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Posts with tag Samwise-Didier

World of Warcraft Tribute by UDON now available

World of Warcraft Tribute by UDON now available
World of Warcraft Tribute, a 224-page monster of an art book by Blizzard Entertainment and UDON is now available for purchase. The book showcases Warcraft art by both Blizzard artists and Warcraft fans alike, featuring pieces by Samwise Didier and Arnold Tsang as well as a ton of other notable fan artists -- you may recall Blizzard's call for fan submissions earlier this year. Over 200 illustrations are featured in the deluxe softcover edition, all paying homage to World of Warcraft through gorgeous illustrations depicting some of the most notable characters and places in Azeroth.

You can order your copy of this gorgeous book on either Amazon or Barnes and Noble for $32.30 USD -- it would also make a great holiday gift for Warcraft fans as well. In addition, Blizzard has made new desktop wallpapers from several of the illustrations available for free on the website -- don't forget to check those out as well!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Arts and Crafts

World of Warcraft Tribute Art Book available for preorder

Fan-art
UDON Entertainment is publishing an art book made up of community-created artwork called World of Warcraft Tribute and it is now available for preorder. A year and a half ago, Blizzard asked for professional and fan artists to submit art inspired by Azeroth and this is the result. The book has 200 illustrations from international artists. Also included are commemorative pieces from Blizzard artists Arnold Tsang and Samwise Didier.

There is a nine page preview over at UDON's website. If you wish to preorder, the preview includes links for preordering from both Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other retail sites.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

The Art of Blizzard Entertainment exhibition to open on January 12

The Art of Blizzard Entertainment exhibition hits LA Jan 12
The Art of Blizzard Entertainment, a massive 376 page collection of artwork from Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo, will be available for purchase later this month. But if you're in the Los Angeles area and you're wanting a sneak peek at what the book has to offer, you may want to clear your calendar at some point in the coming weeks. Gallery Nucleus, located in Alhambra California, will be hosting a special collection of over 50 pieces of artwork from your favorite Blizzard games, including an extensive collection of concept art.

The exhibition will be at Gallery Nucleus from January 12 through February 3, 2012. However, there will be an opening reception from 7-11pm on January 12. Guests attending will have plenty of games and activities to keep them occupied, as well as an opportunity to get exclusive posters and other commemorative items. There is a $5 entrance fee at the door for the reception, however those that show up in costume will get in for free.

In addition to the artwork and events, several of the Blizzard Entertainment artists featured in the book will be in attendance giving painting demos, signing books, and simply hanging out with attendees. For more information on what sounds like an incredibly fun time, you can check out Gallery Nucleus' official website.


Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items

Latest issue of ImagineFX features Blizzard art and more

Whether you're a fan of Blizzard's vast array of art from all of its franchises, or you're an artist wanting to know more about the process behind it all, this month's issue of ImagineFX magazine is definitely worth picking up. The December issue features workshops by Samwise Didier and Laurel D Austin, as well as exclusive art by Alex Ross, Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell, Craig Mullins, Alex Horley, and many more, all topped off with a cover image of Jaina Proudmoore by Glenn Rane.

One of my top reasons for purchasing collector's editions of Blizzard games has always been the art books included in those editions. You don't really think about the sheer amount of artistry that goes into designing an expansion when you're simply wandering around in game -- but the art books provide that behind-the-scenes glimpse of development. Blizzard has some truly talented artists on staff, and the ImagineFX issue is another place to get a look at all the hard work that they do.

