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Arsenal Concept Contest

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 8:57 AM

UPDATE (2/22/14): The contest is now CLOSED! No more entries will be accepted. We had a really great turn out, lot's of unique and interesting ideas and concepts. Scroll down to the Mech details section to see the winning designs, along with some honorable mentions. I will be contacting the winners directly to arrange payment of prize money, as well as possible commissions for future work.

Just a reminder: Everyone who entered, whether they win or lose, will be getting a special reward when our Kickstarter goes live later this year. To all entrants: please send me a note with your email address I can use to reliably contact you in the future. Thanks again to all of you, and please visit to stay up to date on the progress of the card game. Another contest will be starting soon!

UPDATE (2/14/14): Happy Valentine's Day <3 This is just a reminder that you have only one week left to turn in your contest entries. We have 7 total entries so far. If you haven't seen them yet, please visit the gallery here:… Time is running out, I look forward to seeing what everyone has to offer!

UPDATE (2/7/14): Some new content has been added to the Arsenal website today. You can find detailed information about different Mech types, as well as an art gallery with lots of great stuff. Please visit to check it out!

Also, just a reminder for all those entering the contest: the deadline is February 21st. Only two weeks left! I know there are a lot of you working on stuff, but try not to wait until the last minute or you might miss the deadline! Thanks, and good luck to everyone :-)

UPDATE (2/1/14): The contest officially starts today, and entries are being accepted. I'm going to keep a tally with each mech description below, as a quick reference for how much competition is in each design. Don't forget that there will be only one winner for each of the 9 mechs. Thanks everyone, and good luck!


Hello again!

It's time for another Arsenal contest! This one officially starts on February 1st (2014), but the full rules are being posted today to give everyone a chance to come up with some ideas.

Unlike the last contest, which featured high resolution, full color digital paintings, this is a contest for concept art. This time we're only looking for black & white sketches, cleaned up to show a bit of detail, but not too complex. We will be looking for original designs for 9 specific Mechs, and a winner will be chosen for each one. That means 9 winners!

Much of the text from the first contest is repeated here as a reference for the Arsenal universe, but there have been changes made. If you are interested in joining the contest, please read the following information carefully.


Arsenal is a deck-building trading card game with a fast-paced, explosive style of play. You take on the role of a pilot in a combat Mech arena. This arena is represented by a small hex grid. You move your Mech around on this grid to gain an advantage against your opponent, and then play cards from your hand to attack or defend. You will manage your power levels (the resource used to play cards), and use all manner of subterfuge, electronic warfare, deployable drones, maneuvers and mobility, or shear firepower to win out against your opponent.

Your Mechs fight it out in sanctioned tournaments, in special arenas, and crowded stadiums. In the world of Arsenal, the Mechs and their pilots are celebrities, with rivalries and reputations. Big name sponsors fund these giant war machines by painting their logos all over them (similar to Nascar branding and American Monster Trucks) and paying for their ammunition, repairs and upgrades. Pilots represent their country of origin, with displays of national pride (similar to Pacific Rim), participating in regional and national leagues. In the world of Arsenal, these Mechs are big business and popular sport.


Your objective in this contest is to choose one or more Mechs from the list below and draw up an black & white sketch for what you think that Mech might look like. Details are limited in order to encourage creativity, so let your imagination run wild!

Arsenal arena combat is an insanely popular international sport, with regional leagues and tournaments. When you design your Mech, you should consider which culture and country it was built in. A Mech built in England probably looks different from a Mech built in China. Arsenal Mechs are also usually painted with corporate sponsor logos, but since this is only concept work, you do not need to include those in your drawing. They are built from the ground up for show, though, so they are often designed with a menacing visage in mind in order to intimidate their opponents or hype up the crowd.

Body Types: Arsenal Mechs are very diverse. They’re made for arena combat and showmanship, so they’re typically built with both melee and ranged combat in mind. Most have a humanoid torso, a head, two arms built for punching or grabbing, but with wildly different forms of locomotion. This is not a standard rule, though. If you want to design a Mech with six arms all holding swords, or one with giant guns or mechanical tentacles for arms, or one with two heads, I’m all for originality! As for its legs, the following is a list of the 6 leg types, with a short description to help you understand what they should look like. Listed in order of weight, from lightest to heaviest:

Hover: Not like a modern inflatable hovercraft, these actually float a few meters off the ground using advanced principles of magnetics. These Mechs have the highest speeds of any body type, but are the most fragile.
Multilegged: Anywhere from 4 to 10 legs, whatever you think your Mech needs, it could be like a robotic sphinx, centaur or spider, it’s up to you! While much more maneuverable than other leg types, their increased number of moving parts makes them more susceptible to damage.
Reverse-Joint: Sometimes called dinosaur or bird legs or “chicken-walkers”. More agile than humanoid legs, but able to carry less weight.
Humanoid: Standard human-like legs (all the Transformers). A good all-around balance of mobility and defense.
Wheeled: Anywhere from 4 to 10 big knobby armor-plated tires. Good top speed and weight capacity, but poor maneuverability compared to legged body types.
Tracked: Like a tank, one pair or two, in any shape. The slowest and least maneuverable, but able to carry the most armor and weaponry.

