No matter how hard I try, I find it hard to stay away from working on this…
Those of you who read my blog know I am working on a 3d game where the characters are entirely hand-drawn. Previously, the background was kind of unfinished, but here’s some screenshots of the new introduction level (still not entirely finished, but that’s mostly what I’m going for):
I don’t normally talk about what other people are doing. This is a site dedicated to Dust Scratch Games after all, and I am a rather selfish fellow. But sometimes, something comes up that just knocks my socks off.
Here is a group of guys from rural Australia who are working on something called “Sprite Lamp”, a dynamic 2d-lighting mapping tool for game development. It doesn’t sound like much… why not just have a point light in your environment and move it to where you want light to be? Well, with 2d art and 2d planes, that light gets reflected the same for the entire sprite, and it appears this new tool offers a way to define the effect light has from certain positions on a sprite. The result is some incredibly detailed art, making 2d pixel art look new again.
Ok, I’ve had my fun with some blogging, now let’s talk about why I’ve called you all here tonight.
From my previous post, you know that the first major game by Dust Scratch Games will involve 2D hand-drawn characters in 3D space. That’s right: a hand-drawn 3d game. This isn’t necessarily the first time such a game was made: the jrpg “Time and Eternity” for the PS3 is advertised as the first playable anime, for example. But that game had the animated sprites in a fixed position in front of the camera, giving the impression of a crude first-person game with cartoons pasted on the front. This, among other reasons, was cause to generally poor reviews. Other games that tried hand-drawn images in games were either beautiful 2d games, or suffered for similar reasons in 3d.
“But Jasper,” you say, “we’re in the midst of a next-gen revolution! Shiny new consoles are being released that are 10-times as powerful as what we were using before! Some of the best games of the generation were released in the last year! Surely these are great times for the games industry, right?”
First off, don’t call me Surely. Second, yes the games we’ve gotten in the last few years have been fantastic. If you time-traveled back about a decade ago and showed them Skyrim or Grand Theft Auto V, they’d wet their pants. Remember that for every good game like these, there are several mediocre ones that somehow get on store shelves, but even those titles are slightly better in quality. But all of these games seem vaguely similar, despite being of different genres. I guess I’m saying after years of gaming, I just don’t feel excited like I used to.