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DEATH/MARK is an action game where the player takes control of Corvin, a knight imbued with the power of a dark God, as he seeks to topple the Church of Communion, a religion of people worshipping the same God when it crash-landed on Earth.


DEATH/MARK was a visual development project I completed as part of a vis-dev and concept class in Digipen Institute of Technolgy, during my Junior year of Spring 2020. We we allowed to choose the scope of our project, and so I decided on a full suite of characters and locations: A "hero" character (The protagonist/player character) with an accompanying weapon prop, a larger environment prop, a "Boss" enemy with two minor enemies, a location with an exterior and interior, as well as a piece of key art.


Corvin and Ruinmaker

"A fanatical Knight of the Church of Communion, Corvin was nearly slain on a crusade when he was revived by his God with their blessing and charged with a mission: Slay his way to the heart of his Church and break God's Prison."


"Ruinmaker is the personal weapon of Corvin. Worn down by years of wear and abuse, the DEATH/MARK imbued the blade with new life, and a portion of the God's deadly power."



The protagonist of DEATH/MARK, and his weapon. Revisiting a theme that I've not visited for a long time, I wanted to portray a protagonist that wasn't exactly the classic clean hero. The eldritch flesh is supposed to be consistent with the God's Prison prop with glowing pinks, circular grooves, and pallid flesh. Corvin's armour is also dinged and ragged with replaced sections, to add a sense of age to the whole outfit. Ruinmaker is based on 15th-16th century European executioner's swords, though I decided to blend some Roman Catholic relics into the design, as well.

Left: Sketches of the titular Death Mark, compared with iconography of the Church of Communion, and how it is integrated into Corvin. Centre, Right: Initial sketches of Corvin, and variations of the Death Mark's integration with Corvin.

The Holiest of Holies

“Legends say that long ago, God came down to us in the form of a sacred seed, that gushed forth a spring of blessed wine. Those that partake in it suffer the Blessed Pain, and are reborn cleansed to spread the Holy Word” ~ Book of the Holy Word, Canticle of the Blessed Pain



A major prop design for DEATH/MARK, the Holiest of Holies is the crux of the Church’s religion, so it had to be an imposing object. The figure within the sac, representing the trapped God, is inspired by the giant figures of Christ that hang above the altar that I would always notice when I attended Mass. I wanted to mix in ant traits with the clergy, so I started to add some amount of that to this as well, with the legs incorporated into the prison (Also like a dead insect lying on its back).          

Left: The initial designs for the Holiest of Holies, it was intended to be much more chaotic than the finished design. Right: Developments of the design, the Death Mark is now integrated into the design, and it is moving closer to an egg motif than the initial meteorite motif.
Left: Further variations of the design, I experimented with a non-humanoid form for the trapped God, though eventually I went back to a humanoid design. Right: A material key for the final design (This is an earlier iteration, though very close to the final design), I knew I wanted the contrast of slimy organic matter with the constructed items of the Church of Communion.

The Clergy: The Orator and the Penitent

“The Orator’s words cleanse us from evil, as his whip scourges away our sin and guilt.”

“The Penitent’s eyeless gaze watches us for any trace of wrongdoing, and his tools ensure our sins are justly punished.”


Minor enemy designs for DEATH/MARK. The Clergy are the enemies of DEATH/MARK, and the Orator and the Penitent are two of the various types of Clergy that Corvin must fight through in the game.

Their vestments are based on Catholic vestments, especially the chasuble for the Orator. The Penitent’s hat, as well as the three segmented sections of their outfits are to tie their shared association of ants with the Holiest.


Their weapons in their normal form are shared with their weapons in their mutated forms, mostly based on torture and flagellation tools used for self-mortification.

Left: Initial sketches of the Clergy, there was no demarcation of different classes yet, but just experimenting how far I could vary the different vestments they would wear. Right: The different mutations expressed by the Clergy, I wanted a slew of mutations akin to the J'avo from Resident Evil 6.
The sketches of the Orator and the Penitent, I designed the weapons after I had decided on the nature of their mutations - a whip for a mid-ranged enemy, and a hook (mutated into an arm-blade) for a close-ranged enemy.

