The Hand Drawn Art of The Adventures of Dash
My favorite aspect of this project is seeing the different perspectives each artist takes on their individual level. Thats what makes The Adventures of Dash so unique, is the fact that every level is "owned" by a different artist and their unique style. A new Dash, a New World, and a whole new set of enemies in every dream.
I wanted to take some time today to dive into just how much work goes into creating one of these levels, from hand drawing every piece of detail in the environment, to hand animating each frame of a characters run and attack cycles. Our artist, George Alexopoulos, takes us through his process of creating his version of Dash, and the RPG inspired Black and White dream we'll be playing in:
George first sketches out the entire animation cycle for Dash. Since he is starting from scratch with each frame, it's important to capture a unified look and continuous posture from one frame to the next. HE does this by sketching out every frame of the run or attack cycle next to each other and then painstakingly detailing each frame for animation.
Once he's finished an entire cycle, we'll scan each frame of animation and put it in gameplay engine so we can see how it all looks in motion.
George will repeat this cycle for every action the play can have Dash do in the dream. Running, walking, jumping, ducking, rolling, interacting, and of course attacking.
Once the animation is in-engine, we'll evaluate it and determine if we need to extend or tweak the animation cycle. More frames = smoother movement. Any changes mean back to the drawing board (literally) to create additional frames and movements by hand and scan them in to add to the in-game animations.
The same level of detail applies not only to the characters of the dream world, but the entire environment as well. Every leaf, rock, cobblestone road, and building needs to be created from scratch on paper first and then scanned in for the level designers to build out the dream world.
The big challenge with hand drawn art in level design is flexibility. For a number of reasons, we can't just scan in a large or long, hand drawn scene as is and expect it to work for gameplay or technical reasons. For one, to keep frame rate high and gameplay smooth on screen, we can't load every asset of the level in at once. The file size would be too long and slow down the action. Plus, you have to often change around a level for gameplay reasons. Enemy placement, platforming challenge, story telling. Therefore, its not feasible to expect the artist to go back and re do an entire scene every time we want to move a rock or platform a few inches to the left or right. Therefore, we have to approach the level design in a modular fashion. Hand drawing every piece of background, foreground, and playable space in a way that can be easily adjusted and iterated on by the designer to get that perfect mixture of fun and challenge for the player.
Now that we've got our hero, our kingdom, and our attacks. It's time to design some enemies to use them against and start the process all over again...
seconds to go
Pledge $15 or moreYou selected
Digital copy of The Adventures of Dash (DRM-Free) plus a digital copy of The Adventures of Dash soundtrack by Danny Baranowsky.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Digital copy of the game, soundtrack by Danny Baranowsky and HD digital downloads of Project: Robotoki - a feature length documentary delivered episodically chronicling the building of Robotoki over its first two years, the development of our games including The Adventures of Dash and the upcoming Human Element. INCLUDES ALL PREVIOUS REWARDSEstimated delivery:
Pledge $45 or moreYou selected
ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS + Free downloads of all future DLC and Expansions of the digital version of The Adventures of Dash included in your previous rewards. Any new Dream Worlds, Awake World expansions, and playable in-game arcade cabinets added to the game post launch. Kickstarter Backer Exclusive.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $60 or moreYou selected
Digital copies of the game, soundtrack by Danny Baranowsky, HD documentary, a special thanks in the game's credits and a digital strategy guide containing tips, tricks, puzzle solutions, exclusive concept artwork, behind the scenes photos, and authentic 90's video game advertisement recreations. INCLUDES ALL PREVIOUS REWARDSEstimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS + Exclusive early access to the beta of Human Element on PC - the next-gen first person survival game from Robotoki. Create your character, play test, and provide direct feedback on the development of the game before anyone else. Plus, access to early builds of The Adventures of Dash.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS + Limited Edition The Adventures of Dash vinyl mini 10-DOH! Figure created exclusively for Kickstarter backers, 5x5 art print, and dream character cut-out figures capable of free standing.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS + An in-game NPC in the awake world designed to look like you (or someone of your choosing) with it's own puzzle quest which you can help design!Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (98 left of 100)
ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS + The Adventures of Dash Trilogy Collectors Edition - a rare, complete in box, 8-bit and 16-bit inspired custom box designs, authentic game paks with custom label and digital download of the full game. Game paks for collection only, do not play actual game. Game must be downloaded digitally via provided code.Estimated delivery:Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)
ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS + Help design an in-game arcade game based around you, or anything of your choosing (within reason), that will be playable in the Arcade located within town of The Adventures of Dash. Includes a custom in-game arcade cabinet, character and enemy design, and the world of the level with the collaboration of Robotoki level designers and character artists.Estimated delivery:Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)
ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS + Have a statue designed for you in-game housed in a wing of the museum dedicated to you in The Adventures of Dash plus join us in real life for a day at Robotoki's studio. Tour our studio, participate in the documentary, and join us for the Launch party of The Adventures of Dash and be welcomed as a honorary member of the Robotoki team along with a special credit in the game. (Travel not included)Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)