The art direction in the new King's Quest [official website] is a prickly subject. While some people are unimpressed with the final outcome, at least we can all agree that it comes from a good place. The latest 'Behind The Scenes With The Odd Gentlemen' video (which will never stop being creepy) shows that everything you see in the game will be hand-painted. Whether you’re a fan of the painting or not is up to you.
The emphasis here seems to be on a lack of digital painting, which makes the process less efficient, but more... Well, it means that it’s all hand painted, which is a nice bullet point for the back of the box. Of course, most textures are hand painted, technically, using digital brushes instead of horsehair. And most paints and brushes can be replicated in Photoshop nowadays, so really it's about romanticising the old methods.
I love a good bit of romanticising, and if seems fitting for a series like King's Quest. One built around fairy tales, forged in the early fires of the games industry. I think it results in some fantastic matte paintings and texture work, even if some of the models leave a little to be desired. I’ll be reserving judgement until I get my hand on the full game, though. As a fan of the series, I’m hoping that won’t be too far away.