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.
The past two weeks did not go as planned. What started out as a coding week that would involve balancing unit attributes turned into a full on art blitz. I received a lengthy, somewhat painful, and costly introduction into the world of art. At the same time, I received the invaluable jolt of excitement and motivation that comes from working with other talented people.
I wrote about my experiences searching for an artist earlier this week, and I thought that would be the end of it. I had found two talented people who I get along with, and I figured that we would be able to find a style that works. Unfortunately, one of those people was given a job offer he could not refuse, and the other had a style that was too expenses for animators to match. I talk about that in my status video of this week:
So, now I’m doing a trial run with three different animators, and I have found a different style of illustrator. Ultimately, I just want to find art that works well together and is in my budget. My one condition being that the art is not “generic cartoony” that most app store games have. I’ll provide a detailed update once the dust settles.
Organizing a Game
One of the huge benefits that came out of speaking with artists is that I needed to organize my thoughts. How many levels would there be? How many characters? What is the story, and how many story boards / cut scenes are needed? What art style inspires you? All of these questions resulted in a 20 page document, and two separate art documents. Instead of rambling over email, I will now be able to provide somewhat accurate figures and descriptions to the people I’ll be working with.
It will be interesting to look back and see how accurate I am, but here is my scope for an illustrator:
- 12 level illustrations
- 150 small, layered environment details (campfire, tent, house, etc).
- 12 – 20 storyboard illustrations
- 1 main menu illustration
- 1 combat prep illustration
- 1 world map
- 6 character portraits (if they can’t be cut from one of the storyboards)
This Changes Things
As of now, I’ll no longer be aimlessly (and boring-ly) writing an engine for a rough concept. I’ll be implementing level 1. And then jumping to a story, which then goes to a battle preparation screen. I’ll be trying to create real particle effects. I actually feel like this is the turning point where I’ll be crafting a game, and not just writing code.
I can’t emphasize enough how much energy this has provided. Chris and I both have trouble sleeping, and excitedly talk about our games all day. Not only is the art exciting, but I have trouble letting people down which provides the necessary work ethic to keep up with the artists. I’m not sure how long this high will last, but this is one of the peaks on my journey for sure.