This blog represents the artistic side of the upcoming projects from SND Games that are currently under development. All content shown
should be considered a work-in-progress. All feedback regarding gameplay should be directed to the main blog of SND Games.
This blog is not monitored for gameplay-related comments and they may either go unapproved or unanswered.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Week #010: Get Out of My House

Out-of-Character Blog Post:

Between recovering from the holiday weekend and my focus mostly resting on the looming CIP#002, this will be a quiet viewing week. Be sure to submit your ideas for human male hairstyles if you haven't already, as I plan to start organizing them soon in preparation for the poll launching next week.

In-Character Blog Post:

Once the Treasure Lord moved his family in to their new place, he promptly requested that we get the hell out. Unfortunately, that marks the end of our coverage of the Fortuitous Cave's main chambers. Further viewing must be aided by skillful wielding of weaponry and the elements alike... and I'm just not touching that one.

The entrance to the Fortuitous Cave's main chambers.
We're not sure how we feel about the Treasure Lord's taste
in decor, but such freedom did come with the lease...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week #009: Rebirth

Many viewers have questioned the status of the human male player characters, since my focus has been on the females for so long now. There has been a good reason for this, and since my focus is about to shift back onto the males, I thought it was time to talk about it.

When I first started working on HTD, the first assets I worked on was the human male player character. After completing the melee attack assets, I moved on to the creation of the Fortuituous Cave and it's inhabitants, the treasure whelps and the Treasure Lord himself.

Once these were in development, however, I began to feel that the human male assets were rather lackluster. The quality wasn't at all consistent with the work I had done since. Additionally, the human males just simply weren't built for some of the functionality we had planned (as you'll see below, they only had four slots of armor, as opposed to the six that was being planned for).

Insisting that I could do better, but agreeing that it wasn't in the best interest of time to revisit them for revisions just yet, I moved on... to the human female player character.

While still moving forward, I was still able to display just how much room for improvement we had with the player characters. As you can see, the human female is not only much more smooth and polished, but much more complicated than the human male was.

Comparison of the two idle stances, broken down into all of their components.
Now that the females are beyond caught up, as I take a little break with some stage and creature creation, I prepare to gear up to give the human males their deserved rebirth.

Don't you realize what this means!?

Community Impact Poll #002:
Human Male Hairstyles

Oh. Snap. That's right, it's time for CIP number two. Mirroring the first, this will decide on the initially added hairstyles for the human male player characters in HTD. But first, we need some entrants. That's where you come in! Just as before, leave your suggestions and ideas for hairstyles right here in the comments. I'll be accepting entrants for the next two weeks. Here are some things to keep in mind if you plan to leave a design suggestion:

  1. These hairstyles should match the character of a human male. More savage designs should be reserved for more savage races, more elegant designs should be reserved for more elegant races, etc.
  2. Your suggestions can be in any form, from a vague idea ("What about spikes?") to a specific character ("How about Arthas' hairstyle?") to something you drew yourself! All styles will be redrawn by myself for voting, and source material won't be deliberately held as an advantage or disadvantage.
  3. Submissions will be gathered over the next two weeks, leading up to the opening of the polls, on December 5th.
  4. The entrants of the poll will be included in Hero Tower Defense, starting with the winner at the initial launch. Second and third place will be quick to follow, and further runner-ups may be included in the near future.
  5. Have fun or you're disqualified. :D
Once again, we're looking forward to seeing what kind of ideas the community comes up with!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Week #008: How Fortuitous... Part Two

As I promised over the last week, tonight I focused on delivering a "live" preview of the game's first boss realm. This worked out, since I got so wickedly sick over the weekend to do anything but the bare minimum of work I had to get done anyway.

Since this is more or less a continuation of last week, I'd like to shift focus to the discussion of the design of the blog itself and it's features. I've been pretty regularly adding new features as I come up with them. Am I providing the kind of viewing experience that you're looking for? Are there certain features that I may be unintentionally avoiding that would really bring it home for you? Are any of these features unnecessary?

I also want to briefly go over some of the more unique features, just in case you missed them.

