An artist who worked on the teaser trailer for Elden Ring has published a concept art made for him, and made it very clear that he does not have an intimate knowledge of the game. Of course, being the Elden Ring, the community has gone wild with delight. And the answers have not been long in coming.
Posted to his Artstation account, Gabriel Björk Stiernström showed off various concept pieces, along with comments on why they weren’t ultimately used in the game’s E3 announcement trailer. On the Elden Ring subreddit, Stiernström posted a statement to contextualize the work and chill any speculation about possible new details hidden in the art. End that statement by saying: “You can read up on concept art as much as you want, but I don’t really have any knowledge of the game.”.
The images include several shots of the hammering scene that we see in the trailer, including a version of the scene covered in tree roots that was described as “too dark souls”, different shots of the scepter and dais used in that scene, and an ‘exploration concept’ of what the final impact effect might look like (below).
Stiernström explained the process of his work at Digic Pictures, the company tasked with helping create the hammering scene in the E3 teaser, saying: “I had no idea what he was working on.”.
“Most of these were made for internal discussions at Digic Pictures between the art director, director, producer, and leaders.”, continuous Stiernström. “When they were happy with something, they shared those concepts with the client. In the end, FromSoftware would provide us with more or less most of the concept art in any case.”.
“I received a short for each assignment, but ideas change during production and so does the short. What you do today is irrelevant tomorrow. Sometimes one short is very clear and others are open to interpretation. We try to provide our expertise. on how we can convey the mood and style desired by clients through lighting, animation, composition, camera angles, focal lengths, colors, etc. “.
With so little information since that teaser, the Elden Ring community is incredibly hungry for new details, even creating a full game story while they wait. So while it may not be the actual Elden Ring, this art is the closest thing to official images since that trailer. As you can imagine, the fans have liked it, with many thanking Stiernström for the post, calling the artist a hero, and praising the art itself.
Of course, others took this as an opportunity to make self-deprecating jokes at the expense of the community, and memes were plentiful shortly after posting.
And of course there were still those who, despite Stiernström’s warnings, went looking for information. GoatKiddclxvi wrote: “Roots everywhere! Actually, the scene takes place in a tree! Man, this is insane, thank you very much”, to which ForeverEqual responded: “That was what I first noticed. This pretty much confirms the tree theory!” (The theory is that the game is inspired by Yggdrasil, the world tree of Norse folklore.)
Others have interpreted the unexpected release to mean that internal nondisclosure agreements about the game are coming to an end, meaning they may receive more news in the near future. LentStories wrote: “The fact that you have posted this on your official portfolio makes me think you are not doing this without some kind of permission; be it an NDA ending or a direct permission from Fromsoft. Both give me some degree of hope for more news. “.
The most surprising thing is that the predominant response, in all the publications that I have read, has been positive. It’s truly a pleasure to read the Elden Ring subreddit today as people celebrate something new to pore over and incorporate it into the self-reflective tradition that built the community.
So what do we really know about the Elden Ring? We know it’s a Soulslike open world from Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki and Game of Thrones writer George RR Martin. Miyazaki says it’s an evolution of Dark Souls, and we know Xbox director Phil Spencer has played it. Other than that, it is a blank page. We hope that 2021 will be when it is complete.