Richard Jolly, Art Director, Splash Damage Ltd.: The driving factor was the game's setting and back-story. Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars is set before QUAKE II, during the first stages of the Strogg invasion of Earth in 2065. As a futuristic multiplayer combat game with vehicles, it portrays the battles, raids and skirmishes that turned the tide, saved planet Earth and made QUAKE II and QUAKE 4's retaliation attack against Planet Stroggos possible. Splash Damage started with id Software's own back-story, and then our writer, Edward Stern, worked with id Software to flesh out the political, social and economic events leading up to where we join the game -- this gave us a strong footing for establishing the look.
QUAKE II featured shotguns and pistols -- clearly little technological progress was made on Earth in the proceeding fifty years. Earth underwent a series of disasters, both natural and man-made, and these required a global rapid-relief paramilitary disaster force. Just as humanity is recovering and rebuilding, and the wastelands and war-zones are starting to get overgrown with weeds and new life, the Strogg arrive.
So this somewhat ragged Global Defence Force (GDF) has to hare around reacting to each new threat and opportunity.This back-story gave us a lot: we knew we weren't creating a shiny new effortless future where everyone wears white and flies around in shiny jetpacks. It is a desperate place -- twice-battle-scarred, covered in cracked concrete and rusting re-bars, with little or no infrastructure that hasn't been abandoned or patched-up. The aesthetic is quite demanding on art production as we have to build everything first, and then blow it up or dilapidate it. However, it's a great theme to do variations on; it always gives you somewhere to go with a design. It really helped shape the environments and GDF (human) team.