September 23, 2013 - 2:23 am
Behind the Scenes, Cape of Storms, Development, Games, Random stuff
Which actualy means “coding and drawing games”. At the same time we move forwards with the engine – and the fact that we’re building PC, Android and Web at the same time is a big challenge – we’re drawing and testing Cape of Storms. Fun times ahead.
Meanwhile Bruno moved to China and there are over 2000 comments to moderate. You’d think the spammers would give up after they saw 2000 of their comments not going through, but it’s not the case. Not the smartest people in the world, as it turns out.
By the way, if you have any tips for getting rid of spam, please let us know. Next step will be to block all comments except from Facebook/Google users. But only when the game things are over – priorities, always priorities.
June 16, 2013 - 11:16 pm
Behind the Scenes, Cape of Storms, Development, Games
…we were building Cape of Storms, as you might or might not remember. We went as far as to write the whole, detailed script with all the puzzles (and then we found one of the puzzles being used almost exactly as we wrote it in The Cave, which was a fun coincidence but now we have to rewrite it – bummer).
Back then we had a new engine, used to build The Labyrinth. The problem was this engine was heavily dependent on perspective drawing, as opposed to the isometric we had before (protip: isometric makes some things really easy if you don’t know how to draw). So we found an external artist to work on the new game.
And that didn’t really work. The guy kind of disappeared.
That left us stuck in a corner. We couldn’t draw the game ourselves, and by then we had almost no spare time because of a series of other matters. So Cape of Storms was delayed. And delayed. And then we stopped updating the site. And then we also disappeared.
We’re rebuilding the engine. And planning new games. To be honest, both those things are easy. But we still have some roadblocks. Mainly, the ability to create scenes, characters and animations without the need to rely on artists. And that’s what’s taking our time right now – we’re building tools and the engine with the goal of making it easy and fast to make all the art involved.
The scenes are working fine, the characters are still in draft stage (there’s an unfinished example above) and the animations are the next thing to conquer. After that, the engine (which is a bit of menial work but it’s all planned already) and the games (yay! – the fun part). With a few changes in relation to the old games, but we’ll get to that in another post.
Does that mean we’re not calling artists anymore? Nah. We will do it, eventually, and that should be really interesting. We just need to make certain that, if that doesn’t work for any reason, we’re capable of working on a game by ourselves. And thus to be able to keep our deadlines and roadmaps.
Yes, we have roadmaps. Right now we have at least fifteen games planned. Seriously.
The first one? Cape of Storms, of course. Some time this year. It’s been delayed enough. :)
Meanwhile here’s some doodles:
April 22, 2013 - 11:31 am
Behind the Scenes, Development, Games, Graphics
If I was someone who knows how to draw, I could look at something and put it on paper. Ok, I know it’s not that easy. It requires points of reference, models, a lot of practice and so on. Even so, I am not that person.
This makes it really difficult to draw the hard stuff, like the human body. I wish I could get one of those little wooden dolls, position it the way I want it and copy it. But I need something more exact to start from.
Then there are programmers, and when programmers find a roadblock we sit down and code a solution. Once again, not that simple. But it helps.
That’s how this little tool came to be – and believe me, it was tricky. Say hello to the virtual wooden doll:
So, what does it do? Well, mainly the same as that other tool. It creates models for people, using the same perspective as the scenes. After all the variables are set up, it prints a page like this one:
It is intended to generate the main positions for a character, but I’m not doing it right now – I’m mainly creating some random poses to some random characters so I can test it. So, after this is printed, we can start some concept art. For instance, here’s David Green:
No, I don’t like it either. I don’t know why, but this guy was created with a common face that’s simply bland. If (some day) we get to work on Trapped again, this will have to be solved. But right now, it’s not a concern. Let’s move on.
And here’s a ghost/zombie:
And, finally, this is Betsy:
Next steps are to “ink” these drawings, much in the same way as the scenes. This is what the next post will be about.
Anyway, as a side note – before deciding to create the tool I researched a lot for free, simple ways to get the same kind of results in the Internet. No luck – there are some good references, but I really needed a tool. So when this one is over, after we enable animations, we’ll upload it here and leave it free for use to anyone who has the same issues.