Hey, it’s been a while, huh? Hope everyone had great holidays and a happy new year. :D Mine were pretty good, but after getting back from Hawaii I had to recover with over a week of sleeping nine or ten hours a day. That jet lag can suck the life out of you, especially when you’re headed somewhere for nonstop insanity instead of a real break.
Anyway, after all the crazy holiday times, I also didn’t have anything to share last week, so I took time off, but we’re back now! Here’s a silhouetted preview of not-fully-finished enemy pixel art…
I wonder who this could be? You’ll see the full color version here when she’s done, but I don’t have any particular timeline for that and you’ll find out why in future posts. ;)
Today I also wanted to share a look into the creative process. In the one game community that I’m decently involved with, I’ve noticed that its players can severely underestimate how much work the developers put in if they (the players) don’t see the direct fruits of that labor. The players might wonder what the devs are doing or even think they’re resting on their laurels.
I’m leaving details intentionally vague because I’m not trying to call anyone out here; in fact, I think it’s completely reasonable for the players to jump to conclusions. Actually, when I’m not spending what I would consider “enough” time developing in Unity, even I can get a bit down about myself—and that’s when I know exactly what I’m doing! As a solo indie, though, it’s difficult but also necessary to recognize that my time is productive even when it psychologically feels less tangible than something like implementing new AI patterns or testing battles.
So let’s get into the situation. Together with Flora I’m pretty much on board with making a new promotional image for Dreamblazers. Initially we were thinking about it in the same lane as a title screen, but now I’ve shifted to considering it possibly more like box art or simply a fun group shot. All of this meant gathering and commenting on references, so let me show you just a glimpse of how back-and-forths with artists can go:
For various reasons I normally wouldn’t give this much of a look into how I communicate with my artists, but in this case I had to gather so many images that it wasn’t feasible for me to go with my usual routine and using Imgur albums made a lot more sense. And since those can be publicly available, I figured I’d show them off here too!
It probably took me about 15 hours to hunt for pictures, filter out the ones that I didn’t think would contribute anything helpful to know about, organize them into categories, put up the albums, and most of all take the time to examine the pieces and comment on them. And all of this is in service of creating one new picture! Plus I still have to reflect on and give feedback for the work in progress versions at some point in the future.
So even though it’s a very important new picture and even though I’m completely aware of that fact deep down, my natural inclination is still to feel like “I’m spending too much time on this” when that same number of hours could have done A, B, C, or X other things. But everything is progress and everything is necessary. Even I need a reminder of that.