Archive for August, 2016
Friday, August 19th, 2016
Learning the art style of a new project is an interesting phenomenon. With some of my simpler games it’s been a pretty straightforward process; I just pick my influences, do a couple tests and within a week I know pretty well what the game is going to look like. With Empires of Arkeia and Scrap Metal Heroes things were a bit more involved than that. Still, nothing thus far has compared to the lengthy art iteration I’ve gone through on Iron Tides. Looking back now at our early screenshots I have to question whether I had any idea of what I was doing. To be fair, environment art has always been a weakness of mine, and perhaps I was in too much of a rush to chase the first experiment that sort of worked. Finally working in a full-screen, 3D engine blinded me a bit too. Seeing all those physics interactions and animations happening in 3D space was so novel that I wasn’t aware of the visual design weaknesses that now seem painfully obvious.
But I am learning, and the stuff I’m producing now is pretty damn decent. I’m actually hoping that I don’t have yet another art epiphany a few months from now. We do get a lot better with every iteration, but I just don’t think we could afford another redo of all the art.
There’s been a similar phenomenon happening on the design side, but I’ll write about that later. Suffice it to say we’ve gone through at least five versions of our combat system, and only days ago I came up with yet another set of revisions that in my mind at least improve things a great deal. I’ll have to see how they work out in practice, but I am quite excited.
Some new title screen art to gander at:
– Peace and perilous voyages
Friday, August 12th, 2016
Iron Tides has come a long way from its beginnings. Even just graphically it’s undergone major revisions, and I’m rather proud of the standard we’ve achieved thus far. The core mechanics are finally stabilizing and the game is becoming quite playable. Still a million things to do before we finally launch our Kickstarter at the end of September, but the end is at last within sight.
Game media is tough to reach, but Carina has done a fantastic job of it so far. We don’t yet have the audience we need, but we’re on a pretty good track to get there. We showed off the game at Casual Connect in San Francisco about three weeks ago, which was a great experience. It was our first actual trade show, and it just made everything seem so much more legit. Also met a bunch of other devs from all over the world, and got more of a sense of being part of a greater community. Came away with a big pile of business cards and some very positive feedback. This is by far the biggest game I’ve ever done, but also by far the best. There’s easily a year left before it’s ready for full launch, but it’s going to be awesome when it gets there.
– Peace and good tidings