Richard Priest: Former Lead Artist at Attention to Detail

Richard Priest was hired by Attention to Detail in September in 1996. He worked on The Incredible Hulk: The Pantheon Saga and Rollcage before working LEGO Racers LBE, which lead to the later development of LEGO Racers 2 and Drome Racers.

 “I’m not sure if you are aware, but we also made an arcade game that was installed in Lego Land Windsor. It was an 8 player network race and it was just one track. We called it Lego LBE, I’m not sure why and I don’t think that was an official title. I did the graphics for that. The environment was based on some alien moon. We made this before Lego Racers2 and Drome Racers, and in fact, I think it was instrumental to us getting the Lego contract for further games.”

To start LEGO Racers 2 off with, he remembered this about the start of the development:

“I remember when we first started on Lego Racers2, we requested that we’d need lots of Lego, obviously as we had to model it for the game. Next thing we had a huge delivery of Lego, all the packs (like adventures, police etc) and we had to assemble it all. The whole office was full of Lego. Every spare desk was filled with it.”

There was additionally another story he shared mentioning a texture he worked on that was jokingly referenced by another artist as a “turtle island”:

“When I was creating the textures for the island, there was one particular “large stone” texture that kind of resembled a turtle shell. A fellow artist who was working on another project cottoned onto this, and every day without fail he would just say “turtle island” when he’d pass by my desk. It became rather annoying, but I never let him know that.”

Also, I queried Richard of what he could remember about the general art style of LEGO Racers 2:

“Yes, the graphical style for Lego racers 2 was set by me. I remember I wanted it to look colourful and almost childlike, I was greatly inspired by games from Square Enix at the time, particularly the legend of mana series. I wanted the textures to have a hand painted look to them as this would fit in with the Lego style. The technology for game engines at that time was very limiting and relied of your own teams’ programmers, you couldn’t just buy as off the shelf engine like Unreal or Unity. Texture blending in games was in its infancy, and I knew we needed that tech to create the island. It was a great effort from all the team to get a new game engine up and running whilst developing the game. The island was made from a greyscale heightmap and the texture layers were controlled through different coloured masks. This is, of course, very common tech nowadays.”

During the development of Drome Racers he remembered a tad bit different experience, in which he went to the LEGO HQ in Slough to work with the set designers behind the Drome racers theme:

“When we were working on drome racers we were invited to the Lego HQ in Slough, where we met with the guys responsible for designing the Technik cars. It was very interesting as they took us through the design process for the cars, some of these guys were actual car designers from the Auto industry, Lego had recruited them! We also worked with their concept guys to produce the look for the environments. As it was based on the Technik range, the game had to look more grown up than Lego Racers2. From what I remember, there was the concept of the environment being set in this huge drome, where the tracks were a mixture of natural environments with manmade elements. The manmade elements had this cool metallic look to them. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of the original concept art from Lego.”

Lastly, when I asked him about Drome Racers 2 he remembered this:

“I don’t think it ever got any real traction other than they were talking about it, and maybe some initial ideas/concepts.”

An Archive Containing Additional Art Richard Shared

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s