You can also find more information about the different body types on the official website, here:…

Profile Types: As far as weaponry and capabilities are concerned, the sky’s the limit. Just about anything you can think of will work, as long as it has suitable combat functionality and some loose basis is science fiction (rather than fantasy). Arsenal is set in a near-future period, where mankind is exploring and colonizing its own star system, but has not developed faster-than-light technology. There are hover cars, cloaking devices, and advanced A.I., but no teleporters, fantastical quantum mechanics, or psychic powers. Ballistic weapons are common: rifles, machine guns, cannons, shotguns, handguns, sniper rifles. Or even their energy-based laser counterparts. Guns can be carried in the Mech’s hands or visibly mounted somewhere on its body (think Armored Core), or hidden and only revealed when used (hand turning into a plasma cannon, or chest opening to reveal missile launchers, a la Pacific Rim). It can use missiles or rockets. It can drop mines, or deploy drones. It can use a cloaking field to turn invisible, or project holographic decoys to distract fire, or fire flares to confuse missile attacks. It can shoot fire, acid, electricity, or even ice! It can pummel with its fists or use heavy melee weapons: Anything from colossal steel swords to giant chainsaws. It might even carry a massive iron shield to defend against such attacks. You are really only limited by your own imagination, and I list these only to inspire you. One thing you must do when considering your Mech’s armament, is what its design purpose is. Each Mech has a combat profile which you must take into consideration when designing your Mech. Here they are, with a short description of their capabilities, listed in alphabetical order:

Acquisition: Utilizing advanced targeting protocols, radar, and precision weaponry to deal massive damage with each well-timed strike.
Assault: Bristling with weaponry and all manner of heavy firepower, it overwhelms its foe with relentless attacks.
Close-Combat: Made to advance quickly and get in close under the range of missiles and rockets, difficult to shake, and dealing out massive melee damage.
Defense: Heavily armored with advanced shielding, both physical and energy, designed to take a beating and keep on coming.
Electronics: Designed for electronic warfare in mind, using EMPs, electrical attacks, drones and jammers, it disables and shuts down the enemy.
Fire-Support: Built for very long-range combat, easily shaking close-range combatants, pinning them in place, and filling the sky with missiles in its wake.
Maneuver: Very evasive, very agile, made to dodge and outmaneuver, you empty a clip right at it and still miss.
Mobility: The fastest thing in the arena, designed to be wherever the enemy doesn’t want it, it outflanks and outpaces, forcing its foe to burn energy to keep up.
Stealth: Uses advanced cloaking systems and holographic decoys, missiles miss and lock-ons fall off like water, then from the shadows, it strikes.

You can also find more information about the different profiles on the official website, here:…

In addition to body type and profile, each Mech also falls into a weight class (Light, Medium or Heavy). This is simply a rough measure of its size and weight in comparison to other Mechs.

You can also find more information about the different weight classes on the official website, here:…

Here are the Mechs that must be designed for this contest.
(Although, you may choose to try drawing one or two of each to increase your chances. The same person may collect winnings for multiple designs.)

"Centauri Belle" (Heavy / Tracked / Defense)
Current entries: 2
Winner: Centauri Belle Contest Entry by shanenopolis

"Fog of War" (Medium / Hover / Stealth)
Current entries: 3
Winner: Fog of War by NOMANSNODEAD

"Hundred-Hands" (Light / Humanoid / Close-Combat)
Current entries: 3
Winner: Hundred-Hands by NOMANSNODEAD

"Jigsaw" (Light / Reverse-Joint / Mobility)
Current entries: 5
Winner: Jigsaw by NOMANSNODEAD

"Lady Luck" (Light / Hover / Maneuver)
Current entries: 3
Winner: Lady Luck Mecha Concept by RyujinDX

"Manticore" (Heavy / Wheeled / Acquisition)
Current entries: 4
Winner: Manticore Contest Entry by shanenopolis

"Obsidian Winter" (Light / Wheeled / Fire-Support)
Current entries: 4
Winner: Obsidian Winter Mecha Concept by RyujinDX

"Quickdraw" (Heavy / Multi-Legged / Assault)
Current entries: 4
Winner: Quickdraw Contest Entry by shanenopolis

