Timelapse Vid!

This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Thankfully I have my good friend Tyson to edit my video!

I am drawing and painting one of the characters for the game. Using a good reference photo, and my (now) well practiced portrait technique, this is 3 hours of illustrating time distilled down to 14 minutes of viewing.

Enjoy!


 

Kickstarter Canada!

Oh man! The day we have been waiting for is finally here, and we are doing our best to be as close to out of the gate as possible.

We are editing videos, designing prints, stickers, pin-back buttons, and creating downloads. All as things to give away to the fine folks who support our campaign.

Here is a preview of a few of the reward levels we will be listing.

#1 – $1 – As a Thank You we will include your name in the credits of the game.

#2 – $10 – A set of three nifty pinback buttons with artwork from the game & a promotional wallpaper download you can use on your desktop and phone.

#3 – $25 – A sticker pack with artwork from the game to decorate any surface & a promotional wallpaper download you can use on your desktop and phone.

#4 – $50 – A download of the original Sunset Over Lievnos Soundtrack (when it becomes available).

*Plus, a selection of promotional materials from the previous reward levels!

#5 – *Limited Quantities*

$100 x 10 – We will name a selected character after you!  or you choose that characters name ! ( We reserve final approval ).

*Plus, a signed 11x 14 custom print from one of our Lievnos royal families. Featuring Erika’s illustrated portraits.

After Level 5 things get AWESOME! Believe me, you will be offered some really special rewards.

Stay tuned! We will be letting everyone know when our Kickstarter is up an running. It wont be long now.

Cheers!

 

Challenges with Solo Development

The last couple of weeks of work has been really challenging and the root cause is basically being the sole coder. I have finished my restructuring and I am now moving forward again but I’m now a bit preoccupied with making sure that things are done right so that I don’t need to reorganize my code in such a big way again. The problem is that I’m finding it difficult to come up with ‘the best design’ without having anyone to bounce ideas off of or point out weaknesses in my logic. What ends up happening is that I become hesitant in making a final decision on which direction I should take and end up doing nothing but thinking and weighing pros and cons. When I have made the decision and I know what to do my productivity is very high which only means I get to my next roadblock faster!

I have searched online for code architecture ideas but unfortunately 99% of tutorials online are aimed at beginners or fairly simple situations. There are very few high-level practical examples to be found. I understand design patterns, and they give great direction, but sometimes it’s nice to get a solid view of how, for example, the best way to handle sliding or animating menus on/off a screen in succession where one menu won’t start until the next menu has finished (which is my current problem by the way). At this point I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do but I’m not fully confident I won’t be revisiting this again at some point.

So, if there are any indie devs (or programmers in general) reading this, what strategies do you have to push through complex decisions? I’ll return to this topic as I do some research and come up with some solutions that work for me!

 

The restructuring continues

Alright, so remember when I said I was back on track?  Well, it turns out I had more work to do on the restructuring than I thought.  The problem was that I was creating a bunch of custom objects and special cases for each menu, and since the game is heavily menu-driven, I was increasing the complexity of my main classes and cluttering them up with massive amounts of code.  Luckily I stumbled up on this beautiful little article: http://rivermanmedia.com/object-oriented-game-programming-the-gui-stack/ by the guys at Riverman Media which gave me a bunch of great ideas on how to handle my menus. So now I have a system that handles switching and tracking of menus easily and each menu is its own self-contained class which keeps my code a lot more manageable.

The ideas I gleaned from that article I’m also applying to a bunch of other things like events and widgets. I would be a bit worried that I was over-engineering things if I hadn’t already coded myself into a corner and these steps are rapidly solving all of the problems I was having. So I have yet to actually start on the data layer but my re-worked system is much easier to modify and expand upon. I’m actually nearing the same levels of excitement and drive as I was before my laptop was stolen, so I’m very happy about that!

Have a good weekend everyone!

 

I/W: Banner Illo

Here is a banner illustration I have been working on. The drawing itself is complete, it just needs additional work with the logo and info, so it can be used by us when posting on forums and the like. I’m sure Tyson will do something to spiff this up. :) I just quickly dropped the logo in there.

