21. September 2023 HeidelBÄR Games

The Lost Ruins of Arnak delivers a compelling story, which is underpinned by thoughtful visual design and extensive worldbuilding.

With the Expedition Leader expansion the creators are focusing on introducing new characters that match the experience in Arnaknuances, personality and diversity. Illustrator Ondra Hrdina tells how the stunning graphics for the upcoming expansion were created.

From the beginning, it was clear to everyone on the team that the leaders themselves would be the heart of the expansion. Their goal was to create a unique and diverse group of characters.

Each should be interesting and distinctive in their own way, but still look like they all belong in the jungle so they don’t feel lost or out of place in the Arnak game world.

But once the designs of the characters were ready, work on the box could begin.

I started with the leaders’ gestures and the overall composition,” says artist Ondra Hrdina . “I created the background after the fact so that the elements would fit properly into the perspective.”


The leaders appear not only on the game box, but also on the player boards – so their visual design had to be refined down to the smallest detail.

For Ondra, the biggest challenge was creating the right mood.

The falconer, who is in the foreground of the composition, is free-spirited and in harmony with nature, the male figure in the background is more mysterious and spiritual, and the lady in white is more pragmatic and self-confident.

Reflecting that in their design was the hardest thing for me to do because I’m not a big character artist,” he adds.


When designing the entire setting, Ondra Hrdina also had to take into account an additional element that should be retained – namely, the fact that the box covers of the base game and the expedition ladder, when placed next to each other, create a single coherent scene.

In terms of composition and feeling, the two Arnak boxes aim to convey slightly different ideas.

Ondra sums it up very nicely: “While the base game’s box was meant to convey the feeling of joy and excitement of searching together for the lost ruins, this time we wanted to focus more on the individual archaeologists, their approach to things and their quirks. Therefore, they take center stage and the ruins they discover fade into the background and are not as much in focus as before.


But what was the biggest challenge in designing the Arnak box?

“Character art is much harder for me than landscape art,” Ondra says. “The biggest challenge was to draw the characters honestly and portray them in a way that didn’t make them look completely fake. And I mastered it by doing iterations upon iterations and discussing everything with the team.

Going through numerous iterations, soliciting feedback, and implementing revisions is always a very hands-on and collaborative process at CGE. It’s a lot of hard work, but in the end it’s rewarding to see it all come together.

I really like the colors and the lighting,” says Ondra, and notes that they are his favorite part of the final cover design. “It may not be what most people notice or focus on, but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to color and contrast all these characters into the jungle, but I’m happy with the result.






Source: Heidelbär Games 09/18/2023 –

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