Mike Rayahwk LEGO Universe
Faction Banners
LEGO Universe Faction Banners - 2009
From left to right: Venture explorer faction, Sentinels warrior faction, The Assembly builder faction, and Paradox rogue faction
larger versions available at universe.lego.com

When I came on board the LEGO Universe team, a year and a half before launch, the game was getting pulled in three opposing directions by the directors at NetDevil (who were pushing for something like a PVP online BrikWars), Gazillion (who wanted to cash in on a generic WoW clone), and LEGO (who, with one or two exceptions, had no idea what an MMO was at all, but thought that Club Penguin seemed nice). With none of them willing to cede control to the others, the dev team was left spinning our wheels, story-wise. The only content we'd been able to get past that approval gauntlet was, for the most part, bright, saccharine, inoffensive, and impossibly bland.

So, in between my regular tasks, I took what little content we'd been able to agree on (logos for four heroic factions, and the yet-to-be-finalized faction leaders) and set out to create some images with a little more atmosphere in my down time. These images fell into the hands of the company leadership, and one way or another they clicked to helped give focus to a consistent direction for the game. They ended up becoming some of the central promotional images in the big push leading up to the game launch.

Faction Banner Action Shots
LEGO Universe Faction Banners - 2009

We printed up these images in a dozen different sizes and aspct ratios for all the different tradeshows they were getting sent to, but these were the biggest. Eight foot by sixteen foot vinyl banners, these were hung from the ceiling around the NetDevil studio and used as navigational landmarks. (My desk was under the Venture banner.) The Photoshop files for these were ridiculous: I painted them at 12,800 x 27,200 pixels, keeping each image element in a separate file so my computer wouldn't choke itself to death while I was working on them.

Mike Rayahwk
LEGO Playthemes | LEGO Universe
BrikWars | Spin Master | Etcetera
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