Beyond Dishonored’s wide cast of quirky and interesting characters lies the star of its show: the City of Dunwall itself. Beyond Corvo Attano, young Emily Kaldwin, The Outsider, the Warfare Overseers—to name but a sliver of the game’s proud ensemble—Dunwall is jam packed with character and stories, so much so that it’s now considered just as (if not more) important than those living (and dying) within.
Although starting off in Dunwall, Dishonored 2 travels to Karnaca—a new area that Chris described as a “sun-soaked southern colony of the Empire” in his preview earlier this year. The following gallery explores some of its locales, alongside commentary from art director Sebastien Mitton regarding their inspiration and design. There are some mild location spoilers ahead, in case you're planning on going into Dishonored 2 completely cold.
"Originally meant to be a mood board, Sergey Kolesov pushed the limits here by showing the bay being hit by the sun and rain at the same time, while the mountain blows its dust along the wind corridor."
"When you get a feature idea from the game design team, you never know how deep you’ll go in making it feel grounded into the world. The bloodflies ecosystem is a good example of where art mixes with story; showing that animation and gameplay can work well together."
"'Imagine Havana or Genoa with spots downtown where you can see giant trees too big to be felled': this was the brief given to the artist Laurent Gapaillard, who’s one of the most talented pencil artists in the world."
"The Shindaerey Peak serves as a natural landmark and helps players orient themselves, no matter where they are in the city of Karnaca. Here, the shot is taken at the train stop before the entrance to the house of Kirin Jindosh (a mad inventor), which overlooks the entire city."
The Dust District
"We really enjoy creating meaningful environments and the Dust District is a great example of this: a giant peak with silver mines at its base, a wind corridor that leads to a district at its end, and industrialization of the district with giant windmills - these were the starting points of the development of this area in Karnaca."
"Built on the vestige of an old fort, the Palace of the Duke is the result of the clash between classical and noble materials with modern lines."
"Karnaca is the result of years of urbanization including different waves of settlers from Morley, Tyvia, and Gristol which helps to give it, in addition to the natives, a great lineup of quirky faces."
Map of the City
"Thanks to the Serkonan Cartographic Society, some of our maps are topographic! The last wave of settlers was people from Gristol, who came in with money. They started a more structured urbanization with boulevards, a hidden harbor, and even a big canal splitting the island in two, from Quintana Gates to the far North."
A Southern Victorian Interior
"With this image we wanted to mix a British curiosity cabinet with a rich interior from Cuba or Italy. The goal was to create a contrast between Dunwall (location of the first Dishonored game) and Karnaca (primary location of Dishonored 2) in terms of tone and lighting."
"Here we can grasp the inspiration from our photo trips to Barcelona and see how our visuals are influenced by how the player will move around the environment."
"Because the wind and dust can be so violent that it damages Karnaca’s buildings, we came up with the idea of giving buildings in the Dust District diamond shaped blocks to break the strength of the wind on its surfaces. We then added some wind panels to the edge of these blocks, which is what you can see in this image."
The Dreadful Whale
"The Dreadful Wale is not just a nice shell of a boat, but a real ship with rooms to explore, which the player will visit many times throughout the game. Like the Hound Pits Pub in the first game, the Dreadful Wale serves as your hub between the different missions."