You don't need a subscription to pick up ImagineFX, you can simply purchase a single issue on their website if you'd like. And for the sake of convenience, the magazine is available in both print and digital versions -- so there's no need to wait for shipping, either. Learn more about the issue on the official website, or go ahead and order your issue today.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Blizzard's schedule for Comic-Con 2012

Blizzard releases schedule for ComicCon 2010
Are you headed to the magic, the wonder, the majesty of Comic-Con 2012? The San Diego Comic-Con has evolved into something far more than just comics -- it's now about all kinds of geek entertainment, including video games. While Blizzard won't have a booth at Comic-Con, they'll still have a presence and even a panel for attendees. If you're lucky enough to be headed to geek mecca this weekend, take some time to check out the following.
  • Blizzard Entertainment product showcase Thursday, July 12 Room 6BCF If you've never been to this panel, it's worth attending. While the panel doesn't discuss game development or release dates, it does talk about the other side of Blizzard's products -- the comics, books, action figures, toys and other material they release in conjunction with their games. There is a Q&A at the end of the panel, which will include Chris Metzen and be moderated by Kat Hunter. Add it to your schedule if you're wondering what's going on in the world of Blizzard merchandise!
  • Blizzard Entertainment autograph signings Insight Editions Booth #1035 Want to get your favorite Blizzard stuff autographed? Here's your chance. Friday morning from 10-11:30 a.m., you'll find Micky Neilson, Flint Dille and Matt Burns happily scrawling their signature for you, and from 4-5 p.m. on Friday, Chris Metzen and Samwise Didier will be signing. The Insight Editions booth will also have a sneak peek at the upcoming The Art of Blizzard book, so stopping by is advised!
  • Christie Golden autograph signings Christie Golden has written a ton for Blizzard, and if you've got one of her books, getting it signed is a great idea. Christie will be at the Cryptozoic Store on Thursday between 7-8 p.m. and at the Mysterious Galaxy booth, #1119, from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday. Please note that the Cryptozoic Store is not at the convention, but it's a just a few blocks away; the address is 411 Market Street, downtown.
Having gone to Comic-Con a few years, I can tell you that the best way to make sure you get into a panel or an autograph section is to get there early. I can't stress this enough. If you have something to sign, make sure it's not buried in a backpack -- and it's helpful to put a bookmark in the page you want signed, too, if you're bringing a book!

Blizzard also has a host of licensing partners showing off all kinds of products from sculptures to books to the WoW TCG. Check out the full post on the official website for more information.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

The Art of Blizzard covers Blizzard's artistic history

The Art of Blizzard covers Blizzard's artistic history
If you like the art that Blizzard creates for its games (and really, how can you not?), then you should get yourself a copy of The Art of Blizzard, a new hardcover that surveys the past 20 years of Blizzard's development in art. Covering the origin of the studio and its development with more than 800 illustrations and commentary from Nick Carpenter (vice president of art and cinematic development), Samwise Didier (senior art director) and Chris Metzen (senior vice president of story and franchise development -- and you seriously should probably know this guy already), it promises to have something for the dedicated fan or the fan of art and illustration. As Blizzard themselves put it:
This epic volume of art and behind-the-scenes insights celebrates the company's genesis, granting readers access to the inception and development of Blizzard's blockbusters and offering a never-before-seen look into some of Blizzard's unpublished projects.

I'm definitely looking forward to this one. I can't draw worth beans, but I love me some art.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

BlizzCon 2011: Samwise on Mists of Pandaria

Our sister site Joystiq nabbed an interview with Samwise Didier who is, in a way, the spiritual father of Mists of Pandaria. As art director, he's had an influence on every Blizzard game for years, but this one's special: he originally created the Pandaren.

"It was one of the last things that I really wanted to see in World of Warcraft, which is Warcraft in general ... Now I can almost say, well, I think I've done good with Warcraft -- they're finally in."

Check out the full article.


The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, BlizzCon

World of Warcraft Magazine issue 4 preview now available

Do you like World of Warcraft news? Do you like your World of Warcraft news in convenient paper form? Does the number four fill you with such joy that you obsessively compulsively collect all things with that particular number on it? Well, good news on all these fronts: The folks at World of Warcraft Magazine appear to be sending issue four to the printers. Hopefully, this means the magazine will be shipping and arriving in mailboxes soon.

