Top weekly Workshop submissions : Konrad Krzeminski and The Scourge of Evernight
This week were submitted more sets than usual. Every single one is beautiful and unique so I really can`t imagine how Valve can pick only a few to lock them in a chest or treasure. They must flip the coin every time!
In the spotlight for this week we have Konrad Krzeminski, a chatty workshopper who was happy to answer my questions. I put my eyes on him some time ago when I saw his amazing work and knew that someday I will have the chance to talk with him about his sets.
Hello, Konrad! Tell us something about yourself and the people you work with.
Hello, everyone! My name is Konrad Krzeminski. I am a 3D artist. To be honest it`s always hard for me to introduce myself as I don't think there is anything special about me. However, that is the best thing in Workshop. That people who are not special themselves can do really special things together. So to allow someone like me to make a nice Dota 2 set I always need someone else's help. Usually, that is my fantastic girlfriend Magdalena Proszowska, who is doing concepts and loading screens for me. I also had the pleasure to work on two sets with a great artist, Kendrick 'kunkka' Lim.
Which was your first item and how did Workshop change over the years?
The first item I designed was a hear gear for the Engineer class in Team Fortress 2, called Safe'and'Sound. It was way before Workshop. Items were free, only available as drops. Back then no one expected that Workshop as it is now would be possible. Self-mades in Team Fortress had custom particles, so whenever you played the game everyone knew it. The community was very supportive and happy for creators. It was a great feeling that hooked me forever on the concept of having self-made items in the game.
Studies and work, however, moved me away from Workshop a bit. But one day I saw a Polycount Dota 2 Workshop contest. I knew I needed to try. I didn't win, but I lost myself again, and there was no way back this time. My first Dota 2 set that I submitted was for Faceless Void.
What do you like and what do you dislike about your Workshop career?
I really like the interaction with the community. For me uploading a set is always a great moment. To let the world see what I was working on. It does not matter if they will love it or hate it. Hate always makes you improve and love gives you insane satisfaction.
What I hate is when this interaction is broken. When you upload a set and despite it having a positive rating it also has 0 comments. When no one complains about it on Reddit. Even if such a set eventually ends up in the game, it always makes me wonder if there is something I did wrong.
What do you think about the feedbacks you receive? Do you take into consideration what people say and change your concepts if needed?
Artists have different opinions about feedback from the community. Personally, I believe it`s very important. I would even say that feedback from players is way more important than the one from fellow artists. In the end, what we do is for players to have fun with. It could be the best art you have seen, technically perfect, but if it doesn't appeal to anyone, it is useless.
The only problem with Workshop feedback is that it comes at the very end, so most of the times we can only apply it to future sets. I really hope that at some point Workshop will have a system in which we will be able to post our work progress, updates, and receive feedback along the way.
In the beginning I was very defensive about the community feedback. One of my sets was really bashed by everyone. It was the "Danse Macabre" set for Phantom Assassin. In the end I decided to redo it completely, and after uploading it under a new name, "Dame de Carreau", it finally ended up in the game. So yes, ultimately I am now a pro feedback artist and I always read all of it, even when it wants to put me down.
Do you have a favorite artist?
I have too many to list all of them here. I also don't want to name specific ones, as that would make others less important. Everyone is improving so much, they could be my favorite artist tomorrow!
From where do you like to get inspiration for your sets?
For inspiration I always go to the lore or to something in the hero's design that is already there. Dota has a really good back story and it's full of inspiration. For example, if you look at my Riki set it doesn`t make much sense unless you know his lore. I also love to leave small Easter Eggs. An alternative weapon style in my Riki set is a broken sword with "Revenge" scratched on it. During Sunder animation, my Terrorblade set leaves a mark, number 6, which I guess is suitable for a demon.
For the Lich set I did some metal fragments pierced into his head, shaped together like a crown, but I guess that is what you get when you try to enslave a whole Kingdom. Even though no one will probably notice those, small details like these grow in my head into whole sets .
Which is your most popular set? And which set of yours do you like the most?
It is really hard to judge the popularity of sets when they are now bundled in chests. However, I think that would be a set for Lina, which I called "Ember Crane". That would also be the set that I like the most.
