1st 4 units

With new art guidelines set, it's time to walk the walk.

The test:
- Short production period, at least 1 unit rendered/animated ready per day.

Total time spent for rendering 4 units:
- 5hours x 2days ( average 2.5hours each )
With further touch ups, probably another hour each, i should have enough time to setup animations in Unit after chopping them up.

ART DIARY I

Was giving the style guide a good research over the weeks, just to construct a guideline to unit creation, when the time to outsource arrives. 
Where to start from? Of course, from creativity's best ingredient: CONSTRAINTS!

A list of constraints I can think of right now:

  1. Tile volume
    1. Units should, as much as possible, occupy the tile area of its size, majority being in a 1x1 tile.
    2. Deformed proportions fits the stylization better.
    3. 2 head/bobbing head/chibi proportions focus details purely on the head, hard to form silhouettes below.
    4. 3 heads deformed proportion gives enough room to pose and add significant silhouette to accessories/wear.
  2. Execution
    1. Being a 1 man team, I should be able to bring at least 1 unit from concept to asset ready ( render + animation ) everyday.
    2. With a base groundwork of Vector shapes, I can refine modularly in Photoshop, with additions like Gradients/Glows/Shadows/Texture Overlay/Soft Masking etc.
    3. Keep detail density within hue cluster as much as possible.
  3. Maximum in display
    1. There can be a max of 20 units per side, totaling at 40. Alongside so many UI, units can't be too complicated at quick glance.
    2. Closer shape clusters per unit will help visually separation.
    3. Minimal hue shifts within a unit.
    4. Value clusters like a dark gradient banding at bottom of unit ease visual transition into unit UI, which mostly shows at the bottom.

What will that look like then, you ask. After weeks of Pinterest surfing, I'd found something that fits the bill pretty well:

Disney Infinity

Jon Diesta and his team laid down the foundation guidelines for Infinity's character design, as much as I can fish from the net:

  1. Urban vinyl feel mixed with an animated flavor, resulting in bold, clean shapes.
  2. Chiseled, simplified look.
  3. Had to look like designer collectible figure at least.
  4. *Most of the volume details are rendered in low contrast within its own hue group.

Using Disney Infinity's considerations, I'll incorporate my own and come up with the full detailed .pdf guidelines in the next post.
 

Take care, y'all!

Week 10 Progress

Been a 2 weeks stint from production, been preparing alpha site and posting on forums to get feedback/testing.

DESIGN

Had some consistent feedback from friends ( nothing from the net yet unfortunately ) about the redundancy of battle setup, especially the need for the 4x5 grid.

- Will try adding some sync perks to battle setup, where certain tiles in the grid may offer some advantage during battles ( similar to warp isle placement system ).

- Was debating the need for another currency to purchase Isles, or explore another way to unlock Isles ( which is via Collections of units ). 

- Needed a way to 'recycle' over farmed units as well, maybe something like reducing them to a different currency for something else.

- Found a way to integrate interstitial ads into game, by letting players able to extend a game if defeated, with half HP, if they choose to watch an interstitial ad, allowable only ONCE.

ART

Meanwhile, integrated some simple sprite animations into build.

idle

idle

action_basic

action_basic

hit

hit

Probably need a couple more animations like action_sync, idle2, victory, defeat as a template guide.

Alpha Build Release

Wrapped up Alpha build, available for testing on www.studiopanko.com

Will spend a week going around logging user feedback on it, and evaluate them before starting beta.

Art wise, gotta start work on the final render ( colors! ) and maybe a proper logo this time.

Code wise, gonna approach new modules required slowly ( i hate you, interactive tutorial ).

UX wise, based on the few valuable feedback I'd got, it's gonna be uphill teaching users the game.

Awesome start to 2015 ~(TuT)~

Week 06 Progress - Meta game planning

Week 02 of Alpha

So some goals of Alpha:

  1. Get users to learn the core game ( via screenshots tutorial )
    1. Instead of current lineup, make simpler units to test the core mechanics.
      1. Team Medieval, with mostly SYNC_ALLIES sync skills.
  2. Get users to experience the basic flow from meta game to core game.
    1. Map > Setup > Battle > Recruit > Map.
  3. Get users to experience the basic retention flow.
    1. With no notifications, just in game 'Warp' and 'Isle Repositioning'.
  4. Test out animations creation pipeline if within schedule.

More updates next week :D

Medieval Knight with some modern accessories tweak.

Medieval Knight with some modern accessories tweak.


Week 04 Progress - Planning and Concepts

Ironed out game plot, and some sketches on title and game mascot.

In this case, the mascot is a space creature time watcher as old as time, so among the candidates were a whale ( a whale of a time ), a donkey ( donkey years ), and a tortoise ( a mascot of longevity ). Ended up focussing more on the donkey.

Time watcher, Donko ( 5 donkey years old )

Time watcher, Donko ( 5 donkey years old )

May sound a mouthful, but nothing better comes to mind for now.

May sound a mouthful, but nothing better comes to mind for now.

Entering Alpha phase tomorrow ( Week 05 - Week 08 ), will work out Alpha milestone next.

Week 03 Progress - Prototype v3

Some screenshots of Synchronicles in week 03, Prototype Phase.

Setup Phase - Arrange your lineup in a 4x5 grid.

Setup Phase - Arrange your lineup in a 4x5 grid.

Battle, Turn Phase - Drag the SYNC over the unit you wish to affect with.

Battle, Turn Phase - Drag the SYNC over the unit you wish to affect with.

Battle, Action Phase - At end of turn, all readied units will take action. SYNC bonus takes place.

Battle, Action Phase - At end of turn, all readied units will take action. SYNC bonus takes place.

Note to self: Always get feedback during Prototype Phase.

Week 01 Review - Prototype Assets

The best part of development is always the blue sky phase, where you just make things up and see if it works.

Shared some layouts and mockups for Synchronicles done right on day 1.

3x3 grid, no SYNCS, simply tap all you can within the time limit to sync as many units as possible.

3x3 grid, no SYNCS, simply tap all you can within the time limit to sync as many units as possible.

Portrait layouts v1/2/3. Didn't really sit well, because of the need to draw units front/back.

Portrait layouts v1/2/3. Didn't really sit well, because of the need to draw units front/back.