Sunset Overdrive Box Art by ilovedust

James Stevenson is the Community Lead at Insomniac Games and has been at Insomniac for nearly 8 years. His favorite Insomniac box art was the Resistance 3 art created by acclaimed British illustrator (and now Campo Santo Art Director) Olly Moss. You can keep up with him on Twitter at @JamesStevenson or follow his gamertag: jstevens0n.

Hey everyone,

We hope you enjoyed all the awesome coverage of Sunset Overdrive yesterday. We’re so blown away and grateful for the response we’ve received. If you haven’t had a chance to read Edge Magazine’s AMAZING cover story (with exclusive screenshots and artwork as well), you can still grab the digital issue here! And check out our blog here which recaps all the online coverage as well.

Today we’re going to be taking the going into more detail on the box art of the game. You may have caught a glimpse of the box art at the end of yesterday’s First Look video (and if you haven’t seen that video, drop everything and watch it now!).

Box art (and art in general) is always a hot topic, sparking passion and debate as folks have wildly different preferences and tastes. Many times the game box and art is the only physical representation of a game you own and love. So we figured you might want to hear about the artist and our process for what we think is a terrific piece of art, and one we’re proud to use to introduce people to Sunset Overdrive.

Fortunately we had some amazing firepower on our side. Every project we usually have a list of dream artists we’d love to work with. For Resistance 3 we worked with Olly Moss, which led us to this spectacular box art. For Sunset Overdrive, we really wanted to work with ilovedust, a graphic design studio based on the south coast of England. They’ve worked with Nike, Red Bull, Wired, and many more. We’ve loved their work from a distance, and thought they fit the game’s art style. When we met them, it was clear they didn’t just understand Sunset Overdrive, they truly got us and our mindset. It was a perfect match.

When we all set out to create a box art for Sunset Overdrive, we knew we had a major challenge ahead of us. First, Sunset Overdrive isn’t a character-forward game. The character in Sunset Overdrive is YOU. You’ll customize your character and play as yourself. So the cover couldn’t really solely focus on just a game-style rendered character and weapon [today’s “standard” videogame cover].

That presented the second challenge – how do we present not just the world of Sunset City, but also the characters and factions that inhabitant it? Now, for all you minimalism loving folks, this will hurt, as we quickly decided the best way to show all of the variety and build the world was to go for a dense, detailed illustration. (But you should check out ilovedust’s awesome minimal Chemical Smile image that we used a tease at E3 2013)

ilovedust set out to create a densely layered composition that not only showed a hero character/weapon but also the rest of the world of Sunset Overdrive (And there’s actually additional hero characters traversing!). This is the result, one that uses dust’s unique style, while also staying true to Sunset Overdrive’s color palette and world.

Sunset_Overdrive_KeyArt_Vert_RGB_Final

sunset-boxart

There’s a ton of detail packed into the cover, here’s some of the larger elements on the cover (which doesn’t even get into all the tiny hidden details!):

  • Hero Character with Roman Candle gun. This was one of the tougher parts, as showing any sort of “hero” in a game where YOU are the hero and can play as male or female, various body types, and tons of customization options, means you probably won’t see this guy in your game much.
  • OD, Overcharge Drinkers. Multiple varieties of OD in the mutant OD horde.
  • Survivors. Other residents of Sunset City who didn’t drink Overcharge Delirium XT that you’ll meet during the game.
  • Scab. The human ne’er-do-wells who are taking the opportunity to loot and plunder Sunset City.
  • Effects. Fourth wall breaking effects from the Scab’s gun.
  • Fizzie. Fizzco’s corporate mascot insisted on being on the box cover! He’s impossible to resist, as you’ve seen on Twitter so far. Check out his robot blimp hovering menacingly in the clouds.
  • Game logo. ilovedust’s logo for the game, in bright Overcharge Orange.

As always, you’ll see this artwork in a lot of places besides just the box, and as such ilovedust created a larger version for horizontal use that incorporates even more elements and characters.

Sunset_Overdrive_KeyArt_Horiz_RGB_Final

We’re really excited about this box art. Working with ilovedust was a dream for us, and they helped deliver something that’s different than anything out there. It’s an insane illustration, and one we think you’ll grow to appreciate more as you get to know the world of Sunset Overdrive even better.

If you have questions about the cover, post in the comments and we’ll try to answer!

