“the making of: Sword of Fargoal 2” (book content installment #1)
Over the course of the next few days we will be sharing a series of updates from our “the making of: Sword of Fargoal 2” book — which is first available in hardbound edition at the $250 "MONSTER SLAYER" LEVEL.
This book will include images and artifacts from all of the versions of the game over its 30+ year history, including a reproduction of the original C64 box and book elements, screen shots, original Fargoal font, sprites, etc. It will also include behind-the-scenes images from the making of Sword of Fargoal 2. We will publish some of those images, and more, during the remaining days of our Kickstarter campaign.
In this first installment, I will talk a little about our art process for the main interface concept for Sword of Fargoal 2.
Below you will find the stages of our initial conceptual work on the main interface navigation for the game. Please keep in mind that this interface will evolve during the completion stages of the game, and there is a chance it may even look much different from these sketches.
In this concept, we have three layers of the art, and as you move your mouse (or finger) around on the screen, contextual menu items fade in and out from view. For example, as you move the image to the left, the ARMORY comes into view (where you outfit your character for your quest), and as you move up and to the right, the FARGOAL LORE, and other functions become more visible and the more distant ones fade out.
Fargoal 2 animator and illustrator Charlie Canfield has taken the look-and-feel of this innovative interface to a beautiful visual polish.
The cool thing is that these three layers scroll around in a 'parallax' view, so the front layer moves the most, middle the second-most, and bottom layer the least. It has a *very cool* dimensional affect, and makes for a unique interface. We will, of course, work with it for usability-testing, and many of you who have a reward level that includes a BETA will soon get to play around with it!
Here’s Charlie’s amazing early sketch art that he based all the parallax layers on.
This is the gray version of the art that will be colorized dynamically within the coding!
This is the top layer of the parallax art, and it will move the most rapidly as you scroll around.
This is the mid-layer of the parallax art, and it will move somewhere in-between.
This is the bottom-most layer of the parallax art, and it will move the least.
This is a cut-in example of how some of the contextual menu choices will fade in and out.
We also want to thank famed User Experience consultant (and friend), Eric Hope, for his support and guidance on this interface concept. Eric was formerly a User Experience Evangelist at Apple, and UX & Design specialist at Valve corporation (Steam). He also runs his own consulting firm called AxiomFactory, and has been a believer in and supporter of Sword of Fargoal since I met him in 2009 (and possibly earlier).