Time for the second portrait of the week! This one is of a woman who's training one of the main characters in this dungeon:

Sprite by Fred
I wanted to try out a bit more anime-like style for this one, so I went to pixiv to find 10000 references! It's pretty cool when you start painting things in ways that feel "wrong" (cause it's not how you're used to doing it), and it ends up looking a lot different to the art you normally do:


Line Art

Color Blocking




Finished Sprite
This time around, the hair is a bit too red! I wanted to make the hair closer to what it's like on the sprite at first, but it really ended up looking messy next to the text box (too many shades of brown). So I'll either tone it down a bit later, or change to colors of the character sprite instead - we'll see!
Okay, It's Monday so it's officially a new week (although ours kind of started yesterday, but whatever)! This week I'm gonna focus on portraits - there are a few that still need to be made for the first Tai Ming zone, including a boss portrait which I hope to finish this week as well. 

Today, however, I'm gonna be making the portrait of a fisherman, taking a nap next to his fishing pole in the upper part of the map:

Sprite by Fred

It's been a long time since I made a portrait again, so this was a bit of a struggle. It's definitely easier when you're making several in a row, but on the other hand it's nice to mix things up a bit as well! 

Super quick sketch!

Basic Lines

Color Blocking

Some shades & Highlights

Adding a few details and recoloring the line art

GIF of the process...

...aaand the finished sprite!
His skintone looks a bit lighter than the sprite, so I'll prolly have to adjust that later (along with 5000 other things I always wanna change afterwards), but I'll save that for one of those "mixed bag" days where I fix a ton of smaller things. 
At last it's time to finish up the last outdoor part of Tai Ming's zone02 - the gravesite! This place will be located in the top left corner of the map, which up until lately looked like this:

As with many (or perhaps most) gravesites, this one will have a statue of the reigning goddess of the land - Grindea! There's also a strange cave behind her...

It wouldn't be a gravesite without graves now, would it? Let's import some of the graves from the Halloween forest:

....Aaaand change their color a bit:

Adding a path to the graves:

And then a bunch of props through the editor:

Finally, grass, flowers and other details are added:

And here's the GIF of the above process, with a few extra steps:

Since the theme for this dungeon is time travel, it's a given that you'll be travelling back and forth in time. However, we also want there to be "flashbacks" here and there, which are segments of the storyline from the past that is shown to you in the present. For these "flashbacks", you don't travel back in time per se, but get to view something in the past as it unfolds.

So today we've been playing around with a couple different effects for these flashback windows, if you will. We're currently focusing on the color setting - we want the flashback to feel kind of old-looking, so we're looking into faded colors or sepia filters.

Here are some of our tests:

01: "Sepia Color"

02: Faded Colors

03: Grayscale

04: Sepia-Tinted

05: Sepia Colored version 2 (more contrast)

Okay, so these tests aren't 100% accurate since I turned them into GIFs first, but you get a pretty decent idea of what they would look like! As you can see, there's a cool effect to the characters as well, which we're pretty excited about (but as with everything, it's subject to change).

My personal favorite is the 5th one, but we're also into number 1! What do you guys think? :)
Remember how I made Zone01 before we had any routine for using the editor and stuff? Well, as a result, I had added a ton of props to the background that we typically use the editor to add, which meant there was no sane way for Teddy to sort them properly or add colliders to them in the game.

As a result, we decided that the best thing to do would be to simply remove all the items I had added manually that we usually add with the editor, and re-add them with the editor instead. It took a while to remake everything, but since I could freestyle a bit (and since we had added a bunch of new props since I added all the things manually), I think it ended up much better in the end!

Here's the Past version:

The past map without editor props!

The past map with all the editor thingies added!
One thing that's annoying when trying to show the Present version to you guys though, is that some of the things that I add to the background will change when you travel back in time. For instance, the cherry blossom trees will wither and lose their leaves, but since that's an effect that only happens in the game engine and not with the editor, I can't really take proper screenshots of what these areas will look like, at least not until Teddy has implemented them properly so I can show them directly from the game.

For now, you'll have to imagine that the cherry blossom trees will look more dead, and that the other plants have grown larger, as they will in the actual game:

The present version without editor stuff...