"Viral Isis" (Light / Multi-Legged / Electronics)
Current entries: 5
Winner: Viral Isis Mecha Concept by RyujinDX

Honorable Mentions:
[Fog of War] - Arsenal Concept Contest by WingsofAdventure
Hundred Hands Mecha Concept by RyujinDX
Viral Isis- Arsenal contest entry by wyvernsmasher
Viral Isis Contest Entry by shanenopolis

For some great examples of thematic art that might help inspire you, check out this folder:…

You can also visit our website for a look at the official art and other concept sketches:


Style: Your own! It must be a concept sketch, though. This should be a rough sketch, but it should be cleaned up with enough detail for us to see what you're trying to convey.
Visual Requirements: It should be in black and white (though I will not disqualify for a small splash of color here or there if you choose, but it should not be full color). It should be in a resting/standing position without a lot of action. Bonus points if you depict your Mech from a couple different angles.
Media: Digital art only. Though it could be a high-resolution scan of a pencil sketch, I ask that you clean it up a bit in Photoshop (or something) if that's the case.
Canvas Size: No maximum, but the area of focus (the Mech itself) should be larger than 1000 x 1000.


Any artist in the world who has read these instructions carefully and wants to be a part of Arsenal! They need only have a DeviantArt account, as you must submit your art to me via notes. If you’ve discovered this contest through another website or promotion and do not have a DeviantArt account, please join up so you can participate.

Arsenal Mech combat is an international sport, and each combatant has a national flavor to them, so we welcome artists from all over the world to step up and represent!


1) You don’t need to comment on this journal stating your intention to join, just start drawing! If you want to let me know you’re in, please feel free to send me a note. I do love to hear about what you might be planning, and would be glad to offer advice or answer questions.
2) When you’re finished, send me a note with a link to your submission. Make sure this happens before the deadline of February 21st! We MAY ask you to make small changes if something doesn’t quite fit right.
3) Once your piece has been submitted look for it in this folder:…
4) After all submissions have been collected, a winner will be chosen based on the following criteria: representation of the Arsenal universe, quality of the art, originality and character.
5) Winners will be announced on February 25th. If you are one of the winners, you will be contacted directly and prizes will be awarded (see prizes section for details).


Starting time (entries accepted): Saturday, February 1st, 2014.
Deadline for submissions: Friday, February 21st, 2014.
Winners announced: Saturday, February 22nd, 2014.


1) By entering this contest, you agree that we will have the rights to use your entry in the promotion for the game Arsenal, if you win.
2) DO NOT use any bases or stocks without permission. You can use free stocks and your own skill. We do not want any intellectual property violations or legal conflicts.
3) You must state in the comments for your submission that it is for this contest, and link back to this journal entry.
4) Don’t submit the full sized image to your gallery. Only submit a smaller size that’s big enough to see and judge. 35% to 40% should be fine, the full version will be collected if you win.
5) If you don’t want to submit to your gallery, that’s ok, just submit to your or Photobucket, or whatever you prefer, and send me the link.
6) Your submission must meet the Entry Requirements listed above.
7) Remember to keep the original PSD file (or whatever you use), in case you need to make any small changes.
8) There is no limit to the number of entries per person, and one person can win multiple prizes. One winning design will be chosen for each Mech.
9) Collaborations are allowed, but please choose only one person to represent the submission. How you split the prize is up to you.


The first priority is your skill level. How impressive your artwork is. Level of detail, style, character. These are all things that go into making great art.
Second is how well your art fits into the Arsenal universe (this is second because great art can always be tweaked to fit). Is your design believable as a big combat robot built to fight in an arena?
Third is creativity and originality. Please don’t just copy someone else’s design, Arsenal is something that hasn’t really been done before. Your design should certainly take inspiration from things like Transformers, Pacific Rim, Armored Core, Battletech, Gundam, even modern military technology, but Arsenal is still very different from those things. We’re trying to make something new and original here, so you should definitely keep that in mind when designing your Mech!
Lastly is following the contest rules. Even if you have the best art in the world, we can’t accept it if you don’t read carefully and make sure you don’t do something wrong. Please read!


Nine Prizes (One winning design will be chosen for each of the 9 Mechs listed. Try your hand at each one for more chances to win!)
1) Your entry will be featured in the game, and credited to you.
2) $40 via Paypal, or 3,200 DA Points if you don’t have Paypal.
3) You will automatically be entered in a high-level tier once our Kickstarter goes live later this year, this will include premium in-game content, and more (details to come later), as well as limited edition cards only available through this contest!

All entrants, win or lose, will receive a special in-game prize (details to come later) when the game is released, whether you win or not!


