It was about this time when I started looking for a cover artist. A cover artist is a difficult thing to find. The artstyle needs to ‘gel’ with the message you want to convey to the players. For Unlocked, I was hoping to convey that this game was going to be a magical romp through a mansion with all sorts of oddities seen along the way. I also wanted folks to not be offput by that theme by making it be set in a modern era so they could relate to the character they would be.
Further, it is one of the most important decisions you can make in a publication because it is the first impression of the game that a player gets. My initial notion was that I wanted the game to look like a Days of Wonder game. It needed a slightly artistic cartoon feel. Not full cartoon but perhaps a touch of cartoon. A game should never take itself too seriously either as the cover can end up looking a little bit like a history book.
After about a month of searching and soliciting costs I found a not well known artist who was doing artistic renderings of folks on Facebook. His imagary relied heavily upon steampunk and magical devices. I was immediately drawn in. Scott Rogerson did a few drawings for a few gamers on facebook. I immediately took them and contacted him about working on my game. He was delighted.
We began working immediately. I described to him the concept of the game – “A magical/steampunk mansion where modern day teenagers are trying to make it through the house to this wise old magician.” And that was that. He immediately drew up a few drafts and sent them to me straight away. From the thumbnails I narrowed it down to one and he made a few modifications to test out a new layout. After that it was basically an eye doctor sort of deal. “Do you like 1… or 2…” “1… or 2…”.