Remembering Adam Adamowicz

Here’s a small obituary of the great Adam Adamowicz, who died at the young age of 43, after having fought lung cancer for so long.

Or those of you who have no idea who Adam Adamowicz is, he basically designed what you see when you play Skyrim and Fallout 3. He was a concept artist for Jaleco Entertainment between 2002-2003, and more famously worked with Bethesda from 2005 onwards. His work is instantly recognisable, with a futuristic, dark style to his paintings, but also in terms of his Elder Scrolls work, barbaric and war-tainted. Adam Carl Adamowicz was born on March 9, 1968, in Huntington, on Long Island. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1990. He studied oil painting, figure drawing and palette mixing at the Boulder Academy of Fine Arts in 2002 and 2003. Adamowicz worked as a freelance illustrator for Dark Horse Comics and Malibu Graphics and held down odd jobs, like haunted house builder and erotic cake artisan, according to his blog, before landing his position at Bethesda in 2005.

“I have an interest in all things ’50s because I think there’s a certain charisma with the music, with the automobiles, with the clothing style, so designing any of these characters and then throwing them into the wasteland, the dark humour for me kicked in when I imagined Ward Cleaver being pushed out of his bunker and he’s looking for fresh tobacco for his pipe and then here comes a raider over the top of the horizon.”

His death in a Washington hospital, due to “complications of lung cancer,” was confirmed by Pete Hines, a vice president of Bethesda Softworks. Whether sketching out a mutant-riddled, atomically ravaged American state, or a sprawling continent populated by monsters and men alike, Adamowicz was, in a sense, the costume designer, prop master and set designer for highly cinematic games. Other team members would recreate his drawings on computers once the writers and art director approved them, then boom, there you have the game design.

3, released in 2008, is based upon a nuclear apocalypse which happened in 2077. Set in 2277, the clear imaginative futuristic elements of Adamowicz’s art became important, as FO3 has two predecessors to withhold, each more creative than the last. As with any other game set in medieval, magical times, Adamowicz’s concepts for the Elder Scrolls games showed a wide range of artistic talent, and produced fantastic spin-offs of Oblivion, and obviously, Skyrim, which is often credited on its fantastic visuals and world environments.

“He was one of the first people on Fallout 3 and he drew every concept image we had. We’re talking over a thousand images, for years.”

Todd Howard, Game Director for both Fallout 3 and Skyrim.

Many fans of his series have commented on various blogs saying that the following Fallout and Elder Scrolls games won’t be the same without him. Hopefully more of each will be released in time, and with a new concept artist following in his footsteps, only time will tell if they’ll be any good in comparison.


– Will  : )







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