythian way: (from 0:45)

It could well be a coincidence, but I like it nonetheless.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Wondrous Women With Swords

Just a quick one today. Yesterday we got a trailer for the Wonder Woman movie:

I've never read any WW comics, I'm not a fan, but it looks surprisingly entertaining.
One thing that caught my eye was the sword she wields.

Now, during her first movie appearance in Batman vs. Superman, WW had a different sword, which I didn't like a lot:

It looks vaguely late-medieval or early renaissance, maybe inspired by the cinquedea:
Why would Wonder Woman have a sword like that, what historical sense does it make? Of course, the handle is WAY too long and looks pretty stupid.

Her new sword looks like this:

Now, by itself it's not mindblowing, but a few things about it intrigue me. Firstly, the shape of the guard reminds me of this sword from grave Delta in Grave Circle B at Mycenae: 

The handle and pommel are more reminiscent of (mostly fantasy invented) twisted "celtic" hilts, but the general shape isn't too far from some Scytho-Siberian swords. 
Now, Wonder Woman is an Amazon, so some Scythian influence would be appropriate. 
Looking closer at the guard's dragon heads, they really do remind me quite a bit of these Scythian dragons from Central Asia:

Here's a close comparison:

If that's intentional, that's quite neat. Good to see Holywood designers take inspiration from historical designs. (Honestly, I wish someone did WW entirely dressed in this style, not the comicbook nonsensical "armour". But I fully understand why they went with the established style.)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Swords and Orcs

It's been a while! Months even. I'm still working on Six Ages, so I don't have anything not under the death spell of an NDA I could show.
That said, two supplements for The One Ring RPG have been released fairly recently (Horse Lords of Rohan and Erebor) and I did a few pieces for them:

(goblin man and half-orc)

(Angrenithil - "Moon Iron", a sword made by both dwarven and elven smiths)

(a dwarven masked helmet)

(a war horn made of a drake's skull)

© 2016 Sophisticated Games and Cubicle 7 Entertainment Middle-earth, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises and are used under license by Sophisticated Games Ltd and their respective licensees.