Review - Shining Force Feather: Design Works

A lot goes into making a video game. There's story, graphics, audio. You name it and it's likely in there. A lot of it happens behind the scenes, but fans don't get to see all that good stuff too often.

That's why when a book like UDON Entertainment's Shining Force Feather: Design Works is released, fans will want to take notice.

The collection is similar to some of UDON's other works. It essentially provides great insights into some of the thought processes behind character design primarily. The game was published for the Nintendo DS and has a long legacy behind it, seeing as how the first game in the series--Shining in the Darkness--was released way back in 1991.

The property has come a long way since then and Shining Force Feather: Design Works proves it. Some of the character renderings in this book are simply amazing, made even more so by the design comments handwritten in the margins. It adds a sense of intimacy to viewing them, allowing the reader to get almost full access to the creative process.

There's also an extensive interview with illustrators pako and Noizi Ito in their work and creative process. The art is very much anime inspired, but it's great to be able to read the thoughts of the actual illustrators regarding the work.

There are also pages dedicated to scene breakdowns, vehicles and settings. Yes, the bulk of the book is devoted to character designs, but it's nice to be able to see what the illustrators were thinking with Scene X of Cutscene Y.

Shining Force Feather: Design Works is a comprehensive look at the illustrative design process behind one of Sega's more storied franchises. While it's true that fans of the game (and series) will likely get the most out of the book, aspiring artists would do well to take note too. The collection is a cornucopia of useful tips and looks at the creative thought process behind character design.

Shining Force Feather: Design Works is available now with interiors below.