The Bishop

“Once, the Bishop prayed for a miracle from the heavens. God Himself came down to His people in the form of a seed and invited the Bishop to drink of his wine. When the Bishop drank from the spring, his eyes were opened to the knowledge of heaven as he wept in joy. His body bloomed as a flower, and the Bishop swore upon the presence of God that he would spread the word of God to the far reaches of the world.” ~ Book of the Holy Word, The Miracle of Bishop Lasarius


A boss-level monster design for DEATH/MARK. The Bishop is a “Boss” level enemy in DEATH/MARK and is a vastly more mutated version of the Clergy enemies.


I experimented with various forms of mutations, from those that stayed close to the ant inspiration (in this case, a queen ant) to forms that were slightly more esoteric. My goal was to portray the human body twisted and mangled by the transformations, unlike the bodypart replacements the Clergy had. In the end, the design I settled for was a drider-like design, though I did manage to preserve the mangled qualities I was striving for.

Left: The initial designs of the Bishop. He had to display a higher amount of mutation than the Clergy, since he was "closer" to God by way of ingesting more of the seeping blood from the Holiest of Holies. Right: Refinement to the initial designs.
Left: Variations of the final design, as well as a diagram of how a normal human's anatomy is warped into the anatomy of the Bishop. Right: Colour variations of the Bishop. This was also used to choose the colours of the Clergy's outfits.

Cathedral of Communion

“The Cathedral of Communion; seat of God and source of infinite comfort and glory. The cathedral was built on the flesh of the sinful, to raise the faithful to the realm of the divine.”

“The truth is far darker than the Church would like the common folk to believe: The Church was built around the land where the Holiest, or more accurately the Seed, made landfall. From the leaking blood the Church received dark knowledge of the world, and from the Church they grew to spread their word with fire and steel.”

The exterior concepts of the Cathedral. While most of them focused on the mammoth size of the building compared to its surroundings, a few focused on important areas of the Cathedral, such as a foyer used for executing heretics and non-believers.

The environment concepts of DEATH/MARK. I planned to do an exterior and an interior of the central location of DEATH/MARK, which was planned to be a gothic cathedral.


One of the exterior zones I wanted to focus on was a landing where torture victims and those to be punished by the Church would be publicly tortured and executed (which was one of the thumbnails) but in the end I elected to zoom out and paint the entire cathedral to create a more imposing structure.


The interior was mocked up using 3d and was painted over a screenshot from the mockup. A lot of the textures were photobashed in to save time painting, especially the bone piles in the exterior along with the marble textures and stained-glass windows in the interior.

I modelled a full-sized cathedral to do interior mockups of the Cathedral (since I knew I would need help with plotting the perspective of a structure with many repeating elements like the inside of a church) using 3DS Max, and lit it within Marmoset Toolbag. Coloured lights were used to simulate the effects of the Holiest of Holies illuminating the inside of the cathedral. The roof elements had their normals face inwards, since the model was used only to mock up interior shots of the cathedral (including the key art)

Key Art - Confrontation

“It is prophesized that the Doom of the Church will come as a thief, bringing ruin to the Church when we are no longer vigilant in our mission to spread the Holy Word. Therefore, one must remember to be constantly awake, never resting in our vigil.” ~ Book of the Holy Word, The Closed Eye


The key art of DEATH/MARK, displaying a pivotal scene "in-game". The key art was to be a culmination of what I had created for the duration of the project, incorporating all the elements I had designed beforehand.


A lot of the focus was placed on the main character, Corvin, as the hypothetical game was about his journey. The cathedral interior used the same model as the previous interior painting, with a new set of lights set up to cut down on colour decisions for the key art (The sun cutting through the ceiling, with eldritch fire in the depths).

The logo was inspired by the logos of the Souls series and Berserk; I had two approaches; I wanted to capture the bold, violent aesthetic of the Berserk logo (with the thick marker-esque lines that made up the characters) and the sombre, minimal style of the Souls logos. In the end, I went closer to the style of the Souls logo; with the Mark being incorporated into the logo design.
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