#Progress Report

Feb 8, 2013
3:37 PM
Steve Says:
a concept sketch of a bruiser for sprixelsoft's super hematoma this includes both the inital pose that Matthew Langille and Stephen Tucker agreed on for the male and female fighters

Into The Sweatbox

Wow, it’s been ages since I’ve worked at producing drawings. And now, not only am I jumping back into it after over 6 years of letting my skills slide, I’m stepping outside my comfort zone and putting these rough sketches and concepts into the intertubes! While we hope to make frequent updates to the blog about things other people are doing that are of interest to us, the real reason to have this site is to share what we’re doing with you.


The first game that Matt and I are planning on releasing is a multiplayer fighting game that’s heavily inspired by the old beat ’em ups that we’re calling “Super Hematoma”. It’s in its very early stages right now; we’ve done some discussion on the mechanics we want, some very rough level design… and we’re now at the point where it’s time to leave the world of brainstorming mechanics and to move into actual development. Matt’s currently working up the initial code for the game. Me? Well, in December I sat down and wrote what I hope will be our title screen music using Famitracker. It’s a nice, up-beat tune with a bit of a swing rhythm that I’m going to keep to ourselves just a  bit longer. With a start made on the music though, I’ve now begun pushing into concept and design.


Steve_Work_Setup_Feb_2013 To give you a little bit of info about my current workflow. The computer at the bottom is my dell workstation which I bought when working on my thesis project for school. It continued to serve me well up to the point where I got work in Australia and suddenly needed a new, smaller, portable solution for my computing needs. Up at the top left you’ll see that solution:  a Sony laptop. I’ve typically got them both running simultaneously for the sake of being able to process the NerdsFromThe80’s. I should probably try and find better render settings as each video that I process takes several hours to complete as I’ve done just a little bit of editing on the play-through videos to include both a webcam and the capture, as well as a background. I don’t think I’d be able to do both the play-through videos and make a game if I was reliant on just one computer. But one of the things that’s proving to be rather helpful for doing concept art is that Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 that’s sitting on the desk.


I’ve never had the luxury of owning one of these, but I have used the more affordable little cousin; the Intuos. And while they’re great for doing digital paintings, I generally have a difficult time trying to draw with them due to the disconnect between the hands and eyes, and the fact that it’s not really doable to deal with rotating the surface you’re drawing on to facilitate the curves that you want to draw. I managed to score a free Galaxy Note from a contest that Samsung was running on Twitter however, and have to say I’ve been pleased with incorporating it into my workflow. Aside from checking my email before I’m out of bed in the morning, or games of Super Hexagon, I picked up an app called LayerPaint which is a pretty great drawing app. It creates Photoshop files (with layers) so you can experiment with things on multiple layers if you want, and then if you want to start doing more in-depth work, you can move the file onto your computer and work with it some more there (or even bring it back to the tablet after to continue working on your lines) The response time isn’t perfect between the stylus and the tablet, but you do have the option of preventing automatic screen rotation in the OS and then you’re welcome to treat it as you would a sheet of paper: turning it as you choose to help get better curves in your lines. It also seems to ignore my hand resting on the screen reasonably well.


It’s appalling that Wacom continues to charge so much for access to their Cintiqs.


So here, in no particular order, are some of the rough sketches that I did this week trying to design of our characters, which we’re going to refer from this point on as “Bruisers”.

We’re planning on doing a 16-bit pixel art style with the game, and hopefully we can provide some options for customizing the player’s Bruiser such as switching the hair, eyes, clothing, or even the attack style.