I never really thought I’d be joining the echelon of indie game developers, yet here I am.
Sure I had plenty of friends who programmed and animated and designed levels, and sure I can write music and draw and make up stories, but in all honestly, having a hand in game creation the way my friends did had not occurred to me. Video games were always Bob’s thing and I kind of liked it that way.
When he brought up the idea to make his own mobile game with a small group of friends, I knew it was going to be a really cool project. He asked Steve to do the music since they had both grown up with wicked awesome chiptunes, and he asked John to assist with programming since they had worked together quite well in the past and he knew John had the skills it’d take to get this thing done. And then came the art. I don’t think he formally asked me, and I don’t think I came right out and offered, but it just sort of somehow happened.
I think what did it was that I saw pixel art as a challenge, and knowing me, I go all out for challenges… that is, until I prove to myself I can accomplish them. Then I lose interest and move on to something else. Doesn’t sound like a great workflow for this kind of thing, does it?
As it has turned out, this whole endeavor has kept me on my toes, presenting one challenge after another. I’m finding that the task isn’t to just “be able to make art for a level”, it’s more like “be able to make art that embodies the specific level that’s being made”. So every time new content is needed, there is a new challenge for me to sink my teeth into.
But I should have mentally prepared myself. Between real life (ie work), my artistic internet life (ie doing anime fanart commissions and whatnot), and general laziness (ie laziness), time given to work on our game had to be planned and persistent or else it’d go by the wayside. If you’ve been following us or if you’ve looked back through our posts, you’ll know that’s exactly what happened in August, or what I like to call “The Month of Minecraft”.
It was fun to take a break, but there is just so much art involved in video games, even one as simple as ours. 8 bit art is easier since I don’t have to draw mind blowing masterpieces, but it still adds up. Every single character has to have every single animation drawn out. Every level has to be complete with its own distinct tile sheet. And of course there are other things like the overworld map. That needs to be filled with art. And the little icons for collectibles have to be made. Pretty much everything you see must be created from scratch. By me. (Well, with a few exceptions.)
It really puts into perspective what it takes to create a game. Art is just one facet, but there’s also the level design, the music composition, and omg the programming. Writing out instructions to tell the computer how to even make all this stuff show up and not fall apart seems to me like a freaking miracle. Not to mention the overall idea of the game. Its personality and the experiences you have within in it have to stem from somewhere, and that takes true creativity for game developers. It makes me glad I’m just the artist.
Well, technically I’m not just the artist since I’m the publicist too, I guess. Is that what it’s called? Heh keeping up our blog and planning stuff like that is enough for a whole other post! I just wanted to take some time and share some of my thoughts on how it’s been for someone not accustomed to video game creation thus far. So that’s that, and now I guess I’d better get back to pixeling. ;P
EVEN MORE CHANGES
I decided earlier that I will use this space only for posts that relate to my own game development. Screw that! I’m going to widen what I post here now, but it will still be related to all the stuff I’m doing (which is game development, more game development, and eating of food).
Ok so as I get further along, I can’t just post EVERYTHING I do for my game. It’s why it’s been quiet during March. Right now I’m still learning Unity and getting myself reacquainted with programming along with redesigning the overall style of the game.
Though I will finish this post with a first concept pass on some monsters.