The 148-page behemoth contains a look at the creation of the goblin and worgen races, a selection of artwork from Blizzard artist Samwise Didier, and a behind-the-scenes look at BlizzCon. If you just can't wait, head over the the official website and check out the excerpts for preview that were just posted.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: The Pandaren


The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Brewfest is still ongoing in game until Wednesday, Oct. 6, and while the Alliance has their dwarven brewers and beer lovers behind the festival, there is a race of creatures that are not included in the festivities at all -- well, not directly. I'm speaking, of course, about the mysterious pandaren -- a race of humanoid pandas that is about as elusive as they come. Pandaren have shown up in references here and there in World of Warcraft, but for the most part, they seem to be nothing more than vague Easter eggs. However, the World of Warcraft RPG covered the pandaren extensively and provided some background into the nature-loving race.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the pandaren is the origins of the race. Of all the races in Azeroth, the pandaren are the least well known but one of the most beloved of many players of the original Warcraft games. The pandaren first showed up in Warcraft III, and from there, the loveable race of humanoid pandas grew exponentially in popularity. Though the original Warcraft and all subsequent games were carefully planned out, the enigmatic panderan began with an April Fools joke that spread like wildfire.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

New anniversary interviews in Blizzcast 12 and on the minisite

Blizzard continues to update their minisite -- the latest newness is the posting of a new Blizzcast, in two parts. In part one, Karune of the Starcraft community team interviews Chris Metzen, Rob Pardo, and Samwise Didier about the history of Warcraft as a whole (it's celebrating the 15th anniversary as well this year), and part two has our friend Nethaera talking to J. Allen Brack, Tom Chilton, and Jeff Kaplan about the game itself. As is usual with the official podcast, there's not much new information here (especially if you've already read through some retrospective press), but both interviews are worth a listen (and/or a read through the transcript) if only to hear these guys all in a room together, joking around about old times.

Elsewhere on the site, they've started posting written interviews as well. The first one is with Shane Dabiri, former lead producer on the game, and there are faded-out spots for J. Allen Brack, Tom Chilton, and Jeff Kaplan as well. The other spots aren't revealed yet, but they're supposed to be interviews from the "community," so it'll be interesting to see who those turn out to be. Blizzard, anytime you want to chat with me about the history of World of Warcraft, just drop an email!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

Samwise's best memory of the last five years of WoW

Our good friends over at the Orange Country Register have jumped in on the fifth anniversary interview extravanganza, and they've posted information from a short chat with none other than Samwise Didier, Blizzard's primary artist. They asked Samwise for a crazy memory from the last five years, and he came up with a time when he was rolling through a Pollo Loco drive-through, and the guy behind the window called him out by name and said he "liked your show." Which show? Didier is of course the lead singer of TAFKAL80ETC, a.k.a. The Artists Formerly Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain, Blizzard's in-house rock band. Pretty awesome that a video game artist is now literally a rock star thanks to this game.

The OC Register (don't call it that -- did you think I'd get through a post about them without saying that?) is also looking for memories from fans as well to be printed in their paper -- you can jump in the comments on their site and share some memories of your own. We'll also be celebrating the game's fifth anniversary here on WoW.com, so stay tuned around November 23rd for a nice look back at where this gigantic game has accomplished in the past five years.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Pandaren in the World of Warcraft

In among all of the "omg fake pets for real money" drama from this week's announcement, we may have missed something big: the Pandaren are now live in the World of Warcraft. The Pandaren are my favorite Azerothian race, even though they're essentially a joke -- Samwise Didier just loves pandas, and he made art for an April Fool's joke that Chris Metzen loved so much they decided to include the bears as real characters in Warcraft III. Since then, they've become fan favorites (not least of all, especially for me, because alcohol and ale are a big part of their culture), but we've only seen hints of them in World of Warcraft. There was a rumor going around a while back that they would never appear in the game because China didn't allow depictions of violence against the bears, but that was just a rumor. Still, the Pandaren have existed in WoW only as a Blizzard in-joke. We assume they're out there somewhere, but until now, no one has ever seen one.

