Original Story: An artist that worked on the Elden Ring teaser trailer has posted concept art made for it – and made very clear that he has no intimate knowledge of the game. Of course, this being Elden Ring, the community has gone wild with delight nonetheless. It’s been genuinely lovely.
Posted on his Artstation account, Gabriel Björk Stiernström showed off several concept pieces, along with observations about why they weren’t eventually used in the game’s E3 announcement trailer. On the Elden Ring subreddit, Stiernström posted a statement to contextualise the work – and cool any speculation about potential new details hidden in the art. He ends that statement by saying, “You can read into the concept art as much as you like, but I really have no knowledge of the game.”
The images include various takes on the hammering scene we see in the trailer – including a version of the scene covered in tree roots that was described as “too much Dark Souls” – different takes on the scepter and dais being used in that scene, and an ‘exploration concept’ for what the final hit effect could look like (below).
Stiernström explained the process of his work at Digic Pictures, the company tasked with helping to create the hammering scene in the E3 teaser, saying “I had no idea what I was working on”.
“Most of these were made for internal discussion at Digic Pictures between the Art Director, Director, Producer and Leads,” Stiernström continues. “When they were happy with something they would then share those concepts with the client. In the end FromSoftware would more or less provide us with most of the concept art in any case.
“I received a brief for each task, but ideas change during production and so does the brief. What you do today is irrelevant tomorrow. Sometimes a brief is very clear and other times it’s open for interpretations. We try to provide our expertise regarding how we can convey the clients wanted mood and style through lighting, animation, composition, camera angles, focal lengths, colors etc.”
Famously, with so little to go on since that teaser arrived, the Elden Ring community is incredibly hungry for new details, even creating an entire lore for the game themselves as they wait. So, while it might not be the actual Elden Ring, this art is about as close as we’ve come to official images since that trailer. As you can imagine, it’s gone down well among fans, with many thanking Stiernström for the post, calling the artist a hero, and praising the art itself.Of course, others took this as an opportunity to make self-deprecating jokes at the expense of the community, with memes galore appearing shortly after the post.
And, of course, there were still those that, despite Stiernström’s caveats, went looking for information. GoatKiddclxvi wrote, “Roots everywhere! Indeed, the scene takes place in a tree! Man this is nuts, thank you very much”, to which ForeverEqual replied, “That was I first noticed as well. This pretty much confirms the tree theory!” (That theory being that the game draws inspiration from Yggdrasil, the world tree of Norse folklore).
Others have taken the unexpected post to mean that internal NDAs around the game are coming to an end, meaning they may get more news in the near future. LentStories wrote “The fact that he has this posted on his official portfolio makes me think he isn’t doing this without some kind of permission; either an NDA ending, or direct permission from Fromsoft. Both give me some degree of hope for further news.”Most strikingly, the overriding response, across all the posts I’ve read, has been one of positivity. It’s genuinely a joy to read through the Elden Ring subreddit today, as people celebrate something new to pore over, and build it into the self-reflexive lore the community’s built. If this is the response to concept art for a trailer, I can’t wait to visit after FromSoftware finally reveals more.
So, what do we actually know about Elden Ring? We know it’s an open world Soulslike from Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki and Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin. Miyazaki says it’s an evolution of Dark Souls, and we know that head of Xbox Phil Spencer has played it. Aside from that, it’s very much a blank page. Here’s hoping 2021 is when it’s filled in.