Don’t worry, we’re still alive. Just been working hard. Still goin at this full-time, even though I’ve gone back to pizza delivery by night and Jonny and Ty are taking a few hours of school. We’re focusing all our efforts to get our new Unstoppable trailer out, because once that happens...everything will change. The earth might just collapse in on itself as a result of the insane amount of hype that’s released into the atmosphere. Yeah, it’s gonna be a big deal.
So what’s taking us so long? Well, after we saw our new graphics and realized the potential this game has, we decided to go all out and make this the biggest and best game it can possibly be. That means online play. Now, networking isn’t something you can just add in on top of a game, it has to be put in on “ground-zero”...so Jonny had to do some back-tracking to make it happen (and a whole lot of research and studying), and there’s still lots of networking code left to go, he’s only just finished the preliminary stage.
We also decided to completely change the level design. Instead of just one open square level after another, we’ll now have huge scrolling levels, with rooms and corridors and keys and exploration and puzzles (if you don’t like puzzles, don’t worry, there won’t be too many and some will be optional or hidden, and most of them will be very action-oriented). In light of this, we had to make a fully-featured level editor (which we’ll release, so for those of you who want to, say, remake the first dungeon from Zelda 1, you could totally do that).
Jordan is working hard on level art, but his time is limited due to another job. He’s really producing some quality stuff though. We’ve recently gotten really organized with him, with all his task due dates planned out on our Google Doc calendar.
Lastly, the bad news: Egoraptor is no longer working on the cutscenes and spritework (queue all the JForce haters rejoicing at the thought of our failure). He had spent several months on this game and said it was turning into a career instead of a commission job and that he wanted to focus on his own stuff. We did offer him more money, but he said he just couldn’t do another 5 months on this. Looks like the reason he was able to do this, is because he had just became a Youtube Partner, so he’s now able to make a pretty nice income working on his own stuff, which is every artists' dream. On the bright side, he said he’ll still do all the voice-work and pimp us out on his Youtube and Newgrounds channels (which is pretty critical). And the work he was able to get done is top-notch. The first cutscene is finished (clocks in at 91 seconds) and it is absolutely hilarious. Most of the spritework is done too, and it’s equally impressive. He has most of the other cutscenes rough-drafted out as you saw in the video, and I can say right now, not only will this be the best indie game of all time, but the funniest game of all time as well.
So, we’re currently on the hunt for a new animator who can match his style.
And if you haven’t checked out that preview in Avatar Massage Online, DO IT. Also, for those of you who don’t know, we went through this huge ordeal in trying to get that game released. We were treated pretty unfairly by several members of the XNA community, and all the criticisms we received throughout that entire debacle were all unjustified and easily refutable. Wait for our upcoming comprehensive blog post which covers our whole side of the debate before you start to mouth-off about us “only caring about the money”. I mean really, we’re gonna end up spending over 4 years on a freakin’ top-down shooter and people say we have no passion. Yeah, okay. Continue »
So it's official, Egoraptor is now not only doing the cutscenes for Unstoppable, but all the sprite-work too! He was actually the one to make this offer, and initially we said no. Partly because I had already put all this work into my sprites and didn't want to see them go. That turned into my main role and I was contributing so much more to the game. But also because we just didn't think his sprites would be that much better to justify the cost and extra time to get them done. We thought my sprites were fine.
But boy were we wrong.
He showed us a couple samples, and like Ty said, it was an easy decision. They're just so much better than my stuff; way more lively, way better drawn. This man has some serious talent. I think our graphics are right up there with Castle Crashers now. It's actually starting to look like the best indie game ever!
So, you want to see a preview eh? FINE. Have a taste:
Yeah! Egoraptor is doing the cutscenes for Unstoppable! Everything considered, (art skills/voice acting/humor/writing/popularity) he's really the best animator in the entire world, in our opinion at least. He's mostly known for the Awesome Series, Metal Gear Awesome being his biggest hit. I think Awesome Gaiden is my favorite...or this one, even though I've never played that game. Really it's hard to choose a favorite, they're all just too funny! He also has the Girlchan in Paradise series which is a hilarious spoof of anime cartoons. And here's a short (but incomplete) bio of him, case you're interested.
Ok, I knew this day would come. Jesse has lost all dignity. He needs to be...terminated...or something.
But, more importantly, Avatar Showdown is almost done. I'll be very shocked and disappointed if it's not a top ten seller. The last top ten list includes all the avatar games that were out at that time (there's been two released since then). They're mostly crap. Really. It looks like Xbox users will buy anything that has Avatar in the title. So we're gonna cash in on that. Also, it's a remake of the popular mini-game Samurai Kirby, so this should definitely do well. And we really need the money too so we can pour it into Unstoppable.
And I should've mentioned this in the video, but I definitely will not draw every single frame on paper and then scan them in and color 'em. I will probably only do that for some of the key frames...maybe. I'm starting to get the hang of my wacom tablet, so I'm sort of just tracing the reference images, and then modifying them to get the look of our character (which is basically just adding lots of muscles to the arms).
New stuff! This is my first real attempt at doing sprites. Only the main character, "Jermaine Ubenheimer" is mine. There's two different drafts of him shown in this video. The rest of the art was drawn by Jonny...except for those flames. They were ripped from James Silva's book. And this is definitely not the final look for First Blood. I may redraw those zombie and wizard sprites, and Jordan will probably draw the levels, and maybe some effects & projectiles (he'll make those flames look even better).
Not much got accomplished in this meeting. But at least check it out at 7:10 to see Jonny's amazing drawing. And you should definitely watch this in high quality on youtube because the lighting is pretty bad. I tried to make it better with Movie Maker's effects, but it still looks crappy. Should've got more light. Oh well.
Next week you get to see my spritework! And new weapons!