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.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week #018: Bitmapize!

Around the middle of last week I decided it was time to get around to designing the beginner leather armor set. But I wanted to do something different. Something more than just posting a quick sketch and calling it a week.

Prior to coming on board here at Sam & Dan Games, I had messed around with the process of doing live streams for some of my more extensive sketching sessions. This never struck me as viable for the blog, since it would be hard to contact people when deciding to do one on a whim, and I wasn't keen on doing them on some kind of schedule. Time lapses sounded like a good solution!

I had the filming under control, but had trouble figuring out how to go about editing the footage. Windows Movie Maker just doesn't cut it, and I still haven't found a versatile, free and legal alternative. Eventually, fed up and frustrated, I contacted Gon and he suggest we just film the session from inside a time warp. He's capable of such things, you know.

Big thanks to my friend Cassie for giving me a hand with the leather armor design while I was occupied with the shadow ability graphics and a few other things this past week!

Images represent a game currently under development.
So there you have it. I'm really curious how much interest there is in stuff like this; if there's a lot, I'll be sure to try it again in the near future (although things like equipment and spell creation might not be the most interesting to watch). Be sure to let me know!

Just a reminder that this week's post coming a day earlier is not an error; I've pushed the usual post date from monday to sunday to ease off on the tension of getting a post together on my already-hectic mondays. It already feels much more comfortable to me, although that may be thanks to having this post ready since thursday night...

I'm also hunting for versatile, free and legal video editors for a potential future in "The Making of HTD" videos, if anyone has any experience on that front.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Week #017: Multiple Maximus

Due to some personal problems (I can't catch a break, can I?), we unfortunately had to delay the development of a few things, as you may have noticed in last thursday's update. While I'm not comfortable stating an ETA on anything, I can assure you that I'm prioritizing the completion of human males and shadow abilities (surprise?) for their addition to the game as soon as possible.

Many of you wanted to see Maximus geared up in various ways other than full plate armor, so I wanted to be sure to bring that to the blog this week. I've been pleased with the overall reception regarding the new Max so far, and I continue to assure you that if you had something different in mind, that we'll have you covered with the design of future races.

I also wanted to include some development shots of how Maximus' animations are coming along, but thanks to a major speed bump involving the side view, that stuff is a total mess right now and I don't think anyone could make any sense of it. I'll try to get something like that out next week. Unfortunately (I know, I know, this post is kind of a real drag...), that same speed bump will cause the completion of males to be pushed back by at least a week, and that isn't even including the equipment yet. Sorry! I'm doing what I can.

Enough of these downers, let's move on to some fun community impact activities. First of all, I'm sure some of you noticed that I extended the length of CIP#003 to determine the order of the remaining three elements (with shadow obviously being the second). Since I can't edit a poll once it's active, I couldn't modify it to reflect this extension. Just try not to let the title confuse you. Since shadow has already been decided on, feel free to change your votes to help decide on the next three if you wish.

As for our first Community Impact Opportunity (CIO), as I teased last week...

Community Impact Opportunity #001:
Choose Your Own Arsenal #001

What else can we expect to see by the end of the month, you ask? How about some new weapons? What I want to do is get your feedback on what kind of weapons you'd like to see included in HTD. Axes? Maces? Can't get enough of swords? Maybe you have some really wild and unique ideas in mind? As long as it fits the theme of the game, we want to hear it. Here are a few additional guidelines to follow:

  • Melee weapons are ideal for this opportunity. Since animations for ranged and casting weapons aren't yet complete, such weapons couldn't be added until a later date. I'll most likely hold a separate CIO when that time comes.
  • You do not need to have a visual of your idea. A detailed description is fine (and I cannot stress enough that more detail will increase your chances). Lack of a visual will not hurt your chances, unless your description is just too vague to make sense of.
  • While we can't include exact copies of a popular weapon (example: a Buster Sword, the Master Sword, etc.), we can create a reasonable facsimile. Feel free to include such suggestions and we'll see what we can do, but being imaginative and unique could go a long way.
  • A poll will not be opened to choose between these weapons. Any weapon that I choose to design will be included in the game!

As always, we're looking forward to seeing what you come up with. While I won't promise to include every idea, I will try to add as many as I can by the time the option of changing your weapons in-game becomes available (no public ETA, you know the drill).

In closing, the last thing I want to mention is I will be moving my weekly blog updates to sunday night. Getting them together for monday nights is just proving to be too difficult for me. This may change again if I find that sundays don't work any better for me, so stay tuned.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Week #016: Maximus Joins the Brawl!

As I mentioned last week, I really want to get back into writing some - at least mildly - more elaborate posts again. What I couldn't fix with the simple solution of getting more work done, I fixed by getting started on writing the post itself well before monday night rolls around.

Monday nights tend to be pretty busy for me even without the blog to worry about, so there's a chance I might bump the post window to later (early tuesday morning) or earlier (sunday night or early monday morning). I realize posting too early in the morning will really skew the First! Comment Scoreboard numbers, so I'll try not to let it come to that.

First, you may have noticed the discrete addition of CIP#003 over the weekend. In case there's any confusion; this is to help us decide on the second element that we'll be adding into HTD. While I plan to get that second element into the game before the end of the month, the poll will remain open until the 26th, two HTD Thursdays away. This of course means that I'll be making a gamble by developing the abilities before the results are final. In the case of a tie, or one of the four making a comeback, I suppose I'll just have to buckle down and add both.

There's a chance that these results will not only decide the second element, but the order in which all of the remaing four are developed and included. I won't make a promise of this though in case something comes up to interfere with that.

Now for the goods. I'll just let the preview explain itself...

As I've made plenty obvious, I've been devoting this month to the inclusion of human males as playable characters in HTD. This has been a grueling process, mostly because it's not something I was looking forward to working on. It had to be done though; as previously stated, the amount of functionality that was added to the females rendered the males simply incompatible. Looking back now I realize that the two are barely even in the same style.

But is the new "Maximus" too manly for you? Rest assured; we've already decided on designing another race to fill the short, fat and all-around chibi quota.

Tune in next week for another look at the development of the human males, along with another new Community Impact Opportunity ("CIO", not to be confused with a CIP)!

Just for the record, I can't wait for work to be complete on the human males so that statements like this and the last will stop being made for the sole purpose of being taken horribly out of context.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Week #015: Interface Improvements Anonymous ...wait.

I really wanted to make an elaborate post tonight, detailing the process we went through to improve and polish the game's interface. Two hours of severe writer's block later though and I'm pretty much too cranky to care anymore.

Images represent a game currently in development.
I'll still leave you with this development screenshot. This is more or less what you should expect the interface to look like in the upcoming build, although probably not exactly, since this isn't technically an authentic screenshot.

Note that it obviously isn't 100% complete, either. We narrowed what had to be done down to what we wanted to get done first. Fat lot of good an inventory interface does before there's an inventory to manage, right?

Apologies for the lackluster posts so far this year, I'll try to pick up the pace next week.