To make sure that Dezmin looks consistent within the universe. This will also likely go into the art book. Oh… did I mention that I’m working on an art book?
Archive for ‘ART BOOK’
Since I’m in between books, I thought it’d be fun to start posting some of the concept art and illustrations from the series. Here’s a character from a future story. Keep checking back, as I’ll continue to post new character designs, world maps, and notes as often as I possibly can!
Before I began creating art for any character sprites, I needed to decide on a style to draw them in. When a character is presented in a comic book, more details can be shown, because your camera moves depending on the shot for the scene. With a sidescroller, a characters proportions need to be altered so that there is enough distinction in their silhouette that emotions can be portrayed in their animation. Each character needs to feel distinctly unique in shape and movement because they are much smaller on the screen. Sidescrollers don’t usually get the benefit of being able to zoom in on a characters face to convey emotion. Classic sprite games such as Final Fantasy 6 did this AMAZINGLY well, even with greater color and size restrictions.
While I enjoy more realistic proportions in some games, Twilight Monk really calls for a dynamic range. I’m looking forward to pushing this range even further with larger boss designs later on.
The fishman guard was featured in a demo video earlier this week, and the new guy on the right is a redesign of a very old Twilight Monk character from 2001. I wanted to simplify him and bring him into the current styling of the universe. Here’s the original drawing.
Back then, I didn’t really know how to use photoshop, and I had no understanding of how to clump details for readability. The sprites for the TM game are going to have to be a lot simpler, so details like you see in this character would just turn out looking like mud.
The thing about game development is, there is no certainty. You can’t plan everything out with certainty, and see it come together and work exactly how you expected. This is because video games are about “feel”. The final product has to “feel” good to the player more than it has to look good, or have some formula that’s supposed to make it perfect for what the audience wants. Sometimes you build something, and you get all the way to the end, and you find out that the player jump height has changed because it feels better for gameplay if he doesn’t jump as high. Next thing you know, all of that artwork has to be redone. As I’m learning to code, I’m making similar discoveries about coding as well. There is always a more efficient way to do something.
SOME things I’m sure of. Some things I can be absolutely certain of. My model that I’m looking at is the Castlevania series and Metroid right now. I like their save system, so I’m playing around with the idea of having these “save rooms”. I’m not entirely sure how this will work for modern gamers though. It seems that these days, players want to be able to save anywhere. It’s too early to know for sure.
I’m in a freeflow state with ideas right now. The game is an open canvas, with the only restrictions being the camera. All ideas are valid. So I just sketch and brainstorm.
ALSO of note: I’ve been making little additions to the site. You can expect a lot more upgrades to menus, new features and more frequent updates for a while!
Yes! Twilight Monk is going to be a game!!! But it’s still a long way from being done. That’s where this website is going to start getting interesting. Because I’m going to need your help and I’m going to need your permission. Your feedback will SHAPE THE GAME. That’s right… I’m going to want you to help me make this game everything you ever wanted in a side scrolling adventure title. My inspiration to begin with is to make it a Metroidvania game giving the player the ability to traverse a landscape, and backtrack to discover previously hidden paths.
I’m going to be posting updates every week to show you the latest developments, and ask for your feedback. At present, what you see in these screenshots IS a playable, but there is no combat, or AI in the enemies yet. Presently Mao can jump, run, and idle. I have the movement where I want it for now. But like I said… this is a LONG way from being a full game experience. I’m learning A LOT doing this, as I’m coding the entire thing myself AND making all of the assets.
It’s being built in HTML 5 so I should be able to post a playable test realm which I can update regularly for you to play around in (in theory). That should be ready in the coming weeks if its going to happen. If not, then I’ll have videos.
I want for you to be there, through it all. As I stumble around trying to learn things that I’ve never done before and then pull off something (hopefully) pretty damn cool. I’ve been making games for 11 years, and did comics for 9 years previous to that, but my dream was always to make indie games and indie comics.
Speaking of which… The Twilight Monk Webcomic is continuing soon as well! The script is coming along nicely, and I’ve got about 14 pages roughed out. You can expect to see new pages rolling out starting in a couple of months at the latest. In the meantime you’ll have to settle for updates on the game and new character concept art/design notes/sprite animations and other cool stuff relating to the game and its development.
Please be patient with me on this. It’s a HUGE undertaking, and I’m doing concept art for League of Legends right now also. So I’ve got my hands full! I will be very curious to read your comments on how the game looks right now. Be harsh, be critical, post paint-overs, or throw design ideas at me. I will try to incorporate everything that works within the core gameplay of the design.