Nearing Release

Hello everyone,

I’d heard the saying before that goes something like, “Whatever you think the 98% finished mark will be in game development, will actually be the half way point,” but it wasn’t until I actually hit it, that I learned how true that is. I enjoy making the game better, and ultimately, we want people to dig the game as much as possible, but it’s just amazing how long it takes for such a simple game.

A lot of mistakes have been made and lessons learned. The next game will go much faster, but of course, we’ll be working on bigger games each time, so it might sort of balance out. While we’re still finishing Elemental Lords, I’ve decided it’s probably best to put Raygun Rocketship on hold for now. I say that because I think Granny Wars will be a lot more manageable, plus, there’s some skill sets I need to recruit for before we can start Raygun without limping along like we have been. A massive mistake I’ve made in the past is recruiting people we weren’t ready for. It’s hard to turn down a talented person just because you’re not ready for that stage of things.

The other part of this is how people want to come and go. I mentioned in another blog about the artist that called me up after having completed a week’s worth of work that I gave him a year and a half ago and then didn’t seem to understand how that was a problem. People want to be able to hop in and out as if there’s work sitting around that they can just do. There’s a rigid order in which the art pipeline has to flow. This is why game dev studios are in big cities with freakishly high costs of living--it’s worth having to pay high labor costs if it means they get the specialist they need, the moment they need them. I can’t just scramble up some work for people that pop in.

What ends up happening, is we end up rushing phases and pushing poorly finished crap down the pipeline and it doesn’t get better. That’s another important lesson--mistakes and poor quality can only get worse as it goes through a pipeline--never better. You give a great texture artist bad UVs and you won’t get good textures. You give a great rigger bad mesh, and you won’t get a good rig. You give a great animator a bad rig and you won’t get good animations. Every piece has to be great or it shouldn’t get pushed through. As the art director, as I’ve become, it’s been incredibly important for me to really understand what makes 3d art great at every stage.

Concept Artists are a little different since they’re the start of the art pipeline. It doesn’t really hurt anything for them to come and go. But I’d still love to have concept artists I can count on right now.

As we finish Elemental Lords, I’ve started mixing in character modeling the Granny Wars characters. Right now I’m splitting my time evenly. Where as Elemental Lords, we had the game play down first then changed art styles a few times and then scrambled to finish the art at the end, I hope Granny Wars will be the opposite, allowing us to post more art and screen shots during development. I want to keep doing more development vlogs as well now that I have a better camera set up.

I’m hoping we’ll be finished with nearly all the character modeling art in the next two or three months for Granny Wars, then a whole mess of animation work. Luckily, this will be considerably faster than 2d animation. It will also allow us to recruit more people and work with people online. Matching 3d animation styles will be considerably easier than 2d animation styles, so recruiting will be considerably easier. I think a lot of game developers make the mistake of thinking that 2d is always easier than 3d, but that’s not always the case.


Thu, 2016-04-07 07:57

Does this mean you'll actively be looking for a 3D animator in the future? I know someone moving to to the Sacramento area that'll be looking for work, should I tell them to keep an eye on this page, or forward a reel/resume to you to keep on file? They have some experience with working on indie games already. Anyway, excited to see what's coming up! Best of luck!

Wed, 2016-04-13 14:03

Hi sodas. You can tell them to apply through this website now. We're really close.

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