- Progress Notes - These in particular have been well-received ever since I started posting them. I imagine most have noticed them, so this is mostly just to drop a reminder or two. At the time of this posting you may have noticed that they're currently all complete. Please remember that these are a representative of my current focus, and not the total progress of HTD. Stay tuned, I'll be putting up new notes soon!

- First! Comment Scoreboard - With how much people love to go for that first post, I thought it was only right to keep score. This has mostly been here since I opened the blog and is pretty much self-explanatory, although I have been considering more tightly defining the rules, such as a comment has to include "first!" to qualify. However, I'd rather encourage productive posting, personally. I may also disqualify anonymous "first!" comments in the future.

- What's Kevin Playing? - A feature that I only added within the last week, this gadget links directly to my own Youtube channel. Only just born through the massive amount of gameplay hours I spent with Sonic Generations, this is about all the channel has at the moment, and since I only have access to video capture for the PC, this may not see much content through the coming holidays as most of the titles I'm looking forward to are console or handheld releases. But just how interesting is this peek into my non-work life?

Don't forget to leave your feedback about what features you like or would like to see, so that I can further tailor this viewing experience to bring you just what you're looking for!

Also, anyone interested in contributing to the second Community Impact Poll - which will mirror the first, focusing this time on the initial hairstyles for the human male player character - should start considering your suggestions. Don't post anything yet, but preparation for this poll will probably kick off within the next week or two.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week #007: How Fortuitous...

This week we're going to take a look at the process involved in the creation of the game's first boss area. This was one of the first of the game's assets I tackled, second only to my initial work on the game's player characters. Despite this, we haven't shown much of it off yet. It took roughly a week and a half for me to finish this with my limited environment experience, which is sure to grow and quicken as work on HTD moves on. Please keep in mind that these images, as always, represent a game currently in development.

The earliest documented work-in-progress of the "Fortuitous Cave" area.
Early on, I really didn't have an idea of just what Sam and Dan had in mind yet. Taking what brief ideas they had given me I started to put ideas down on paper (so to speak), which we then refined gradually (as you can see above) as the stage began to take shape.

The pictured dragon (his name is Clyde) was only a temporary resident
and you should expect future residents of the Fortuitous Cave to be much more menacing.
Once we were happy with the layout of the stage, I started to polish it all up. This part of the process easily took longer than the early design phases for obvious reasons. Part of it was talking Clyde into sleeping on the couch while we refurbished. I don't know what his deal was, I mean the Fortuitous Cave doesn't even get cable.

Do you have any idea how tough it is to convince your construction crew
to use the cement mixer to keep the lava from cooling? Sheesh.
At this point, I started messing around with environmental effects, to enhance the mood of the place. This didn't go over too well... Many of them looked tacky, and ultimately we didn't have the time to spare, as the new tenants were ready to move in. But hey, those lava pools will save bundles on the heating bill this winter. After we cut our losses, I finished up the necessities (still no cable, Sam can be such a scrooge).

Clyde was convinced that the new rules were made just to inconvenience him...
but come on, you're only level 57, and high-class places like these have standards, you know.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Week #006: Trick or Treat!

Notice: I've updated the progress lists, but notice that I've narrowed my sights, so that they are no longer symbolizing such an immense scale of content all at once. It could also be identified as an optical illusion to make progress look a bit more explosive... I'll let you see it as you choose!

When I first started this blog, I had already been working with SND for several weeks and had a nice amount of content to show for it. While the speed of content creation hasn't exactly changed (though everyone has their off weeks), the rate at which we're presenting it has, which has caused the unfortunate lull in content lately.

What I would like to do is cut back to showing less content per week, but making the content more meaningful. Instead of seeing minor updates or very early works in progress, you'll see more concept art and completed game assets. With the main blog showing more development screenshots as development progresses, I believe this will round out into a pleasant package.

Something that our spectators should keep in mind is the extraordinary circumstances we're working under. Not only are we making our developmental progress rather public from the word go, which most game developers don't do (most games aren't made public until a year or two after they've entered production!), but there are only three of us! Some of what you've been seeing has even been completed only a day or two prior to being shown. This is something I'd like to resolve with the new pacing of showing content.

This week, I thought I would show the concept design of the introductory epic cloth armor set, modeled by our human female player character along with another of our three winning hairstyles, "Yesterday's Breeze".