This post is a status update, which is how I track progress specific to my game. Check out my timeline to see what I've recently accomplished.
I have a lot to share this time around, including icons, character animations, splash screens, world map animations, music and sound, and cut scenes. But the biggest achievement over the last two weeks was completing the first take of the game’s intro video, which you can see below.
There isn’t any sound added to the video yet, and there are parts that I just don’t like, but it’s always good to get something relatively finished. I’m going to hold off on tweaking or even looking at this video for a solid month so my brain can decompress. I have a tendency to dislike anything I’ve 10,000 times over the course of a month, so I’ll have to come back with a fresh set of eyes. Any feedback is always appreciated.
I have about 11 of 18 full character animations completed now, and the latest addition is the spearman character.
He’s from the desert area in the map and the inspiration for his design was the Aiel race, from the Wheel of Time. I’ve always liked the idea of this character and Dustin Bolton did a fantastic job bringing him to life.
I received the last large illustration that I’ll need, which I’ll be using on the marketing website and for a cut scene in-game. Since you’ll be eventually seeing it on the website, nothing will be spoiled by sharing that with you now.
Now that the large illustrations are complete, it’s time to move onto some of the finer details. The world map needed some love in a few areas:
I wasn’t completely happy with how the waterfall looked during the first pass because it looked a little too chunky, for lack of a better word. Scott took another shot at it and I’m happy with the second take.
Similar animations were created for the other waterfalls on the world map, so I think we can scratch world map animations off of the to-do list.
Like many mobile games, my game will follow a fairly linear path and have markers to display where battles happen. I had Scott draw up some ideas on how we could mark those battles and here was his first attempt.
I liked parts of 5, 3, and 9, and we tried out 9 to see what it looked like in-game. I think the icon looks kinda cool, but it just didn’t seem to look right on the world map.
I also didn’t have a good idea of how to show when a battle is won or lost. We went back to the drawing board and I asked Scott to make markers that looked more like flags. The flags could change colors when the good guys won, Scott suggested making more elaborate flags for the boss fights. Here’s what we came up with:
I’m happy with how these are looking and they offer all of the flexibility I need for the different game states. There will be some additional visual queues as to where the current battle is located, and I think these will be pretty close to the final design.
It’s not a huge deal in the game, but it’s worth pointing out just to illustrate how many choices and changes there are in game design. The original hero’s path looked like:
The problem with that path was that it doesn’t look bad in isolation, but the world map looked crowded and messy when it was completely covered by that path. That path was also awkward to add the battle markers to. So Scott re-did the path to look flatter, which you can see in the previous images. Re-doing the path masking and the design of the new path will take a couple of days, and it’s those type of little decisions that make a game late and over budget.
I spent a few days playing around with icon design just to get a general feel of what will look decent in-game. I’ll have Scott put work some of his illustrator magic on the final designs, but here’s a bit of what I’m testing out.
Sound and Music
The last, but definitely not least, important news to share is that I’ve found people to handle the game’s sound and music. The sound will be handled by Wes Slover and the music by Brendon Williams. We haven’t really gotten started just yet, but both of these guys are extremely talented and I can’t wait to work with them.
As a side note, a lot of audio people have reached out to me in recent weeks, and they have got to be some of the most helpful and nicest people I’ve come across. It’s generally not good to stereotype an entire profession, but now when somebody tells me that they’re a sound or music designer, I instantly think they’re a good and fun person. Kind of like a dolphin trainer. Have you ever met an evil boring dolphin trainer? Exactly.
It’s time to start bringing this thing together, so I want to add a start button to the end of the intro movie that actually brings you to a new game that has a working world map and first level. I’m not sure if I can finish that in the next week or two, but that’s my major goal in the near future.