August 25, 2013 12:22 AM | John Polson
Joshua Smyth and Lianne Booton on their work in progress, Druids of Gemini
The hook: Joshua - It's a combination of what I like best from Adventure games, (story, characters, puzzles) with what I like best from RPGs (exploration, turn-based combat) in a living, breathing dark fantasy world.
Release info: Joshua - It's at least a year away if not more. Windows/iOS hopefully Mac/Linux and other platforms a little later on.
Screenshot info: Lianne - This is a map of the current tileset I'm working on, which is a dense and overgrown forest. I'm trying to go with a more stylistic look for Joshua's RPG, as I want it to stand out from what we typically see of indie RPGS. I don't want a JRPG style, so as many people may be able to tell there's a Sword & Sworcery vibe going on.
Joshua and Myself discussed using a lo-fi pixel art style, and to be honest I can't think of many better modern examples than Sword & Sworcery for representing a beautiful world in a small number of pixels. We're also looking to old Sierra games, movies, and traditional Celt imagery for inspiration.
Any earlier iterations? Lianne - Generally the only changes made have been adding water and some more features. I tend to make a new type of map with each big update to the artwork, so I can see how everything meshes together under different circumstances. So earlier ones showed a lot of trees together, but they were all the same height, now trees may be variable height. It's minor changes really!
The devs and tech behind the screens: Lianne - I did the artwork, Joshua is using an engine he has created to build the RPG. If all else fails he will have an incredibly nice engine to release to the public for building games, and from what I've played with so far it's extremely easy to use and hopefully there'll be lots of features that an engine like RPG Maker doesn't offer.
Joshua - On the tech side it's a custom engine. I'm developing it in C#/XNA/Monogame and have just been using programmer art and placeholder artwork until Lianne came on board.
Screenshot selection process: Lianne - For this particular project I try not to reveal too much since it's so early in development. I post screenshots that I feel portray the soul of the artwork I'm making, I'm a painter normally, so it's very important to me that I'm showing off something that has a heart to it. Hopefully as more and more is done on the project I can post a lot more!
Pay it forward. What game caught your eye this week?
Lianne - It's so hard to whittle down my choice to just one, but I really like Saleem Dabbous' Skipping Stones. It makes me want to sit on the end of that dock and just watch time pass. I love exploration games as well, and I've spent way too much time in Minecraft and Proteus, so anything that feeds that addiction interests me.