My Kickstarter for “James – Journey of Existence” (http://kck.st/19wTNSh) has only 25 backers so close to the end, which is a little embarrassing, when the beginning had so much promise. On the other hand, the new IndieDB page for “James – Journey of Existence” (http://www.indiedb.com/games/james-journey-of-existence) already has 4 followers after about 24 hours of being up, so it seems an easy simulation of how a Kickstarter would play, given the growth in community rises at almost the same rate.
There were several things wrong with the Kickstarter campaign. One major one was the current quality of the game itself: the environments were bland, the animations were crude, and the character designs were lacking. Art is in the eye of the beholder and some have truly loved the game’s style so far, but I can’t argue with the masses. And here’s my first step in fixing that: new character designs for James!
I said months ago that I fully intended to redraw James at some point (technically, the current version of James was finished back in September 2013). I exercised different styles, with outlines, coloring, and both, as seen here:
After some more thought (and after rewatching a fantastic animated video for French comic “Kairos”), I made the following design, currently my personal favorite:
Even better, I made a really quick gif animation to see James with a tiny bit of motion:
Notice the change in the eyes, the shading in the hair and clothes, the complex pattern in the coat that doesn’t change as it moves (purposely done, I assure you). While still slightly rough around the edges, you can assume that this last portrait of James is what he will appear as in the final game…
UNLESS YOU TELL ME NOW WHAT YOUR FAVORITE VERSION OF THE ABOVE IS, OR HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVE THE STYLE! COMMENT NOW!
… or I could also use ALL STYLES in different parts of the game, creating an entirely new aspect to the game…
Remember, the system for using hand-drawn art is the important thing in “James – Journey of Existence,” and absolutely any style can easily be made, it just has to be drawn…
(and yes, this doesn’t yet show what the quality of the animation would be like, which is also subpar. I will work on that…)
UPDATE: from the bit of feedback I’ve gotten, it appears the people following this game like the above designs as follows:
From that, it seems the last one is the better of the bunch, but the feedback was mixed enough to warrant having all styles in the game somewhere. Note to self: never change the visual style of a game during a Kickstarter campaign, it betrays what people thought they were getting into.