  • edifying

    The box art is way cool and really does reflect the game as a whole. You had mentioned choosing to show a hero as being tough considering the player character is fully customizable. Is there any reason why you chose to present the box art character as male instead of making the character look more ambiguous gender wise? Was it a matter of difficulty, a matter of marketing, or a matter of “I just wanted to draw a cool dude on the cover”? He does look pretty cool, just sayin’.

    • James Stevenson

      The basic thinking was we should sort of have an aspirational character you see as identifiably “Sunset Overdrive.” So that actually started more from the character artist side here, trying to find the right look. They sort of have to sell themselves as someone you’d find in our world (just as you find the space commander in Mass Effect) while also being someone you’d want to play as (even though you’ll probably customize your own way, the dual-edged sword here).

      That’s an interesting idea though in terms of gender neutrality. We basically just started from the medium build male model in the game, and iterated off of that. It’s always tough because we’re so pressed to the wire, and getting something with all the folks involved both here, Microsoft and ilovedust, all happy took a lot of fast work.

      Would’ve been interesting to see what came from trying a gender neutral approach. Worth noting too: all of the customization in the game is gender neutral, so any clothing can be worn regardless of using the male / female models.

      I hope along we can show a lot more options for look/appearance as we go, including female heroes. Polygon’s preview actually shows some of the options nicely.

      • edifying

        Thanks for the insightful response! :D

        Yeah, I’d say the character pulls off looking fairly true to our world while still being tied into the game world. The previews I’ve seen so far emphasize the idea of the player character being “yourself but cooler/more ideal” as opposed to some kind of prebuilt wish fulfillment archetype like “space marine”, so the cover character works even if you’re not gonna be playing as him unless you, well, make your character just like the cover character.

        So, it was primarily a time thing, I see. Having gender neutral customization is a very nice touch (A win for the ladies! A win for the men who don’t wanna be Typical Muscled Genetic Paragon #291! Maybe a win for nonbinary gendered people? We’ll see when it comes out.) I would have preferred the cover reflect that, but, again, time…and I can’t really complain about the cover being just so REPRESENTATIVE of the game as a whole. It’d just be so wrong if the cover wasn’t as off-the-walls as the game.

  • JerrellJohnson

    GREAT JOB! You guys are hitting everything on the nail so far. This game reminds me of how “cool” games use to look before you got a chance to play it. Awesome artwork, awesome advertisement. Thank you.

  • Stas

    This is terrible cover art. It looks very unprofessional. It appears even more ugly compared to the beautiful game art. Please make another one, I beg you!

    • James Stevenson

      Sorry you feel that way, but it is a super pro illustration. I like to think of it as something you would’ve seen in the Super Nintendo days for box art. But I’m also an art nerd and like all kinds of different takes. For every Olly Moss Resistance 3, I love Tyler Stout’s Sleeping Dogs cover too.

    • avi

      Looks like the perfect box art for a game like sunset overdrive.

  • ART_Goon

    Yooooo!!! I am so excited for this game right now its INSANE!!! I’ve been waiting so long for a game like this to be released. Ever since I’ve played Jet Set Radio (which needs a revival) I have not really had the joy of actually having FUN. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy playing games but only a select few now a days get me excited to play them but, I’m talking about the ones that hit you deep in the soul. The feeling you get when you’re at school and that’s all you thought about. I miss those and it looks like you guys are going to bring those great times of my childhood back. Also giving more reasons to love my Xbox ONE!!….and for that I thank you deeply, Insomniac. Also where can I buy a poster version of the LARGER box art if its available?

    • James Stevenson

      We’ll see about posters. Needs to happen. I’d love it as a fine art giclee, myself.

      We’d love to get an online store running at some point too

  • http://myshashin.tumblr.com TicTaek

    This is awesome in so many ways. This game is only getting better and better in my eyes. The art direction you guys are taking on this game is an instant classic. Totally Insomniac. Thanks for this game! Cheers!

    • James Stevenson

      You’re welcome! and thanks for the kind words and for commenting!

  • http://weibo.com/haoxb Joseph Hao

    wow~I have to say :awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwesome!!!pre-ordered!! :-)

  • deadlysin687

    I can’t afford an Xbox One after buying my PS4, but I NEED to win one or something, this game looks amazing.