Visit this folder to see the current entries:…

If you do not see your submission within 24 hours of sending me your note, please send it again.


For the FAQ, please refer to the 1st contest:…

Add a Comment:
cameronscifiart Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014
Can the hover body class have legs or not? I'm just thinking of a mech that is floating but has legs to walk if needed? 
shanenopolis Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
No sir, the hover body doesn't have any legs. I imagine it would have collapsing landing gear for when it shuts down, but I'd be careful drawing legs on it, because it might look like another body type in mid-jump or something.
Armored Core has been using hover body types in their games for many years, if you need some inspiration.
cameronscifiart Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014
Cool thanks alot. Didn't want to go into it without being sure :)
RedusTheRiotAct Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014   Digital Artist
It must be a preset? We can't mix and mach the abilities and stuff?
shanenopolis Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Yes sir. These 9 cards already exist, I am simply trying to determine what they look like.

There will be another 9 preset next month, as well. Then in April it will be open again to mix & match as you choose. This is only the second contest of 6.
batmangenisis Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Boo. Digital art. ): I need photoshop eventually. Lol
WingsofAdventure Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014
And don't forget GIMP, an open-source raster graphics editor that's compatible with Linux, OSX and Windows. It's a good stop-gap until you can afford Photoshop.
shanenopolis Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Photoshop is a wonderful program, no doubt, and yes, pricey! I cannot openly condone illegal downloads -_- but there are plenty of cheaper (less feature-rich) alternatives, such as Manga Studio or Paint Tool Sai. I think Adobe also has some more affordable, limited versions of Photoshop for sale as well. Look into it!
WingsofAdventure Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014
Faving this now so I can translate for the rest of my countrymen! I'll be sure to spread the news!
shanenopolis Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Sounds good to me :-)
WingsofAdventure Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014
Just finished translating this entire journal entry. Go me. //woot

I'll be heading towards the Mech Manufacturers entry next. Good luck with your game! =)

P.S., I was initially hoping this was a table-top game, but a mobile game is fine as well. :XD:
shanenopolis Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Will you post a link here to the Thai translation?
WingsofAdventure Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014
Ah, I've posted it in the DeviantArt Thailand Community on Facebook. I don't think it'll produce a valid redirect, so I'll be sending you the Thai translation through the

I've tried to keep the translation as accurate as possible, so as to retain the meaning and intention of your contest as much as possible. If you have someone who can read Thai, you can have them proof-read the translation as needed.

Thank you!
shanenopolis Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
That's very interesting. I'm curious to see how it looks in Thai :-) is there some interest in the contest in your Facebook community?
WingsofAdventure Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014
Note sent! =)

A lot of Thai artists regularly hang out on Facebook (in fact, we regularly collaborate through its services) and this group is just one of many artists. My good friend, who happens to be the admin of the group, found this journal entry last night and showed it to me. Both of us are a bit geeky for mechanical designs, so I offered to translate this contest so the others could understand what this is about. Considering that most of us Thai can't read English, translations are kind of a necessity.

Right now, people are looking into it though they're a bit on the fence at the moment. Our group doesn't have a lot of people who are confident in terms of mechanical designs, though they might drop a few your way. I know myself and my good friend will definitely try to pitch in at least. (Ha.)
shanenopolis Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Well all are welcome, regardless of talent, but only one winner will be chosen for each Mech. My plan is to use the design to commission other artists (or the same, if they have that kind of skill) to draw the high resolution, full color images for the cards.

Next month, I'm doing one more concept contest for the other 9 Mechs, then go back to full color art in April. This is only the second contest, I'm planning 6 altogether :-)
shanenopolis Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Well it may yet be a table-top game. The truth is we are exploring all options.
sapphyst Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014
Hi there! :wave: I am here on behalf of AnotherContestGroup I sapphyst  have listed your contest in our journal (

Feel free to contact us if you have any deadline/details that need changing or any questions (be sure to check our FAQ  first!)

We did this to help get your contest more noticed, as we have nearly 10,000 watchers all with a common interest of contests - perhaps watch us if you're not already!!

-Also, if you're low on prizes to offer, see if you qualify for our FREE Winners Package by checking out our FAQ .
-Also if your interested in an exclusive poll feature for a minimum cost of 75 dA points please (2 days) check out (

Thank you. :iconsapphyst: :iconanothercontestgroup: :iconacg-pointsdonations:
shanenopolis Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Hey, thanks!
But unfortunately, you can't put your links in parenthesis like that, or they won't work :-/

Here's the unbroken links for anyone who's interested:

Contest journal:
Poll feature FAQ:
sapphyst Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
Thanks for telling me! I'll get that fixed right away :)
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Submitted on
January 22, 2014


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