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25th June 2020
Community Spotlight: From Patches to Music Videos
Rowan's Impressive Series Of Remedy Projects

Community Spotlight is a regular feature which highlights and celebrates amazing fan projects in the Remedy community. Sometimes Community Spotlights are about a specific project, but today I wanted to focus on a specific fan! Their name is Rowan and over the past few months, they have created a series of absolutely amazing Remedy-inspired projects that I'm so excited to write about!


If you're on Twitter, chances are that you've seen Rowan's amazing work already on your timeline, but admittedly, when writing notes for this article, I found it unusually difficult to describe the kind of work that Rowan does. I hate to use the term "jack of all trades"; there's an implication that to be good at everything, the quality is going to vary... but honestly, this Community Spotlight may have changed my opinion of that. Not only has Rowan created a series of wildly different projects over the past few months, but they've all been work produced to a ridiculously high standard, whether it's the handsewn patches, sleek-looking music videos, or a meticulously crafted laser-cut collage. There's a lot to talk about in this Community Spotlight, so let's break down each of the projects...

Rowan's latest patch, Slidescape 36. Source: Twitter.

First up, the sew-on patches! Each of these pieces is brilliantly planned and carefully embroidered by hand. My personal favourite is the Quantum Break-inspired patch, featuring the Countermeasure and with the words "time is a wraith"; a reference to the Poets of the Fall's song, Labyrinth, which had been set to feature in the game. You can clearly see that meticulous detail has gone into bringing it to life, with each thread placement carefully considered and intertwined. The original source material has been clearly studied with the device matching its in-game counterpart perfectly; it's obviously designed by someone who not only has the skills but knows the game well. 

Their latest patch, inspired by Control, is called Slidescape 36 and is probably the most ambitious one they've created yet, with a design that spills off the backing fabric and onto the bag itself. Over thirty hours of work has gone into it so far, and it's a work that has demanded a lot of patience and brutal self-criticism with Rowan unravelling whole sections that they feel doesn't quite sit right with the overall look. For me, following their work has been a really interesting journey; I've looked into making patches in the past for myself, but seeing the amount of dedication and attention they give to each piece has made me appreciate the hobby even more. 
 
In addition to making patches, Rowan also makes music videos! For these, Quantum Break and Control are thrown into the spotlight in these newly-uploaded and professionally-paced pieces. For fans of the games, the music selection may be a familiar sound as Rowan stuck close to the vibe of the titles with "Come As You Are" covered by Prep School and "Madness" by Ruelle, which you may remember from some of the pre-launch trailers. These have been expertly paired with clips from the game showcasing their environments and fast-paced action. 


For Quantum Break's music video, segments from both the game and the live-action show were used, elegantly meshed together to continue the pacing in line with the backing song. The Control music video has a subtly different vibe! Where its predecessor feels like a celebration of the adventure, this video feels persuasive, it feels like a trailer and a seriously good one at that! Each section complements the music beautifully and showcases the game with footage which flows into the next scene. They're elegant and nerdy and perfectly captures the epicness of those two adventures. 

The third and final project that I wanted to focus on is a laser-cut collage/frame which highlights the four Remedy protagonists; Max Payne, Alan Wake, Jack Joyce, and Jesse Faden. While Remedy used bold silhouettes in promotional images previously, the design completes the look by providing similar treatment to their other protagonists in a complementary collage. There are two versions of this piece; one in wood for Rowan's personal collection, and one in black plastic as a gift for the studio. While minimalistic in style, the piece required excruciating attention to pull off successfully, and it definitely worked!

We recently reached out to Rowan to learn more about their stunning projects! Check out the interview below:


First of all, we'd love to know a little more about you! Can you tell us about yourself?

I’m Rowan, a high school student living on the sunny, tropical coast of Australia. I’ve been obsessed over Remedy for a few years at this point, but I’ve both been too afraid to venture out into the territory of fan art until very recently, and too much of a perfectionist to actually post my creations online.


In your spare time, you hand-sew these incredible and delightfully nerdy patches. How and when did you decide to start making them?

I don’t really remember exactly how the idea first came about, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with how I collect vintage scout patches along with patches from international scouting events. At one point I must have thought that maybe I could create my own at some point, but then put the idea into the back of my head until mid-May when I made some little simple patches with some text on them (which I don’t think anyone has seen, actually).

