Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (or have been imprisoned in the dungeons of the Rock), you’ll doubtless be aware that Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress is available to pre-order now in stores and on our website.
That being the case, we’ve been taking a closer look at the different aspects of the game that help to create a dark and brooding atmosphere. Last week, we showcased some of the incredible artwork in the various booklets found in the box, but today, we’re focusing on the game tiles that depict the interior of the Blackstone Fortress itself. We caught up with the mysterious archimancer (aka: talented illustrator) who produced the unique designs and artwork on the tiles – John Michelbach.
John: The challenge with capturing the feel of the Blackstone Fortress was to create imagery that was arcane and unknowable, all while ensuring that it felt like part of the wider Warhammer 40,000 universe. It’s a weird and alien environment that is both living yet mechanical at the same time.
One of the first things you’ll notice is the triangular network that lines the floor and walls of many of the chambers. This effect mirrors the pyramidal shapes featured on the fortress’ exterior as well as the Spindle Drones that swarm around its interior like antibodies. Whether this network acts as some form of organic circuitry or is merely a form of rock striation more akin to a crystal or chunks of obsidian is all part of the mystery.
The Blackstone Fortress is constantly changing and shifting its internal structure like some form of giant puzzle cube or euclidean maze. New geometric shapes are perpetually being formed. This meant that I could make each chamber have its own style, design or visual narrative. Each map that the explorers traverse is formed of whatever sections are connected together at that moment in time.
If you take a closer look, many of the chambers are dotted with pieces of archeotech and long-dead creatures – some of which may look familiar, while others may pre-date the Imperium itself! I also made regular use of purple energy and light sources to match the optical power orb of the Spindle Drones painted by the ’Eavy Metal team.
Thanks for your insight, John. We’re sure you’ll love poring over his intricate artwork on the tiles to see what archeotech and other details you can identify when you get your copy of the game! You can also read more about the mysteries contained within the Blackstone Fortress in Darius Hinks’ novel of the same name, also available to pre-order now.