Town & Thumbs

The past few days have been spent trying to come up with some new locations for my new unnamed project (let’s call it Duncan Game 2). The player is introduced to the game’s world at a main hub town, and can explore from there, coming back to home base occasionally. My goal is to make the hub town someplace large but inviting, and so I jumped right into a concept piece:

Well, it’s a start I guess. There were things I liked about this concept; I liked the colors, and the thick borders as well. The game is likely to feature a cartoon/comic style, so that works pretty well. As far as the town itself, I think that it felt more like a small, unimportant town than a central town. Maybe if it were populated by people I would feel differently, but more concepts are definitely in order. Jackson suggested adding a large landmark to make the town feel more like HQ (The Imperial city’s tower, Clock Town’s giant clock, Banjo’s Spiral Mountain). This is something I’ll have to think about, and if I’m smart about it, I’ll make sure that the landmark has significance to the gameplay/story as well, like Majora’s Mask’s Clock Tower.

After a piece of concept art that took entirely too long, I decided to do some thumbnailing. This is a trick I learned about on a game development blog that works great for getting down lots of small ideas. The idea is that instead of doing a time-consuming, detailed concept (see above), you would do a lot of small thumbnails that focus on color rather than specific objects. I decided to set the town aside for the time being, and chart out some new locations. Here are my thumbs:

I probably won’t end up using more than half of these, but the point is that it doesn’t take much time to do them. This was probably more helpful than the large concept, although I’ll come back to that at some point. I’ve discovered that the areas which fit the game’s style best seem to be the ones with the most contrast in color (Row 2, Column 2, and the one below). Row 1, Column 3 wasn’t bad either, but I’m a sucker for forest environments.

Well, that was somewhat useful. I’ll want to hammer down a central town concept pretty soon, but I’m also interested in working on the gameplay design as well. Maybe I’ll expand upon my favorite thumbs, too.

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A week of fun for everyone!

So Duncan just spent the entire week at my house. He left this morning, but we got some game development related work done. Considering we have only one blog post and a site that is rather lacking in terms of content, I thought it’d be nice to update here with what we did over the week.

First and foremost we got the site done. Or rather, Duncan got the site done and I sat around barking orders with my face stuffed in a Cheetos bag. We added media pages and my email address to the contact form. Now when you send an email via the contact page it’ll send an email to both of us. We still need to make some more resolutions for the Starlight wallpaper and there are a few other small things to take care of, but it’s mostly done.

Speaking of Starlight, we resubmitted that to the Xbox Live Indie Games. You’d think with all of the rubbish that gets passed on the indie games that it wouldn’t be too difficult to get a game passed, but this is our third time submitting Starlight. You wouldn’t believe some of the reasons it got denied. Regardless, Starlight should be up on the marketplace pretty soon. My prediction is around a week or two from now, but if it gets denied again then it’ll be longer still. We’ll make a post here when Starlight is released. Also, some people have asked us how many points the game will cost. It will run you 240 Microsoft points, which is $3 in regular people money.

Finally, we got some headway on what we’re doing for Duncan’s next project and my first. This pretty much means that we sat around most of the week spewing out absolutely terrible ideas, but eventually we came up with some good concepts and elaborated on them, and then we made some concept art and level designs.

So that was our week of blood, sweat, tears, and Cheetos. We’ll try to update this blog more often once we actually have something to show, but right now we don’t have enough solid work to show, just a bunch of concepts. Thanks for reading anyways!

EDIT: D’oh! Duncan beat me to the punch. I guess I have no choice but to murder him now. Where did I put those scorpions…

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Ohio Adventures

Well I’ve just gotten back from a week in Ohio, working with Jackson on the newest Kanro projects. I’m always working on something, but the real work gets done when Jackson and I can sit down and work together. Here’s a quick rundown of what I got done the past week:

Starlight

Starlight, my first Xbox 360 game, is getting closer and closer to being released. The latest round of updates saw starlight getting very thoroughly tested for use on the Xbox, making sure that game game doesn’t crash from unexpected changes, such as ripping the memory unit out of the console. I’ll be sure to update when the game gets put onto the Indie games service.

Website

The website saw a large number of changes this week, including a brand-new media page, fleshed out with music, pictures and the like. Not everything is perfect yet (you may have noticed that the link to download the game doesn’t work yet), but more changes should be coming soon. More wallpaper sizes are going to be added as well.

New Project

Most of my time in Ohio was spent coming up with a concept for my next game. After Starlight is done (and I’ve gotten the word out), I’ll be heading straight towards my next project. I don’t want to get into the details yet, because not much is hammered out yet, but I’ll be posting frequent updates once I get everything in order. Jackson in working on something as well, but I’ll let him talk about that himself when the time comes.

Until next time, look forward to seeing Starlight very soon, and more updates on the website.

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Starlight trailer is up!

Good news! The trailer for Starlight is finished, and the game is very nearly ready to be submitted. Here’s the trailer, courtesy of Youtube:

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