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$24,431 pledged of $65,000 goal
By Off Base Productions
$24,431 pledged of $65,000 goal

Day One Update - Interior Design Sample from Brady Hartel

Hello, Everyone! Josh from Off Base here with our first project update!

*whew* What a launch day! Everyone in the office sends their thanks to everyone who has checked out our project so far. We're humbled by such a warm response and grateful to you all for helping our project edge closer to reality.

To close out the day, we'd like to give you a clearer picture of what we envision for a couple of the interior sections of the guide. Brady Hartel, lead designer of the Mercenary Kings Master Codex, has created two "work in progress" samples for your viewing pleasure along with a few words on the thought process behind his designs. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Mr. Brady Hartel: 


Note: To see each sample in its full glory, right-click the image and select "Open Image in New Tab."

Josh asked me to talk a little bit about the design of this, so here I am... typing too much stuff.

Ever since I was a little kid I've loved video games; I would buy Nintendo Power, EGM, and tons of other mags every month and pore over the screenshots, staring intensely at the detailed maps and create strategies in my head every free minute I had. In fact, in school I would rush to finish my work just so I would have more time to press my face against these gigantic 2D worlds which lived outside the confines of my TV screen. I remember when EGM had Sonic CD as a cover story... I read it so many times the cover came off. Same thing with the Nintendo Power Super Mario Bros. 3 strategy guide... I think the only reason my copy of Mario Mania has survived to this day is because it was printed on better paper!

Later on in life, I was lucky enough to be able to work on not only one of the last truly indie, people driven video game magazines but one of the best, fan-oriented strategy guide companies as well. Unfortunately, huge guides like those have gone by the wayside, and even when I was working on them the print quality was nowhere near what it was at the heyday. There just seems like there's no more room for really cool, high quality printed guides with full color maps and things... but we want to change that.

When Mercenary Kings came around I was totally on board with the game even before this guide was a twinkling in Josh's eye. I donated to their Kickstarter as soon as I had money, and I've been excitedly tracking its progress with each backer update. The Metal Slug series is one of my favorite game series; In fact, I own the MVS cart of Metal Slug 2 just because at the time there was no good port of the game on any system. (Now there's NeoGeo Station version, but I don't regret my purchase one bit!) Add that together with something that's also inspired by the traditions of that series as well as the likes of Megaman and Castlevania? Mission All Over.

When Josh came to me with this project, I wanted to design something that reflected that nostalgic feeling those old guides give; clean, clever, full of color, not too much fluff. And then combine that idea with more current design philosophies and technology; making it more functional with better differentiated boxouts and a more detailed indexing system, and doing all those little graphical touches which just weren't possible back in the day when you literally had to take photos of a TV to capture screenshots.

My hope with this design is to capture the best of both worlds; that guide that would send the imagination of your 10-year-old self running wild, as well as putting all the info the discerning player would want in one easy to read package.



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    1. Nathan Black on August 5, 2013

      This book is a dream come true for me love the game and art. I backed this and would happily purchase other guides you guys do the samples here look great. Hope we can hit the goal I might have to up my pledge for more goodies!