Thought y’all might be interested in this; it’s the art reference doc I sent to Evil Hat today so they can make pretty pictures for Wild Blue. Enjoy.
Wild Blue Art Reference
The best way I can think to describe the aesthetic of Wild Blue is that it looks the way Bastion’s narrator and soundtrack make you feel. If you haven’t played Bastion (or if that nonsense just doesn’t mean anything to you), then think of a Weird West-ish setting with a bit more fantasy thrown in. Prairies, mesas, great mountain chains, untamed forests, deserts; all that stuff has a place in Wild Blue. But there’s fantastical stuff too, like a town built on top of a lake, or copses of trees the float in the air, or a glowing blue rock that’s mined for its magical properties, or a train in the sky.
Things I think should be handled with art pieces:
Whitehorse: This guy’s the narrator of the setting. He sounds like Sam Elliot and Chris Kristofferson mixed together after a night of hard drinking. Looks like that too. Grizzled gunslinger type, wears the gunslinger garb, and he’s got a hard, haunted look on his face. Whitehorse can see into the future but he can never change anything he sees, and that’s had a profound effect on him. He’s dangerous, probably one of the most dangerous men in the Blue Lands, but he’s past his prime. He’s a teacher now, teaching younger Wardens to do what he once did himself. Maybe some regret, maybe a little pride (but only a little).
Wardens: Wardens are the superheroes of the setting, but they don’t necessarily dress in superhero costumes. Stylized cowboy outfits, great big dusters, wide hats, six-shooters at their sides. The Cobalt Star of the Wardens on each and every chest. This thing’s a badge, like a sheriff’s star, and it’s the badge of office. Each Warden may have some affection, some bit of garb or facepaint or whatever that speaks to what they can do, what their power is. Run with that a little. Also, don’t be afraid to give Wardens obvious physical manifestations of their powers, but don’t overdo it.
The Sky Rail: This is a train that rides on tracks in the sky. The tracks are made of skywood and cobalt, with great skywood buoys that hold them aloft. It’s not like a regular train or train track; the train rides in between the rails, with open sky above and below, wheel-arms jutting out to either side fastening onto rails such that they don’t easily detach.
A Sky King’s Ship: The Sky Kings are pirates with delusions of grandeur. Run with the pirate motif. They captain these big flying ships, but their ships don’t look like sea-going boats. They’re giant hemispheres of skywood, flat end up, with sails that can swivel around the outer rim and a great main mast that’ll spin in place when needed, right in the center of the ship. Their landing gear look like a big spidery tripod that folds out when they need to rest on ground.
The Folk: They come in every shape and size, and I do mean every shape and size. Short, tall, bipedal, quadropedal, hairy, scaled, horns, human-looking, winged, blue skin, whatever. These guys are a bit like the fair folk of Celtic legend, with more than a little wandering monster thrown in. They are not mindless beasts though; they’ve been displaced by the humans who moved in and took their land, and will look alternately either dejected, furious, or mischievous. Some assimilate into human culture, but most either go to the Folklands (a vast reservation for their kind) or join the Crimson Council and fight against the Wardens and the people of the Blue Lands.
The Citadel: This is the Wardens’ base of operations, a huge floating fortress on a giant chunk of rock that stays aloft through cobalt reinforcement and skywood buttresses. It hovers several hundred feet above the city of Cobalt (the capitol of the Blue Lands), and you access it by way of either the Sky Rail or a system of rope-and-pulley elevators all around it.
Laketown: It’s a town on a lake. Not on the shore of a lake; on the lake. The houses, streets, everything; it’s all boats and floating platforms and bridges and such. They farm kelp, fish, and harvest all manner of medicinal herbs from the lake. Laketown is also home to the largest collection of guilds in the Blue Lands, so there’s plenty of wealth here.
And finally, some inspiration and reference pieces: