BlizzCon 2016 Hearthstone: Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Panel Transcript

This is a full transcript of the BlizzCon 2016 Hearthstone: Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Panel. The event was hosted by the following panelists:

  • Matt Place (senior game designer)
  • Jomaro Kindred (concept artists)



Narrator: Welcome to the Hearthstone: Mean Streets of Gadgetzan panel.



Matt: Hey, guys! What’s going on? Awesome. This is super fun. We finally get to tell you about our new expansion for Hearthstone, the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. Our team, the Hearthstone team, has been like hard on it all year and this is going to be a ton of fun. I’m Matt Place, senior designer on Hearthstone.



Jomaro: Hi. I’m Jomaro Kindred, I’m a concept artist on Hearthstone.



Matt: I first have a question: Is everybody here okay with spoilers? Yeah! Thanks goodness because we have a lot of new content to share with you today, and we’re going to tell you a behind-the-scenes story of how we created Gadgetzan. First a question– I don’t have my clicker, I need a clicker.

Jomaro: We need a clicker.

Matt: Alrighty

Anonymous speaker: We love you, Matt Place!!

Matt: Howdy, just like in my dream this is perfect. Alright, so some of you guys might be wondering, why Gadgetzan?



It’s a sleepy little town in the middle of Tanaris desert, not a lot going on here other than some shady dealings. The Alliance and Horde could transfer items between using that neutral auction house.



And one day Deathwing got mad and caused a global cataclysm. As you can see– ugh, the clicker is not working. There we go, awesome.



So Gadgetzan was unfazed, other than becoming beachfront property. It was great for Gadgetzan, created a ton of new opportunity now that it’s a port town.



This opportunity caused huge growth, and all this growth is overseen by a character who might be familiar to some of you. He’s now the mayor, Mayor Noggenfogger. Cool!



So let’s dive in and take a closer look at the creation of the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan.



Visual Design of Gadgetzan

Jomaro: So I’m going to share with you how we approach Gadgetzan from a visual perspective. We wanted it to feel dark, scary, and like bad news could be waiting around any corner. We wanted the backalleys to feel like they had backalleys; but in a fun Hearthstone kind of way.

Let me show you where we began. So initially we started off with buildings that kind of felt like they fit in the current Gadgetzan, we just put our flavor on it. We started out with the barber shop, because you know Barber Shop is a neighborhood staple. Right? I mean who doesn’t– well, we don’t all need barber shops, but a lot of us do.



(audience laughs)

Editor’s Note: It was a joke. Jomaro has no hair.

It just seemed like a no brainer, and just below that we had to go the tattoo shop and in a city like Gadgetzan where you have all these crews and crime families and gangs… they got to represent. What better way to represent them to get tattooed up? So from there we realized you know we need to see the feel big and bustling, like it’s growing. So we sort of started stacking these buildings on top of each other to get the height we needed.

You know… get the feel we wanted, and that felt like the right direction. So after that, we realized we have to design the three districts for our major crime families. On the left, we started with the Grimy Goons, they are tough, they are like your street level mobsters. So that’s what we were going for. We went with strong shapes, strong materials, bullet holes in the wall. We want it to feel really strong and tough.



After that we moved on to the Jade Lotus. We got a lot of inspiration from Pandaria: the lanterns, the curved roofs, ornate doorways. I feel like we accomplished that. On the far right, we have the Kabal. They are mages and mystics. We wanted them to feel a little dangerous. So we went with more triangular shapes because of course that feels dangerous. You can see that in the silhouette of that building, you can see it in the windows, even in the drapery hanging down.

So now that we have the city kind of figured out, we know the direction we’re going in, we had to kind of establish the mood, and I want to stand up here and tell you guys like establishing this mood was super hard, but let’s face it… we don’t have a day-night cycle in Hearthstone, so we just did ourselves a solid, and we just made it always night. There’s our mood.



Let me show you how this played out in-game. So on the far left, the Grimy Goons. You can see some of those strong shapes, those heavy materials. It feels industrial and it feels tough. In the center, the Jade Lotus. You see the archways, the lanterns, we really feel like we accomplished that there.



On the far right, you see those triangular shapes? You see it in the shapes of the buildings, the windows, and of course, that drapery; but not only did this early concept informed the end-game card art, but also informed the board.

We always have a great time making these boards. Hopefully, at this point you can kind of see those clearly distinguish factions in each corner. The top left is the Kabal. We got those strong shapes, and at this point we’re establishing some of the palettes, so you see those purples, it’s going to tip-toe into rich reds, and we’re kind of happy with that.

So to the right, you see the Grimy Goons. It feels tough. it feels strong. You can see those materials we used, and with that we kind of went more with the oranges and browns. We wanted it to feel earthy. Just below the Grimy Goons, on the bottom right, that’s the Jate Lotus. You can see those Pandoren influences. You see the green lanterns, the ornated doorway, the claytile roofs, and it’s interesting.



Right next to the Rogue weapons is a little bush. I suggest you click in on that little bush. Some fruit might pop out that you can slice and dice. You know we love high-end clickables all throughout the board. So have a good time finding them. On the far left, it had to be the docks. The docks played such a pivotal role in the growth of Gadgetzan that we couldn’t leave them out, and that kind of wraps up our visual design of Gadgetzan.



Next: Card Reveals

BlizzCon 2016 Hearthstone: Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Panel Transcript
Visual Design of GadgetzanCard RevealsThe Grim GoonsThe KabalThe Jade Lotus

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