In one of the first moments of Absolver, someone hands you a mask. The game — a deep online fighter available now on PC and PS4 — uses this to welcome you into its strange, mysterious world. The mask is a mark. It tells the world you are a prospect, one of many up-and-coming fighters, learning the intricate ways of combat as a way to rise through the ranks and explore the realm of a fallen, but not quite forgotten empire. The mask is a symbol of strength, but it also just looks cool. Much of the appeal of Absolver is in its almost dauntingly complex fighting mechanics, which let you customize your character into a combatant that best suits your style of play. The idea is that, in the solemn online realm of Adal, each fighter can be distinct. But that doesn’t just mean how they handle themselves in battle. Players can also change how their characters look, as Absolver features a multitude of clothing and gear options. And to help with that, development studio Sloclap enlisted the help of fashion designer Damir Doma. From the very beginning, the team at Sloclap knew that they wanted players to be able to express themselves in the game, both in terms of how they fight and how they look. In the early stages of development, the team gathered together a range of reference material to help guide the visual style of the game. The walls of their Paris studio were plastered with huge mood boards, featuring images pulled everywhere from fashion to architecture. Their goal was to design a place with a very distinct feel. “We really wanted players to discover a world that is foreign, that can feel sometimes familiar, but can never be linked directly to a specific period of time or space,” says Pierre Tarno, creative lead at Sloclap. While these references came from a number of different places, one particular name kept recurring during the process: Damir Doma. The Croatian designer has a very particular style, a sort of post-modern twist on fantasy garments, and it turned out to be a great fit for Absolver. Sloclap reached out to the designer to discuss a collaboration, and eventually Doma came to Paris to learn more about the game. This was followed by a trip by Sloclap to