    • James Stevenson

      plenty of time to save up before Fall ;-)

  • avi

    This game looks crazy awesome.
    Day 1 for me.

  • http://www.jackpipsam.blogspot.com Mark Davenport

    Sexy, I can’t wait to play it.

  • Dylan Praesto

    damn you Insomniac, why do you piss in all you fans, there is no words for ppl like you, i dont even know. “this is the game Insomniac have been working up for, for 20 years” . “xbox1 exlusive! yeah thats right alla our fans, you can’t play our game, we will give the game (you help us build, all our true fans) to all the other ppl, not you guys, f you, we will make sure our fans never play our games again, (or you better pay up for a new console hahahah!)”… yeah F you Insomniac, cant even begin to understan how you could do this to us.

    • eduardobm

      You speak as if they moved to the “enemy side”, like this is some stupid videogame war. I owned a PS2, now I own a 360. You have the freedom to play wherever you like and so should they.

      • Dylan Praesto

        dude, stop with the BS. if there is nothing like a console war, there would be no such thing as exclusives, and everybody would enjoy this game this fall. also, i don’t hate on Microsoft, i used a 360 for the majority of the last gen. i’m just suprised that insomniac build a big fanbase on the sony consol, and then left us you know?

        • kabal_test

          dude if you wanna play this game get a XBone… if not get a PS4 it is that easy!
          and it is still time to convert since you pretty much still get the full price if you sell your PS4 on ebay…

          I was a GameCube user, then i switched to the 360 now i might get a PS4 first cause of the better graphics in multiplatform games, but i will sure as hell also get a XBone and play this game!

          i really don’t get people that stay with a company just for the names sake… i mean the PS2 was trillion times better than the PS3 which is why i hated the PS3 and liked the PS2… I loved the GameCube and hated the Wii…

          not i got a 360, a PS3 and a Wii U (bought a PS3 cheap to play some of the exclusives i missed)

          for me it changes with every single generation… just because i liked the GameCube doesn’t mean i also like the Wii… or does it?
          and just because i didn’t like the Wii doesn’t mean i have to dislike the Wii U!

          Just because you are a PS3 fand doesn’t mean you will like the PS4…
          _____

          also like @Alex Brown said they chose to go with Microsoft for a reason!

          • John Edwards

            99% of the games on each system will be the same, so buying both isn’t the best option for everyone. Especially when 1 is costly enough for some. Face it, Insomniac KNEW they had all the history and fans on one system and didn’t care. So they decided with Xbox and hoped we’d all just buy the system just for their unproven IP. And if that wasn’t tempting enough, then MS had to make a poor case for their system by making it $100 more expensive with a useless accessory forced in which I bet this game won’t even use and turned the gamers away with all sorts of terrible policies. Some things have been reversed, but it’s too late. Everybody got a ps4 and not ever MS lying by stating Titanfall was exclusive could close the gap or stop it from growing.

          • el_69_se_parece_a_ti(Modelador

            yeah… right… lol

          • Alex Brown

            How is it “too late”? Are you serious? These console have been out for less than a year…Why hold a grudge like that? You’re right, they did reverse their policies, and on top of that, pretty much all of the people that were doing bad at Microsoft, people like Mattrick, Whitten, and Greenberg, are now gone and Phil Spencer is in charge of the Xbox division. Things are looking good on the exclusives front for the Xbox One right now, and I’m psyched about that.

            If I held a grudge against corporations, I never would have invested in a PS3 due to all the stupid crap Sony was saying and doing at the beginning of last gen.

          • John Edwards

            If you read, I explained why it’s too late. People have consoles now and many don’t have the cash to get 2 systems or the reason to buy 1 more JUST for 1 game.

            sony did make a lot of stupid decisions/comments, but you’re equating ego about price and developers wanting to work on a system to MS telling users to buy a 360 if they didn’t have online and to just be fine with owning none of their games due to DRM. Not only is it a big difference but the companies have always had largely different strategies.