Rowan's finished Quantum Break patch. Source: Twitter.

Where do you start when designing the patches?

Whatever ends up being a patch is usually something I really loved about the game, or is something very significant to the storyline (or both, even). For my Alan Wake patch, I knew I had to include the iconic line of ‘It’s not a lake, it’s an ocean,’ because it was the line that really solidified my love for the game when I first played it.

A lot of the time I think of ideas that I’d love to turn into patches, but most of the time they’re simply too difficult to embroider correctly with my skill level or too hard to draw out a baseline design for on the fabric so that I know what I’m doing when I pick up the needle to begin.


From start to finish, on average, how long does it take you to make a single patch? And what's the hardest aspect or most time-consuming part to get right when creating them?

It really depends on how complex it is and whether I’m using any new stitches. I made my first text-based patches in a single night, but at the moment my Control patch has taken me 20 hours of straight work (and it’s not even finished yet) because I’ve used a lot of new stitches and had to unpick many of them because I didn’t like how they looked on the patch.

The hardest aspect of creating patches for me, overall, is definitely anything that requires precise stitching. I’d say that embroidering small text is pretty high up in that regard because it can go so wrong just by stitching a little too far from where I was supposed to stitch. However, I’d definitely say that the most time-consuming part of creating a patch is any filling of colour that I have to do over a large amount of area. Filling in a patch the size of a credit card with cross-stitch can take what seems like forever.

Original sketches for Slidescape 36. Source: Twitter.

In recent weeks, you've also created two very sleek-looking music videos; the first for Quantum Break and then for Control. What made you want to learn video editing in the first place? And what kind of software do you prefer to use? 

I’ve had to play around with Adobe’s Premiere Pro application for school projects, but it never progressed in difficulty, so I wanted to go a step further. While I know my way around a little bit, I definitely don’t know much, so I used the experience of creating those videos to both have a little fun making something about games that I adore, and to learn new skills.


How do you select which moments of the game to highlight for certain areas of the song for the music videos?

For the Quantum Break video, I really went all out and used every single moment that I thought looked amazing - anything that, while I was playing, made me think ‘damn, this game is incredible’. I also chose to include a few scenes from the show because there were some good moments there too.

For the Control video, I wanted to showcase as many aspects of the game as I could: the characters, the setting, the combat. All the locations that really left me in awe made their own appearance, and I included all of the characters that make multiple appearances throughout the game. Combat was a little different, in which I made sure to balance the scenes between the usage of the Service Weapon and the usage of Jesse’s abilities.




I have you ask you about your amazing Remedy-themed frame! How did you design the piece and have you designed something like this before?

It was my first time creating something of the sort! It continues to be my favourite Remedy-related project that I’ve ever made. I searched around for good screenshots/official art with each character in it so that I could isolate them in Photoshop and turn them into silhouettes.

I had a very talented friend help me with the Jack and Jesse silhouettes by tracing over the screenshots so we could use a cleaner, more accurate outline instead of the screenshots which were distorted or of low quality.


It looks like the frame may have been laser cut. How did you find the laser cutting process? (If I've completely misjudged and it wasn't laser-cut, how did you find the cutting process in general?)

It was a laser-cut! I had gained permission to use the laser cutter at school through an end-of-term project we had the option to work on, and I obviously wanted to create some Remedy art with it. I ended up getting two versions of the cut made - one made in wood for me to keep, and another made in black acrylic to send in the mail to Remedy’s office as a little ‘appreciation gift’ of sorts. 

Rowan's Remedy-themed frame. Source: Twitter.

Do you have any projects in the works or any that you're hoping to try in the future?

Well, currently I’m creating my first Control themed patch, which will be my fifth patch in my Remedy collection. All the patches are part of a larger project where I’m trying to completely cover an entire denim bag of mine in exclusively Remedy patches, so I’ll definitely be making more.

I’ve got some smaller patches in the design process for Control and Quantum Break, along with (once I’ve finished playing it) a Max Payne patch which will accompany the other larger patches. At one point I’d love to try and create something on a larger scale, maybe something like a Remedy-themed jacket of some sort (I’ve created a few custom jackets and vests for concerts and such, I think I’d be able to do the same for Remedy). 


A huge thank you to Rowan for taking the time to talk to us about their brilliant work! You can follow their adventures on Twitter, HERE!

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