Now, about your latest set, The Scourge of Evernight. From where did you take inspiration and what was on your mind while you were creating it?
For this set I worked with Kendrick 'kunkka' Lim. He was mostly responsible for the design, but we spent together a lot of time discussing possibilities and working out ideas. We wanted to make this set look different during night time. While the Night Stalker turns into his nightmare, he grows bigger, and the position and size of his items change.
However, we wanted to move a step forward with this concept. Importer actually allows you to load a completely different model and texture for the night version. We wanted to take advantage of that. Basically, every element changes during night time, but this is mostly visible on his horns, which grow bigger and start to glow. It is however not an ordinary glow.
The standard Night Stalker body has some scars and wounds on it that are filled with orange flesh and liquid. We wanted to take advantage of this and show that he actually has a blood that reflects moonlight and pumps his whole body with power, making him glow bright orange at the tips. Sadly, I didn't get much feedback from the community after uploading this set to the Workshop. This however, in my opinion, is right now a general problem with the Workshop, where unless you`re lucky enough to upload your set at a specific time and secure one of the top 3 slots that show up in the Steam Library, you will get almost no feedback at all.
Still, I strongly believe in this set. For me, it is the most complex set I've done so far.
Thank you for your time, it was a real pleasure talking to you! Hope to see every set you designed on the market soon!
Besides the Night Stalker set, another fourteen sets are on the waiting list, ready to receive your votes and feedbacks.
I promised Toasy, the artist who designed this set, not to write „omg I`m in love” every two words while I present his set. So...OMG I love it! I really don`t know what I should start with. Enchantress' hair? Tiara? Or the large metal pieces?
What makes it different from other sets is the non-woodland theme with which we got used to when it comes to this hero. Pink has been used before, but not quite on this scale of coverage, thus giving Enchantress a feminine touch. The combination of the colorful summer dress with the large metal pieces is marvelous. But what gives her a very special charm is her gradient hair. You just cannot love this girly look of hers.
Give it some votes guys !
A different visual approach for the Troll Warlord was proposed this week. The artist entirely changed the hero`s look with the crazy haircut. It may appeal to many of you but for some, this is just a new Sméagol look.
Would you buy it?
If you thought that nothing can be done for this scorpion, you thought wrong. A new set is now on the waiting list, ready to make your game more pleasant.
The armor that is placed over Sand King's shell offers nothing short of an invincible look.
Did you miss the Abyssal Underlord`s sets? No, of course, you didn't. We have one (or two) every week.
We should totally make a top ten Underlord sets, what do you guys say? Maybe Valve will eventually take into consideration adding at least one on the Market.
Both of them are really cool and unique. I really don`t know how workshoppers keep getting new ideas for this monstrous hero since it`s not one of those heroes that are easy to handle. You have some limitations when it comes to Underlord.
Arc warden caught the attention of two workshoppers who came with two totally different approaches.
One of them seemingly inspired from cartoons and the other from science-fiction films, but both looking incredible. I like the colorful cloaks and it will be a real challenge for me to pick one. Which one do you prefer? Cartoonish or SF?
Even though it has only a two stars popularity, this new set for the Legion Commander looks pretty good, making you think of a roman warrior fighting in battle. I really like the back horns and the armor`s color.
What do you guys think? Does it deserve more than two stars?
From the dozens of sets available for the Witch Doctor, this one is for sure one of the most outstanding. Perfectly ingrained in the hero`s lore, the set has a very detailed mask. From the gradient feathers to the drawings that cover all of his body, this shaman looks exactly like he's supposed to. Oh, and did you see his Death Ward?
Looks pretty cool, doesn't it?
On a hero like Shadow Fiend it's really difficult to work on because he looks so badass even without a set.
As you cannot depart too far from his lore, all Shadow Fiend sets have this dark look which partially reveals a burning lava interior full of souls.
A Centaur set with nine pieces. Some are saying that's too much, and it looks loaded judging only by its loading screen.
But this is not true! In the game, his armor looks extremely good and it fits perfectly with the hero`s warrior look.
A cute little Techies ward is one of the most voted items this week. You have to see the animation that was made for it!
It looks so cute how it explodes when it expires.