One Helluva Gal, Val!
by nobby on 30/09/2011
Okay, so the time has come to unveil another character/car combo, and another example of the excellent concept art being produced for Carmageddon: Reincarnation. Once again, the artist is the great Doug Telford. When we first approached Doug to do some art for us, we decided to start by getting him to look at updating two existing characters. The first was Screwie – and our legless reinterpretation of this nutter was revealed in my previous blog. The other character I was particularly keen to see full length was Val Hella. No particular reason why… Although I might have had my own ideas of what the rest of her looked like, when I painted her original portrait back in 1995…
(Actually, she was based on the poster image of Charlotte Rampling in the movie "The Night Porter". A film I've still not got round to seeing.)
Along with this image, I put together a brief brief for Doug. Here's what it said:
"Bio blurb: She's the self-crowned queen of the race scene, and her chariot is aptly equipped with wheel mounted blades.
Val's got to look really sexy – but deadly with it. She's clearly a candidate for tight-fitting black leather, in a fetish-Nazi style (think something Max Mosley would like...). Actually, there were good examples in Return to Castle Wolfenstein...
But perhaps with hot pants and stiletto boots. This is Carmageddon, after all – so it needs to have a subtle touch, obviously. ;)
So, that's my personal – er-hem – take on the direction for her."
Doug was happy to commence work on Val based on this direction (surprise!). He started with Screwie though, and after we'd decided to lose poor Screwie's legs and give him the wacky wheelchair, I got to thinking that it would be cool if all (or many of) the characters could have some sort of additional "prop" or visual characteristic that would help define them. And a prop that suited Val popped into my head right away. So the next time I emailed Doug I added, "Really look forward to the Val Hella image... Thinking that maybe we should think about props for all the characters... Maybe she has a tiny dog in a Nazi uniform or something... :D"
Amazingly, within minutes of sending this email to Doug and the team, team-mate Trifle emailed us all with this reference photo…
…Which could not have been more perfect, even if I'd produced it myself using some sort of supernatural Kirlian photography technique directly from my brain to the photographic paper!
Doug duly did his excellent concept arting thing… And almost before we knew it, character no.2 popped into our Inboxes. Val Hella reborn, for us all to have a vigorous next gen wan... drool over.
I decided that her co-driver would henceforth be known as "HellHound". (BTW, it took some time before I noticed that the insignia on HellHound's little leather cap was actually a bone – which made me LOL a lot.)
As we were all happy with the cut of Val's gibs (and the flesh holding them in), Doug moved on to Val's car – The Cleaver. As it was a pretty strong design in the original game, we decided to just give it the lightest of makeovers:
Fearsome, eh? I can just see it growling along Maim Street, with HellHound at the wheel (growling too), while Val's round the corner getting another tattoo done.
So, that's the short story of another character re-imagining. Thanks for popping by to see this new instalment. Next time, we'll have a change of pace as I reveal another piece of… environment concept art – so we can all give our wrists a rest. Super!