The interesting and frustrating thing about being the lead (by which I mean sole) artist on a project is the responsibility for creating lore-applicable imagery on the fly.
I’ve just been finishing up some artwork to be used for promotion, and it called for some kind of alien writing.
Yet it has to be recognisable *as* writing and not seem like a picture or something.
I like things that seem familiar yet aren’t- misleading in a playful way. So I sketched out some eldritch hieroglyphs until I liked what I was looking at. The following image was then used as a basis for a much larger element of the finished artwork.
Doesn’t look much I know, but it require thinking about the concepts from a different perspective.
A big part of creating a game (for me) is fleshing out back story and making a rich world, even if that may not be directly seen in the final product. I like to develop these aspects and create a detailed space for the project to inhabit.
I love creating stuff, and worlds for that stuff to inhabit. One of the great things about this kind of project is I get to do exactly that.
Here is some more work at building up the visual backstory:
Creating dramatic scenes helps me to not only pique people’s interest, but also to test out scenarios that Phill and I have discussed as events that might happen in the course of the game, different storytelling perspectives and tones.
This kind of urban attack scene is a typical trope, but not all is as it seems with our plans. Part of the fun is playing with what people typically expect of a monster attack scenario.
Also these creatures have their own backstory, which will remain secret for now- you will probably have to play the game to get to the bottom of what s going on with them!
Anyway that is enough for now.
So while Luke gets on with his business of creating concept art and the like I have been building the game, and this is not what it looks like. The following image is of the map editor, or at least the first version of it.
Obviously there is zero art in it, it is not the game engine, in fact the plan is at present that at no point will you see the contents of the map in the game! It is a tool for tuning units, creating landscapes and devising puzzles. I made the decision not to write the engine first as far as I can tell this is the biggest mistake I have made in the past when setting out to write a game because invariably I rarely get past it. So as a change I decided to write the game bit of the game first and leave the engine bit till later.
The game bit includes the story and for that I have build a story node system and editor, seen above. It allows me to craft loose narratives and dynamic story arcs using a simple scripting language I created for this purpose, I can step through and debug the story and will eventually build or generate test run throughs so we can plug holes and see issues at a high level. For the final product I can convert (Emit) the finished story as IL bytecode for maximum efficiency but having it as a scripting language allows me to analyses and modify the structure more easily. For instance the blue node diagram in the upper left portion of the image is generated by analyzing the script and not by explicitly linking nodes.
So the long and short of it is we don’t want to give much away about our game… here is what we can tell you: your job will be to manage a force defending your nation from the attacks of enormous creatures.
Many of them.
I’ve been painting up concepts that develop what this world *might* look like. More to follow.