Warhammer Fest 2014 Recap

staff_james_vanniekerkI’m James Van Niekerk, Art Director for the upcoming mobile game The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault. So this week I had the pleasure of attending Warhammer Fest 2014 in Coventry, UK. What a blast! I thought I’d write an article, but unpacking my photos from the event I realized perhaps a gallery would be more fitting.

I wasn’t there just to attend. My job for the event was to roam around the festival making sure everybody had a chance to play through Drop Assault, and reviews from fans were really positive. Watching the Reaver Titan lay down mass-destruction was an undisputed highlight in the playthrough!

The Celebrities

I really loved talking with some of the real authors and artists who make the magic happen behind the scenes. Had some great chats with the likes of Jes Bickham, of the White Dwarf team, who was demoing a mini game with Dan Harden (featured above), the amazingly talented Simon Egan, whose careful artistic hand has brought us many of the models in the gorgeous developing Primarch series and Andy Clark, of one of the writers of my beloved new Dark Eldar codex. I also was able to speak with several Games Workshop illustrators who are living the artists dream, working hard to realize the weird and twisted worlds of the Warhammer universe through creative characters and environments! Lastly, I had the pleasure of meeting other developers such as Don Whiteford of Nomad Games, makers of the awesome Talisman: Digital Edition!

The Displays

There were three amazing Horus Heresy exclusive dioramas set up in the convention hall. They depicted an epic battle in a factory world, a dusty confrontation on the surface of Istvaan and some sort of epic Iron Warriors space station under siege by the Imperial Fists.

This image deserves an honourable mention. In this display the Forgeworld team had clung a Kharybdis Assault Claw to the side of the exterior hull. Then on the inside they bored a melta-cut hole in the ship and had a squad of marines spilling forth. Very neat to look at!

The Golden Demon

Now this event sure did draw a crowd. The third floor of the convention hall was packed all day long with fans itching to have a look at the stunning models on display. Here are a few highlights I was able to get close enough to photograph.

A Few Words in Conclusion

I hope my photos make it clear that this festival was a feast for the eyes. There was so much going on that it would have been easy to spend all weekend roaming about. I was really encouraged to see people’s faces light up when they got to play through Drop Assault. It made me realize how the game can appeal to kids, teens and adults alike. Everybody gets a kick out of launching orbital strikes, deploying Titans and purging heretics like an Astartes!

Stay tuned here for the latest info on The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault, including unit spotlights, dev diaries, and news!