..Aaand after the editor thingies have been added!
I can't wait for Teddy to actually implement the transition between these two. I hope it's gonna look cool! :D

Today was the last day of GGC, which basically means the scores we gave the games over these days are put together and prizes are awarded accordingly. The weather has been absolutely amazing these few days, so it's been nice to get out a bit from the office, even if we all really long to get back to work properly! 

I mean, look at these pictures I took along the harbor and beach next to the event area: 


Anyway! The award ceremony was really cool as usual. The jokes delivered by the people presenting the awards this year were hilarious and a lot of really promising game concepts got awards! One of my personal favorites were Cryptogram, which won best 1st year project:

Cryptogram is a game where you're stuck in a series of room, and the only way forward is through a hidden door opened by pulling a book in a bookshelf. In order to know which book to pull, you need to follow the instructions in a mysterious diary, where you first must understand which room you're in based on the author's descriptions, and then you need to solve a riddle or puzzle in order to know which book(s) to pull in that specific room. 

The game had such a cool H.P. Lovecraft vibe, with a monster slowly crawling closer towards your room, and if you're not solving the puzzle quickly enough, it'll catch you for sure! The puzzles/riddles were cool and you had to know a little bit of literature to understand which book to pull, which was a huge bonus as well! Very well deserved win.

The winner of best of show (also known as the PWNAGE award), as well as several other awards, was a second year project called Anchored, which I unfortunately never had a chance to play: 

There's a trailer for the game here, in case you're interested:

I'd definitely like to try it out if I get a chance later, unfortunately things were just a bit too hectic during the exhibition since we decided to stay home and work yesterday!

After the award ceremony there was a party above the event area, which was a lot of fun and a nice chance to just relax and hang out with people: 

After a couple weeks of worrying about the cat it definitely felt good (though again, I'm really hoping we can have a few regular weeks now, where we can actually focus on work 100%)
You know what I, and, I suspect, Teddy and Fred had forgotten when we set out this work week? That this weekend was Gotland Game Conference, and we were invited to be judges (which has kind of become a yearly tradition: 2015 - Day 1, 2015 - Day 2, 2015 - Day 3).

While it kind of sucks to have been gone for almost two weeks, and all I really want is to get back to working properly, we probably wouldn't be where we are without the GAME department of our old school (plus hanging out with other devs talking about how to make the best game is of course a lot of fun), so backing out would have felt pretty lame!

And so, we spent this Saturday looking at presentations and trying to games out!

Yesterday we were supposed to meet up with Humble in Stockholm, but because Link the cat is still sick and needs medication throughout the day, we ended up not being able to go. It would have been a lot of fun, but it's so important Link gets his medicine now so he can make a full recovery :(

So, instead of combining business with fun in Stockholm, I spent most of the day at home working (while I would have loved to attend the outings for the judges at GGC, my conscience simply wouldn't let me stay away from work any longer), but tonight I'm going back to play any remaining games I might have missed and watch as the winners get announced, so that's gonna be fun at least!
As I was getting back to work, I noticed a few things here and there that needed fixing, so I thought it'd be a nice way to ease into the regular work flow: doing a bunch of smaller tasks rather than jump straight into one big one! So, here are some of the things I've been fiddling around with:

First up, one of the NPCs that will play a kind-of important role in the dungeon. We felt she looked too young in the first version, and needed another, even older version for a later map where some time have passed:

For the first rework I just grayed out her hair and added a hint of wrinkle at her mouth, while the second, older version has lighter gray hair and wrinkles both near her mouth and around her eyes.

Next up, we wanted the ape house to look a bit stranger than the rest of the houses, so as a first step I added a bunch of different-looking chimneys, indicating this house is a little more advanced than the rest. We also have plans for Fred to add some cool stuff to the house, such as a water wheel or something similar (plus he might animate the chimneys as well), so I think it'll look pretty cool in the end!

Here's a small edit: removing the pointy edges from the entrance part of the fence surrounding the HQ. You wouldn't want your guests to get hurt by them, now would you?

And finally, adding a staircase where I forgot one was needed! By using this, you can reach the lower level after using the dam to make the water level sink :)
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