Monolith Soft is probably best known these days as the developer of the Xenoblade Chroniclestitles. That reputation holds even inside the company to an extent. The results of an in-house art contest featured works that, among other things, focused on Xenoblade characters.
Held every year, the Monolith Soft in-house art contest is open to all employees, regardless of job position. The best is used as promotional illustration in recruitment notices targeted towards new graduates. The the 2022 results were posted to the official website, along with a roundtable discussion with the creators. This year’s winner featured Xenoblade characters interacting. Several others included original scenes and designs.
The range of participants was quite wide, with the seven finalists drawn from the User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) design roles, 3DCG artists, and in-game animators.
The winner was Nakamura, a UI/UX designer and Monolith Soft veteran of 5 years. Their art featured Xenoblade Chronicles characters Kino and Nene riding flying creature above the rising sun.
According to the discussion, Nakamura sought a scene that would encourage prospective recruits to apply to join Monolith Soft. They selected the Nopon siblings Kino and Nene, characters who appear in Xenoblade Chronicles: Future Connected. Future Connected was a playable epilogue included in the release of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition.
Nakamura’s concept was based on Kino daydreaming about riding a flying creature to make his sister happy. Nakamura changed the illustration’s lighting as well, from a sunny daytime sky to a dawn sunrise.
Check out the winner and other contestants’ works from the Monolith Soft in-house art contest on the official website. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is available for the Nintendo Switch.