It’s due time for another update. It’s all about graphics this time.
Looking at front page of our site, it was pretty clear we needed to update our trailer video to more accurately represent the current state of the game. So we did just that. To save time, we used our old pre-order trailer as a blueprint, added things here and there, tweaked the effects and voilà – a new and improved trailer is done!
Graphics, graphics, graphics…
As I’ve stated several times in the past, our biggest bottleneck in development for some time now has been graphic assets. Ever since our original artist left the project, we’ve been trying to get our character art back on track, with little success. When Sampo joined us, we thought our problems would be over, but as it turned out, 2D was way too cumbersome and slow for the amount of assets we needed. So, we started looking for 3D artists, almost got one a little while back, but ultimately things fell through.
Which brings us to now. Internally we’ve been half seriously talking about doing the graphics with just Risto and me for quite a while now, but now it’s a reality. After releasing Beta 1.6, we’ve been neck deep in 3D. Using the concept art Sampo made for us, Risto has been churning out models for enemies, after which he passes them onto me for animating and rendering. It’s taken some time to get the ball rolling and there have been several technical hurdles in the way, but now we’re finally making good progress. Here’s a sneak peek of our new enemies:
Keep in mind, what you see here is not final. We’re currently fighting against a problematic issue: recognizability/readability. With the amount of new enemy variants we’ve been adding and designing, keeping them distinct and recognizable in gameplay has become an issue. Basing the enemies on one core design has helped us out in the technical side (one rig, reusable animations…), but it inevitably leads to very similar looking creatures. We been debating whether to increase diversity through completely new designs for some of the enemies, but currently we’re trying to find a simpler solution through tweaking colors and minor model changes.
With Risto and I working on World 1, Sampo has been hard at work designing enemies for World 2. Out of the gate, we’re aiming for a more diverse group of creatures than World 1, which should help us avoid our current predicament, though it will mean more work in modeling and animating. Here’s another sneak peek, but take heed: the designs here are “in-progress” and more of a blueprint than final product, so don’t expect to see anything in the game “as is”.
Sampo has also started putting down some ideas for our remaining two characters: Preacher and Scout (names subject to change). I won’t be showing them off just yet, as they’re still in very early stages, but it’s nice to know they’re finally being worked on.
Last but not least, to make sure Sampo has his plate well and full, we’re also implementing art to our loading screens to make them more appealing.
With Risto and I now busy with graphics work, other development has taken a back seat. This however isn’t really a bad thing, as there really isn’t anything immediately pressing on the programming side. Finishing the game is currently more dependent on art than code, so that’s our first priority. I’m planning on making updates on our progress every now and again in the coming months, so look forward to more art!