Samer Al Kaabi: Re-imagining The Quarry

Samer Al Kaabi is an illustrator from Basra, Iraq, his style is sharp, dynamic and is the perfect match for The Quarry’s fun yet and twisted story. Samer was chosen as one of the five illustrators and after seeing his work for Horizon II Forbidden West, I knew he’d make the perfect poster for The Quarry.

The final piece below was chosen from 4 proposed concepts which are showcased further down. This art encapsulates a particular element of the game that fans will truly appreciate. Samer offered some insight into his poster which you can read below in our interview.

What made you want to apply for this opportunity?

I started exploring digital art a little over 2 years ago, creating simple fanart of my favourite movies and games in my spare time. It grew from creating simple side profiles of characters I love to creating full posters and scenes.

Taking the artistic side of my life more seriously had always been in the back of my mind, so when I saw the announcement of this collaboration, I immediately decided to take my chances.
PosterSpy has always been kind enough to share my work and support my journey, I’ve got to know so many great artists thanks to them, so to actually work with them was really exciting!

What are some of the strengths you believe you brought to this job?

Each piece of art radiates a specific type of emotion, and that’s what I’ve been trying to work more on lately: emphasis on the emotion that the piece gives. That’s what I was aiming for when working on this poster.

I also like to play a little with composition, to create borders and merge shapes to form combinations that would make the observer want to take a second look ;)

Samer’s other work

What’s your experience with gaming, specifically horror gaming?

It’s only the BEST form of media. Ever. I’m kidding. But I really love gaming, I love how games tell their stories and how engaging it is, as opposed to consuming media by only watching. You get to basically be the character for a period of time and feel the impact that the story holds a bit deeper.
I enjoy games with complex storylines, where you never know what will happen, the suspense and anticipation combined with a good narrative just creates the perfect experience in my opinion.
A dark-themed game is always welcome, both story-wise or actually visually dark, however, I do remember little me unplugging the console when a game got a bit too scary! Haha!

Early in the project, you submitted several concepts. Did your favourite concept end up getting picked?

Not even close haha. I submitted 4 initial concepts, a main (favourite) one and 3 others that I came up with but hadn’t yet developed as much, and after already submitting the first 4 I sent yet another concept that became my second favourite that also wasn’t picked.
But a few days after starting on the chosen concept, I kind of began to see what made it special. It had a strong idea and a dynamic composition, while the others were a bit more flat and straightforward.

Early concepts submitted to 2K

What are some of the inspirations behind your art piece?

For this piece, I tried to encapsulate the councillors’ night in Hackett’s Quarry in a more surreal way, represented in some elements and shapes that I used to convey the feelings of fear, suffocation, captivity and demise. They’re sitting around that fire, oblivious (for now) of all the dangers surrounding them.

What was the biggest challenge regarding your piece?

the biggest challenge for me would be that the approved concept was one of the ones that I didn’t develop enough at the beginning. It was more of a first idea sketch with minimal reworks, so it took some time to make it more mature. I kept re-sketching the piece time after time during different stages to get a better version — sometimes I get a clear full vision of the final piece and how it will look, but this wasn’t one of those times.

I also thought that taking a new project with minimal knowledge about the subject would be challenging at first. However, as I progressed more in making the poster I realized how refreshing it could be to explore unfamiliar grounds. It allowed a space for out of the box thinking to kick in, especially since each artist will develop their own unique first impression.

Samer’s poster from early sketch to colour work.

Finally, would you say that working on an alternative game poster is different from working on an alternative movie poster?

In my experience, the fundamentals are the same. Maybe things differ in dealing with the overall theme since games usually have more elements and larger ground to draw inspiration from and that could get a bit overwhelming, but they’re both equally as fun and exciting to try and present the subject, game or movie, from your own point of view, using your unique style.

More information on the game can be found here:

Pre-order The Quarry

© Supermassive Games 2022. Published and distributed by 2K. Supermassive Games, The Quarry and Quarry names and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Supermassive Games Limited. All rights reserved. 2K and the 2K logo are trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jack Woodhams

Founder of PosterSpy.