Of course we say "until now" because there are now little Pandaren monk noncombat pets running around, bowing, and doing magical kung-fu. Does this mean that the future Emerald Dream expansion will have us all playing as Brewmasters? While yes that would be awesome, not so fast again: Diablo and the Zergling from Starcraft are both in the game as noncombat pets, and they don't mean anything at all (although they were both included in the game before the announcements of Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 -- maybe Blizzard is working on a Pandaren-based puzzle game? Conspiracy theorists, assemble!). And just because we all have Grunty doesn't mean murlocs are suddenly going to take to spaceships with battle rifles in the official lore. But it's cool to see Pandaren actually in the game, even in pet form, and who knows, maybe we will one day find the legendary realm of Pandaria in our own version of Azeroth.

Filed under: Alliance, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs

Samwise does guest strip for Penny Arcade


The webcomics community seems like a pretty cool bunch, specially when they all pitch in and help each other out. One of my favorite webcomics, PvP Online, often features guest artists to fill in for creator Scott Kurtz when he's away at some convention or just down with some bad bug. Just recently, he coralled the immensely talented Ramón Pérez, the genius behind Kukuburi, to do a guest strip while he was down with the flu.

That's nice, you say, but what's this got to do with World of Warcraft? Well, see, Gabe from Penny Arcade (aka creator Mike Krahulik's alter ego) apparently picked up some kind of bad bug during their PAX or Penny Arcade Expo, and some well-known comic folks such as Bill Amend and Kris Straub stepped in to help. The highlight is that World of Warcraft's art director, Samwise Didier, the man largely responsible for the look and feel of many of Blizzard's games also pitched in his contribution.

It has nothing to do with our favorite game, but it's freaking Samwise doing a freaking Penny Arcade strip! I mean, I don't really have to explain why I'm posting this, right? One of our favorite WoW icons doing a guest strip on one of our favorite webcomics (that occasionally tackles WoW) is so full of win it almost makes Saurfang cry. These sort of crossovers are so cool, you almost wish these webcomic creators would get sick more often. Ok, not really, but you know what I mean.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Comics

Sons of the Storm to appear at BlizzCon, unveil another member


The Sons of the Storm is a kind of artists' collective connected with Blizzard -- they're responsible for the majority of the concept and game art coming out of Blizzard, from the Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo series. They count Samwise Didier and Chris Metzen in their ranks, along with many of Blizzard's most popular artists. And apparently their ranks are growing -- on their latest website update, they have posted a new group picture, along with a mysterious "eighth son" that they say they will introduce sometime later, possibly months after BlizzCon. From left on the picture above, you can see Samwise Dider, Chris Metzen, René Koiter, Travis Thammer, Glenn Rane, Peter Lee, Mark Gibbons, and the Eighth Son, who a commenter over at Blizzplanet speculates may be Wei Wang.

Speaking of BlizzCon, the Sons site also says that all of the seven current sons will be signing at the convention, so be sure to bring your TCG cards, Warcraft novels, art books and anything else these guys may have worked on. We're sure there'll be a line, but if you're willing to brave the wait, you might get to meet some of the most creative minds behind Blizzard's beloved universes.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Galleries, BlizzCon, Fan art, WoW TCG

BlizzCast episode 6 available for download

The 6th episode of BlizzCast was posted today, and though it contains very little WoW-specific information, the podcast still contains a ton of information general Blizzard fans would like to hear. When listening to it, keep in mind that it wasn't recorded in the last few days or anything like that, it's a few weeks old at least. They mention Wrath of the Lich King still being in beta testing and Sylvanas' custom model hadn't yet been implemented, for example.

Their guests this time around are Lead Tools Programmer Monte Krol, Senior Art Director Samwise Didier, Lead Game Designer Dustin Browder, and senior artist for Diablo III Anthony Rivero. That lineup of guests really offers up a cool look at the early design and development of Blizzard games, and the guests actually offer a little insight into just how you can start working for Blizzard yourselves. They also have another installment of their Q&A portion with various developers.

Starcraft and Diablo fans will find the gameplay information in this BlizzCast more interesting than people who are exclusively WoW players. As always, BlizzCast is available for download through the official website (EU has it as well), iTunes, or you can read the transcript right on their website.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard, Interviews

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