Computer game box cover – Oils on Masonite – 24″ x 36″
Sometimes, things happen for a reason. When Brad McQuaid called me to illustrate the cover to the massively multiplayer online computer game called Everquest, I had no idea how accepting the commission would change my life. At the time, I saw it as a project that would allow me to revisit some subject matter that I missed. After years of book covers that explored different areas, the subject matter in this game was a chance to get back to the things I so loved and illustrated while I worked at TSR. I had the chance to paint ogres, trolls and beautiful women again. It was a lot of fun. It also took me two months to do the first painting. During that period I did a multitude of layouts and designed the player characters that appeared in the piece.
After working with Brad for a short time it became apparent to me, and him I think, that we shared a vision. It’s always so much easier when that happens and usually better art is the result. I finished the cover, the game came out, and was a huge hit. More box covers followed as Verant was acquired by Sony Online Entertainment and published expansions. I found myself involved in another very successful property, which didn’t exactly break my heart. To quote Lt. Col. John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together,” and this one had.
- Keith Parkinson (Kingsgate 2004)