Former Valve artist’s portfolio includes mystery co-op fantasy game, rad female TF2 characters

Valve Software might possibly be making a cooperative fantasy game, or have at one time worked on, or thought about making, or doodled some ideas for one. This revelation comes from concept art in the portfolio of former Valve artist Drew Wolf. “The project was a fantasy adventure game centered around cooperative combat and driven by story,” he says, though he doesn’t explicitly say the character sketches were for Valve, simply referring it as an “internal R&D project”. So maybe it maybe it never got beyond the R&D stage, maybe it wasn’t even for Valve, or maybe it’ll be Valve’s next game.

The point is: oh hot damn, Wolf also drew some ace concepts for female Team Fortress 2 characters, come look at these.

Let’s go.

With the cigars, yes.

Do check out the rest in Wolf’s ArtStation portfolio. He said these were from “An internal pitch project aimed to bring female characters to the cast of Team Fortress 2.”

Oh, that fantasy game? Over the weekend, Eurogamer pointed out character designs in Wolf’s portfolio. Wolf explained his role in it:

“Development of these characters started with a round of loose sketches. The goal was to present as many groups of four adventures as possible in order to establish a diverse cast of archetypal characters. After discussion and feedback the group was paired down to ten characters. They would become the projects main characters.”

rndheroes09

Once the characters were settled, he drew ‘mood sketches’ to give a sense of characters and the world, which “helped convey the direction quickly and facilitate creative discussion for each character.”

rndheroes02

His portfolio also has creature concept art from the same R&D project.

Was it even for Valve? Dunno. And if so, did it ever get past the R&D stage? Dunno.

Though Valve aren’t releasing much these days, they do seem to still be poking at things. Valve’s last full game was Dota 2, which launched in 2013. The only new game we know for certain they’re working on is Artifact, a Dota spin-off card game. Concept art for a space game out Valve was floating around years ago, though we’ve not seen or heard much from that in a while. My fingers are crossed that they’ve switched to an Inner Space game bearing the tagline “Now you’re thinking with sphincters.”

It feels like the main way we hear about Valve’s plans these days is through leaks.

26 Comments

  1. davethejuggler says:

    Drew Wolf has to be the most amazing name for an artist i’ve ever heard!

  2. Premium User Badge

    distantlurker says:

    That TF2 baseball getup is classy AF.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I’m a bit surprised the initiative to add women to TF2 didn’t go anywhere. I mean, they could doubled all the hat sales by making male and female versions, only wearable by one or the other, and making people buy both.

    Also, boo. Those fantasy sets look nice. I’d like some more fantasy RPGs. But by a game company, not Valve.

  4. Zorgulon says:

    That guy is a supremely talented artist.

    While it’s hard to imagine the TF2 characters as any different from their current guises, I’d really like to see some of those alternate female designs in action. It’s cool how they are clearly recognisable without merely being gender-swapped copies of the existing characters.

    • April March says:

      I’ve seen a bunch of fan-made female TF2 skins; they look great. (I dare saying that they look better than these ones, since the ones I saw had much more similar sillouettes and hitboxes. But maybe that’s just because the ones in the articles are concept art.)

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    Ninja Dodo says:

    Worth noting there was also a rather good attempt at making fan-created female TF2 characters by this talented lady: link to chemicalalia.deviantart.com

  6. int says:

    Oh goody. More games not coming out.

    • Nucas says:

      every new story about the games valve isn’t making swells my antipathy for the company. it’s now butting up against outright contempt.

      • ElkiLG says:

        Every company canns games. Do you now hate every developer, every game publisher ever because sometimes they stop making games that won’t work? Because with that mindset, you should.

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        Ninja Dodo says:

        Optimistically, 1 out 3 games (in any game studio) are cancelled well into production… and that’s not even counting concepts and prototypes. If you’re unlucky, it’s more like 2 out of 3 or worse.

        That aside, as a general rule, if you find yourself being angry at creative people doing their best to make cool things (successfully or unsuccessfully) you should take a breath and direct that energy towards something positive instead.

        • brucethemoose says:

          I suspect Valve’s ratio is significantly higher than that.

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            Don Reba says:

            Seems about right to me, Valve cancelling every third game.

          • Landiss says:

            It would only make sense for rich studio to have worse ratio. That is because they can afford to make lots of concepts and even start working on many projects. And if something is not looking that good, they can afford to delete it. The end result is that every new game is a huge success, while typically only a very small percentage of games are successful, most of them don’t even earn their cost.

  7. Kushiel says:

    Anyone know if there’s a larger version of that series of eight (Dwinn, Archibald, et al) available anywhere? My searching didn’t turn up anything.

  8. Turkey says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Valve was working on a Diablo at this point. With the exception of Steam, Valve and Blizzard are becoming more and more interchangeable every year.

    • SquirrelKnight says:

      Except that Blizzard, you know, still comes out with games every once and a while.

      • zgtc says:

        Valve has put out four new IPs and eight games in the past ten years to Blizzard’s one IP and six games.

        They also have under 400 employees to Blizzard’s five thousand.

    • alms says:

      It wouldn’t surprise me if Valve was working on a Diablo at this point. With the exception of Steam, Valve and Blizzard are becoming more and more interchangeable every year.

      Fuck, I’d buy that. Actually, I’m looking forward to Artifact.

  9. April March says:

    Heretic for Hire is a great sentence. I kind of want to hang that art as a poster pretending to be from a movie or something.

  10. Small Ivory Knight says:

    What makes me a good Demo-mom?

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