Interview with Bima (Studio Sonderflex): Time Division

Bima is studio director of Sonderflex, the studio which made the illustration of our new game Time Division. Sonderflex is a 2D and 3D studio for tabletop, mobile, and video games that aims to elevate your ideas into a visual that can captivate the audience to the games. As a studio director, Bima overseas the projects happening in the studio, sometimes he also art directs the illustrations, and sometimes he sends out surprises to his team in the form of food!

We asked Bima some questions:

  • 1. In Time Division there are three different ages in which players duel. Do
    you have a favorite age or even a favorite card?

Well, I have always been a fan of ancient-Egyptian-things related, so Egypt
will be my fav age! But my favorite card, actually the Taxi Driver Dog
from 1980’s America Era, a Shiba Inu dog with sunglasses? What a
handsome boy!

  • 2. What age was the most difficult to illustrate?

I would say it’s the Ancient Medieval Age! It’s tough to give out the
feeling of old medieval era without stripping away the cuteness and also
the cartoon style of the artwork.

  • 3. What age was the most fun to illustrate?

1980s America is super fun! Lots of vibrant color and overall fun age to

  • 4. What animal was the most difficult to illustrate?

I think it’s hare, especially Ancient Egypt Hare, there are some subtle
features on his face that’s difficult to get it just right! But we tackle it
along the way in the end.

  • 5. Imagine there would be an expansion deck with new eras. Which eras
    would you like to illustrate?

Ancient Maya would be cool! I rarely see that concept being use and
yet I think it’s one of the coolest looking ancient culture.

  • 6. What is the process from the first briefing for an illustration to the final

When the brief is dropped, I would read all of them and try to
understand it as a studio director. Then I write it down again to brief it to
my team. Each era will be worked on by 1 – 2 artists.

The artist then make the sketches first. After the sketches is approved,
theiy will move on to rough color, this is to give a preview on how the
lighting and color would be in the final work.

After that, they can proceed to finalize it, tidy it up and add necessary
details so the artwork could look finished.

  • 7. How long does it approximately take to illustrate one card – from first idea
    to final illustration?

I would say it’s in the range of 3 – 5 days. Each artwork has their own
complexity, so the time to complete may differ.

  • 8. How did you like working with HeidelBÄR Games?

It was awesome! The direction is very clear and the idea of different
timelines/era is interesting. HeidelBÄR Games provided all the
necessary references and has been very kind in giving inputs to move

  • 9. How satisfied are you with the final artwork of the game?

Seeing the artworks comes to life gives me goosebumps because this
is one of those precious experience where we do almost the whole
artwork for the whole game. It’s a big challenge and I’s very proud of
the results and of the artist working on the game, they rock!

  • 10. As you have a big team, how many people did it take to illustrate Time

There are 7 people, consist of illustrator, 3D artist, and art directors.

  • 11. What makes your own illustrations so special for you?

Every illustration is special because of the efforts just to get to the point
where I can work with game developers. But the other thing that makes
it special I think is simple the thought process, from the rough idea to
the final illustrations it has to follow a very rough path, sometimes many

  • 12. Is there a difference between illustrate a boardgame and illustrate a
    video/mobile game?

I think when you’re illustrating for video/mobile games, you need to put
a lot more details as you would see it in different screen size, from
small to big.

In tabletop/boardgames, the artwork needs to be highly readable and
you have to be very mindful to give as much impact as possible as it will
be printed on small size.

  • 13. What kind of game do you like most to illustrate?

Hmm there’s no specifics but generally fantasy and sci-fi tabletop and
mobile games are what we like most to illustrate, different characters,
different lore, and the out of this world story is a big plus.

  • 14. What is your favorite (board) game?

There is a board game that I like to play with my friends called
Saboteur, it’s a great time killer!

  • 15. What was the first game you have illustrated?

It’s a boardgame called Aftermath by Plaid Hat Games. I worked on that
game just short after I graduated from college.

  • 16. Some cards are very cute, some a very funny – where did you get your
    inspiration from?

Real world animal and object never goes wrong! Also because the
artwork itself is stylized, the artists looked at other fellow artists that has
a cartoony style.

  • 17. Time Division is a duel of two time agencies. Would you rather work for
    Golden Hourglass or Black Watch?

Golden Hourglass all the way!

Thank you for the interview, Bima!