 

 

This actually took a very long time, for such a small thing. The format was challenging though. I’m not used to working with a long narrow composition, and coming up with an idea for the subject was what challenged me the most. I wanted it to be dynamic and detailed, but it also needed to look good shrunk down to a banner size and still be understandable. So, I set my usual stippling technique aside in order to keep the ink work as clean as possible.

 

Reworking Code

Alright, so I obviously I haven’t put up any new screenshots lately.  What has happened is that I have reached a point in development where I basically have coded myself into a corner.  It has become very difficult to add new features with the way the code is structured.  I have spent the better part of the last two weeks restructuring the code and creating more re-usable and maintainable sub systems.  I’m back on track though now and I have reworked the entire event system.  My next task is going to be reworking/expanding the data layer to get all that data into the game.

In other news, I am now on Tumblr!  I was recommended by a friend (Thanks Sarah!) about how awesome the community is and she is certainly right!  I have been reading blogs from a bunch of other indie devs and have taken a bit of solace in the fact that other devs are also struggling to keep motivated and balance life, work, and game development.  Check me out if you are on Tumblr: http://officialcrownnation.tumblr.com/.

 

 

Calgary Expo 2013!!! Belated.

Okay, a little late but still awesome.

We had such a great time at the Expo, and met some great people.

Our tables in the Artist Alley. You can see Tyson, and our helpers Beth and Sara. They were a BIG help.

Over all the weekend was a big success. We handed out a ton of posters and cards, and there seemed to be some real genuine interest in our project. Tyson was totally overwhelmed by the whole experience. It was his first time at a Con, and I know he is a big convert.

I had a great weekend too. I sold lots of prints, and I was really pleased with the response to my illustration and painting. Plus, the people watching was amazing!

All of us had a chance to get away and take in some of the celeb photo ops, the panels, and visiting with the other artists of the alley. I have to say too that the organizers did an amazing job with the show. I was really pleased with the smart decisions they made to fix the problems of 2012. The whole weekend went really smoothly from my perspective. There might have been a glitch here and there (what show doesn’t have some of those), but overall I think everyone attending was happy. All I know is I definitely need to save up some more money, so that I can spend more money next year. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the weekend I was able to do a little bit of sketching. You can see me working with my trusty (and fast) colored pencils. I know I always like watching artists at work.

 

Back in Black

Hey everyone. Sorry for my long neglect. My Illustration Wednesdays have not been updated for a while. Life is just not cooperating at the moment. Between an ongoing basement renovation, illness, and a bit of artistsic burn out, I havent been working very much on the Game. Im trying my best to plug away at my list of illustrations, but its slow going at the moment.

One thing I should have done a while ago is blog about the awesomeness that was the Calgary Expo. I WILL be making a post all about our adventures on the last weekend of April. Gosh!

 

Second Screenshot

Officer Assign Screen

This is where you assign officers to a task.

Here is the second in-game screenshot.  This screen is where you assign officers to a task. In this screenshot we are assigning Hoyce to work on Agriculture in the province of Auleer for one month.  You can scroll the list to the left of all the officers who are currently in Auleer.  The list isn’t big enough to scroll since there are only 3 officers, but it does scroll if there are more than what fits on one screen.  All of the data here is completely arbitrary, so it doesn’t represent the final game.  I’m also missing a couple of small elements like the button that moves the officer from the list on the left to the list on the right.

I also want to mention that Erika has been very sick all week, which explains her absence on the site. Hopefully she’ll be feeling better soon.

I made a post on www.crownnation.com about the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, so check it out!

 

 

First Screenshot!

It has taken a while, but here is this first in game screenshot for Sunset Over Lievnos!  This is the main screen from which you will start navigating to all actions.  The four large icons on the right are the four major categories of actions.  Each of those will have one or more sub menus.  For example, choosing develop on this screen will allow you to choose whether you want to develop agriculture, economy, or fortification.

The portrait on the left is the character who is the current vassal for the province you are currently looking at.

The column to the right of the portrait contains information relevant to that province.  The province name as well as the crest for the ruling family are at the top.  The stats for this province are below.

This screenshot is using the map that is going to be in the ‘lite’ version of the game and contains only 5 provinces.  The full map contains over 25 provinces.  You can touch and drag on the map to scroll it around.

Any questions?  Stay tuned for more screenshots that will be coming soon!

Sunset Over Lievnos Main Screen

 
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