Reflections on the first campaign day
The first day of our campaign is over and we’ve heard a lot of voices making their support for the project known. Naturally, there have also been a number of questions, of course. All of you want to see more of the game, and that is completely understandable. You are excited about the project, as are we. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t giddy to the bone.
However, at such an early stage of the project, it is not easy to create material that lends itself to being shown off. Much of it would be simply confusing or misleading. Currently, there is a lot of experimentation going on, as we try to lock down the look and feel of the game, and the first sketches we put up along with this campaign are a perfect example, how quickly wrong impressions can be created. Therefore, let me just assure everyone that we are not going for a cartoony look. These first sketches were just random ideas that artist Juan Garcia jotted down based on story ideas we floated around the team. Juan has a strong comic book background and as a result some of his images also turned out a bit comic book-like. Visually, this is not the style we are aiming for. What we do aim for is the kind of kinetic energy you can see in his drawings. There are some incredible dynamics at work in his pictures, creating very striking poses. That part, we definitely strive for; characters that instantly fascinate and rev up your imagination.
The actual look of the game will be much more realistic, offering beautifully painted characters and 3D-modeled representations of them. We may be a bit experimental in parts of the game, but I give you my promise that the look will not be part of it. I am simply too much in love with traditional fantasy paintings.
There is also some confusion already about the core technology we will be using, so let me try to cut through the muddle a bit. In various statements I pointed out that we have not yet decided whether we will use an isometric view, a perspectively corrected 2.5D or a full 3D approach.
Understand that this is merely a matter of aesthetics, nothing else. The viewpoint will always be the same. Regardless of the underlying graphics technology to draw it, the game will always have a top down view. The technology changes nothing in that. The only difference it makes for us as developers is how we implement it, and how we will have to prepare the graphic assets. That is a perfectly normal process, however, and is how games are developed. Unless you start out determined to use a specific technology, you run tests to determine feasibility before you commit to something that will have consequences for the entire length of the project, and this pre-production phase is exactly the time to do these sorts of evaluations.
Making games is a highly iterative process and we will provide a lot more materials and information as time goes by. I am sure it will be a very thrilling look behind the scenes into the making of games for many of you, a process that for most of you has traditionally been hidden behind closed doors. With our project, we’ll give you an insider’s view of the process.
We will start putting out materials and more details as soon as we think they are suitable to be seen by a wider audience, and that they truly reflect ideas we are seriously considering. I feel strongly that especially at this, the funding stage, it is crucial not to send the wrong signals. Naturally, it is also important to satisfy the hunger for information, so we will try to balance it all nicely to keep everyone happy. If all else fails, you can always bank on our extensive experience and the knowledge that we are dedicated to creating a high quality and polished product, and that we have the track record to prove that we can do it.
On an entirely unrelated note, we have also added Thorvalla to Steam’s Concept Greenlight page so that the game can make its way onto Steam once it is completed. Please feel free to stop over some time and give the concept a thumbs-up. You can find it here - http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=109067149
And if you are interested to learn a little more about the creation of some of my older games, check out this new retrospective interview at RPG Codex where I reminisce about the Realms of Arkania series - http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=8620
Thank you all for your support. In order to keep the momentum for the campaign going, please make sure to talk about the game. Please mention it on message boards you frequent, tweet it up, post about it on your Facebook or add one of the Backer Buttons to your own blog or website. Every little bit counts and we are truly appreciative of everyone’s effort to help us give Thorvalla the necessary boost to reach its goal.
I will be back tomorrow with more info for you.