Previously on RDD:
This month’s diary was delayed partially because I got really busy with back to school stuff, and partially because I had a plan that fell through. I shall enact my plan for next month’s diary. And there shall be much rejoicing. But not that much. Probably just minor rejoicing, really. If any.
In the last month, things have proceeded slowly but surely. It sometimes feels like I’m spinning my wheels because last week, I probably added around 1000 lines of code a day to the game, but most of what I was doing was refining and perfecting some old functions, and adding tons of extra dialog. I have to say, one of my least favorite parts of adventure game development is coming up with all the excess lines of dialog for when the player examines insignificant things or tries interactions that the character cannot do. How many ways can you say “That’s a plant” or “I can’t do that.”?
Ok, so with the mini-progress report out of the way, I now have to figure out what to reveal this week… Oh! Let’s show some art assets! No, no screenshots yet. I’m still not ready for that. I want to have at least four great looking non-spoilery completely completed screens that I can show you first. Sorry.
But, to give you an idea of the kind of art you’re going to be seeing, I will show you the first piece of concept art produced for the game.
When I first sent out the call looking for background artists, I had about 20 responses, out of which, about 6 looked interesting. I asked everyone if they could show me some sort of representative work that could give me an idea of what an adventure game background by them would look like. In some cases I could find several representative pieces in their portfolio. In other cases, people sent me something that they dug up. A few people created original pieces to demonstrate their talent. Nauris, based on the small story blurb I gave him, worked up a moody conceptual piece using the first character concept from Shane.
It was this concept piece that caught the team’s eye, and from then, the rest of the artist selection process felt a bit like a formality (though there were at least two other highly talented people that were being seriously considered). Nauris is bringing the same excellent style and skill to the game’s backgrounds as he demonstrated in this quick mock up. I can’t wait to show you some of the beautiful scenes he’s created for us. (But I will.)
The character you see in that concept image is actually the first art ever created for Resonance. When I first pitched the idea to Shane over IRC in hopes of snagging him as the character artist, he whipped that up in about five minutes. To quote Dave Gilbert: “Shane breathes pixels.” To quote Shane after I told him that quote: “That doesn’t sound healthy.”
You may recognize the style of characters as being quite similar to the style used by Shane in The Shivah. I really liked this style. The large heads allow for a great deal of expressiveness not possible by a more realistically-proportioned sprite. And since I prefer to use over-the-head text for speech rather than Sierra-style portraits, all the emoting needs to be done by the character’s sprite rather than his close-up portrait.
However, when looking at the kind of background we would be getting from Nauris, it became clear that a more realistic sprite would be a better fit, not only to the backgrounds, but to the more mature storyline as well. So, Shane did some playing around and found a new style that worked for our main character. The proportions are more realistic, but still allows us to see some facial details.
So, here he is: One of the game’s four main characters, Tolstoy Eddings!
Tolstoy’s parents met at a book club meeting and he’s had to pay for it his entire life. As such, he usually goes by his last name, Eddings, or more commonly, “Ed.”
Ed is a mathematician currently working alongside the brilliant particle physicist, Dr. Morales. Dr. Morales is on to something big. Something so big, that Ed has set aside the pursuit of his PhD in order to spend more time working on it.
But lately, Dr. Morales has been slipping into paranoia. He believes he’s being watched at home and followed around Aventine City. He is certain that someone is after his dangerous new discovery. Ed’s calm, logical disposition has helped allay these fears, but when Morales is killed by his own discovery, Ed is left to wonder if it was really paranoia at all.
Ed’s intimate knowledge of Dr. Morales’ research has thrust him into the uncomfortable position of leading the small group of people that are determined to seek out and find the doctor’s secret vault and destroy the technology inside before it falls into the hands of someone who would use it for great evil.
Next time on RDD: