We here on the EQII team are blessed with amazingly talented folks. Our artists are simply incredible and produce some of the most visually stunning art that we've ever seen. Stephanie Young, one of our evironment artists, took the time to sit down and give us the skinny on what it's like to create a world. She is the artist behind the Erudin maps for both EQII and EQOA!

How does it feel to have been the artist to shape Erudin for so much of the Norrathian universe?

Erudin for EQOA aka Highbourne was one of the first areas I created in EQOA so it carries a special place in my heart.  When I was assigned Erudin in EQ2 I excited and honored to have the chance to walk down memory lane as well as the opportunity to take Erudin development above and beyond the PS2 limitations.

Did you draw on elements from EQ and EQOA for EQII?

When I first started at SOE I shared an office with Kevin Burns who created Erudin for EQ.  “Burnsie” was a real help when it came time to build Erudin for EQOA.  He gave me lots of background on the specific architecture and history of how important each building had become in Norrath.  The art lead at the time wanted the EQOA version to slightly deviate from the original look of Erudin, but there is still lots of white marble to go around.  And that is also true in this latest Erudin.  I will say that if I never see another white marble texture that would be just fine with me, LOL.  Besides the white marble, and since in the original EQ and EQOA all the buildings were part of the same city, I wanted to maintain a connection visually between the three parts/buildings of Erudin.  I choose similar shapes and carried the symbols through out each part/building.  To make each stand out, I choose different color combinations and then let the function of each building dictate the differences.  The concept artist on the team Dok Whitson came up with a set of concepts that all of the artists used, I think we all ended building the same column, LOL.  The column sort of became the thread that visually tied all of Sentinel’s Fate levels together.

EQII Erudin Library

EQII Erudin Royal Palace

Will people be able to pick out bits and pieces of the zones and recognize them from the other Erudin zones?

I incorporated some readily identifiable icons and/or symbols that are in all the Erudins.

What’s your favorite part of the Erudin zones (in any of the EQ’s)?

In EQOA I really enjoyed working on the outdoor part of the city.  In EQII I really like the Research Halls of Erudin as it was designed to be far removed from what a typical laboratory might look like, yet it still looks like it belongs to Erudin.

Are there any hidden areas or easter eggs that you slipped in for the really diligent explorers?

I think the only thing that might be considered an easter egg is the Erudin text found through out this expansion.  Although I wouldn’t really consider it a true easter egg since the designers called for most of it in the design documents.  There is a famous phase from EQ and EQOA that is “broken” in the EQII library, so I guess that’s kind of special.

EQII Erudin Research Halls

EQOA Erudin

How did you get started in the industry?

I started out as a graphic artist for a subcontractor to the Office of Naval Intelligence.  Gradually the company started incorporating more 3D simulations into the products we developed and I became the primary developer for the 3D assets used by the engineers.  Eventually though I found it difficult to “love” what I was creating in 3D.  So I decided to get more formal training at the Vancouver Film School in British Columbia so that I could pursue a career in 3D that created, shall I say, art depicting the happier side of life.  After school I landed a job in Lake Tahoe working under contract for a gaming company based in the UK.  It was there that I fell in love with environments both in game and out on the Tahoe Rim trail.  When that company folded I was offered a job here at SOE and I’ve been happily making environments ever since.

What are some of the other areas you’ve done the art for in EQII?

I created Sebilis, Charasis, and Befallen.

Do you have any advice for aspiring game artists?

Learn as much as you can in the fine arts, color theory, lighting etc.  And then learn as much as you can on current technology used for game development.  There is always something to learn, never think you know it all.