            Nobody complains when Sony announces a new exclusive these past 2 gens because they either do it all in-house or because MS told the devs they couldn’t make the game (either because they didn’t care for the idea ala heavy rain or because they have a dumbshit parity clause)

            that’s not the same as MS moneyhatting devs and devs electing to ignore fanbases. IG is saying they wanted to make this game for 20 years. That means the entire time fans on sony systems were giving them money to produce more and more titles that decreased in quality with rapid succession, IG was never putting their all into it. They chose to leave ALL of those fans who have supported them these past 20 years behind just because they wanted control of the IP, they though the end result is their new game is still exclusive. What did they gain? Peace of mind? When Sony didn’t own their last IP IG made, Activision managed to snag it and then ruin it.

          • Alex Brown

            Sorry for the late reply, I’m not ignoring you, I’ve just been busy lately.

            Anyway, you’re right, some people do have next-gen consoles now (myself included), but just look at the install bases of last-gen. It’s obvious that many more people don’t have new consoles yet, because they are either waiting for more games to come out, a price drop, or for any number of reasons. It’s not a cheap investment, so it’s worth taking time to consider what console you want to get first if you can’t get both. I did this myself by looking at the games coming out for both, and I ultimately decided on an XB1. I’m not a brand loyalist, so I fully intend on owning a PS4 at some point in time, but not anytime soon.

            Speaking of brand loyalty, that seems to be an issue for you. It’s obvious by your avatar that you are into Sony games, particularly Infamous, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but owning multiple consoles is fantastic and I think you should give it a shot. You’d be able to enjoy the exclusives for both systems, and wouldn’t have to resort to hating on a company like Insomniac for putting out an exclusive on a console you don’t own…or, since they retained rights to the IP, you never know, Sunset Overdrive 2 might make it’s way to PS4. It’s certainly not beyond of the realm of possibility.

            You speak of “moneyhatting devs” as if Sony doesn’t do the same thing for exclusive content and games. I’d be willing to bet that they’d do it even more if they had the capital to do so.

            It seems like you’re taking this very personally, and I can’t understand why. Sunset Overdrive looks great, yes, but as I mentioned before it’s not Insomniac’s fault for going to the XB1. There are some games I want to play on my XB1 that I can’t for one reason or another (like the aforementioned parity clause), but I don’t go on forums and throw a hissy fit. The recently released Transistor is just one example, as I played Bastion on the 360 and was fully expecting to be able to play their next game on an Xbox console as well, but apparently I can’t.

            It does no one any good to take this stuff so personally and act like you were “betrayed” or something. At the end of the day, Insomniac has got to do what’s best for them, and as it stands putting their game on XB1 is what they felt was best for them as a company. I’ve supported Insomniac in a big way in the past by purchasing Resistance and Ratchet and Clank and Spyro games, and I don’t feel betrayed, I feel like I was buying games that I was interested in and that’s that.

    • Alex Brown

      It’s not like that though. Apparently Insomniac approached Sony first about publishing this game, but Sony wanted to own the IP. Insomniac said no to that and went elsewhere. They’re an independent company, so they have the right to go wherever works for them, and Microsoft apparently opened up and decided to publish the game whilst allowing Insomniac to keep the rights to the Sunset Overdrive IP at the same time. They’re not “pissing on their fans”, man, it’s just business.

  • Ben

    Any chance of having a reversible cover with the rad minimalist design on the back?

    • James Stevenson

      Maybe? It’s something we’ll certainly discuss with MSFT, though printing costs can be the issue there!

      • James Stevenson

        if not, perhaps we can make something high res you can print at home,

      • V3

        But when it’s a blockbuster console-defining game like this is gearing up to be , why skimp on a reversible cover?! BTW im sure im not the only one who gets a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas vibe/swag from this game and its artwork.

        • James Stevenson

          yeah, but it’s always weird little things that add up on tons of copies :-).

  • john

    I love my xbox one an i so glad that this game is coming only to xbox.from you guys make it amazing so everyone can see how fantastic xbox one is an whats coming in the future peace.

  • kickingitoldschool

    This cover looks pretty sweet!Amazing just how creative Insomniac is as a studio.My only regret is that I’m a Playstation guy so therefore I will not play it but,I am sure the XBOX fans will likely enjoy this.

  • Tony Touchdown

    Beautiful insomniac. I Love this game already. As a gamer my Xbox One is the best thing to happen to me. And you just made it even better. AMAZING!!!!

  • el_69_se_parece_a_ti(Modelador

    Beautiful, just beautiful! The design is fantastic Day 1 for me! I hope there are a lot of respawn animations, they look so cool

  • chris guerrero

    i need a poster of this.