The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Concept Art, Diary, Podcast, and Trailer

Bethesda Softworks has prepared a significant amount of new Skyrim content for us ingest this afternoon, including 42 pieces of sweet-looking concept art, an 82-second trailer that showcases the concept art vs. the in-game model, and a team diary and podcast with lead designer Todd Howard and concept artists Ray Lederer and Adam Adamowicz. First, the trailer:

Why are you drawing meat? Next, a snippet from the diary:
Early on, the artists were given freedom to explore radical concepts, with the team leaders only stepping in to provide a general direction.

(I try very hard to stay away from saying 'I want it to look like this picture,' because I could just use that picture,) said Howard.

(I would pull a lot of Conan references, because there's a lot of different Conan art that I like. One of our early influences that I did show them was the McFarlane Conan action figure set. If you look at the Conan series they did, there's a great vibe in that stuff.)

Adamowicz described how loose the parameters were at that time: (We want bad-ass Vikings versus Conan, classic Frank Frazetta, and it's going to be set in Skyrim, and this is a place that's going to be a lot more brutal and gritty: draw a bunch of stuff.)

Highlighting how painful the process could be, he notes: (Probably about 90% of that [early work] didn't get used.)

By the time he joined the team, Lederer was excited to see the grittier direction that Skyrim was headed. With a laugh, he describes his initial goal on the project.

(My mantra at the time was, let's make it a little less Ren-fest and a little bit more like a biker bar.)