Saturday, November 26, 2011

Art for Video Games

Art is one of the toughest hurdles to publishing a video game.  Commissioning artwork actually involves a lot more than just contacting an artist and asking them to produce some 2D images.  Essentially the developer becomes a mini-art director, providing guidance on how to compose the images--content, theme, feel, dimensions, fit with the surrounding images within the game... it can get pretty complicated.  For more information, check out The Art Order, an awesome blog run by Jon Schindehette, who does real fantasy art direction for Dungeons & Dragons over at WotC.

Anyway, cost tends to be a prohibitive factor for low-budget video games.  Recently I stumbled across the Publisher Resources section on Drive Thru RPG.  Bingo!  You can obtain high-quality art for fantasy, sci fi, steampunk and other genres.  Most importantly, it's cheap.  Granted, the art has probably been used in many products, but if you're trying to decide between a $500 commission and a $5 clipart painting, it's pretty obvious which one to choose.  I dropped about $50 and got 100-200 images of characters, equipment, scenes and other material.  Simply awesome.  I highly recommend clipart on Drive Thru RPG to fill out your art content, especially if your development budget is very sensitive to cost.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Booters on Kickstarter

Two awesome projects are now underway on Kickstarter.  Both are games by fellow Booters. Needless to say, I am backing each one.

The first board game, entitled "Ghost Pirates", is by Tim Rodriguez of Dice Food Lodging fame.  There are cards, tokens and dice.  How could you possibly go wrong with that?  I'm looking forward to some strategy and crunch, so I signed up for a production copy of the game.  Tim is already about 1/3rd to his $7500 goal.

The second Kickstarter is an iPhone branching text adventure game called "Narratavius" by Michael Ham and several authors.  It echoes old text-based titles like Adventure, but the demo video is most reminiscent of the recent Action Castle.  Michael & Co. have already exceeded 50% of their modest $600 goal, making it likely that they'll hit the funding threshold.

Exciting times!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

E1 Complete

From the original objectives post:

E1:  Layout and Spinwheel

  • Produce HTML and CSS sheet layout.
  • Create a working spinwheel with radial x-y functionality.
  • Manipulating the spinwheel according to use case changes text boxes.

All E1 iteration objectives were met. I might do some layout experimentation with the CSS <div> x-y positions, and approximate it closer to my notebook layout.

Iteration E2 starts tomorrow:  11/2/2011.