2016 Year Progress Report and Recap
Been working on the TinyWars project all year, there were a few bumps in the road but we’ve finally made it to 2016. Here’s a list of some things that we had accomplished:
- Finished Designing all lead female roles
- ~2,500 Likes on the Official TinyWars Facebook Page.
- Released the Gameplay Prototype on Android/PC
- Ran a successful Fan Art Contest that got over 70 entries
- Made awesome wallscrolls and Key chains
- Worked with an incredible team!
There are two teams in particular that I really want to discuss. You guys have been blessed with seeing the amazing art and hearing the awesome music of our game, and I believe I should discuss our incredible art and music team a little bit, I feel the 2016 recap is an appropriate post for it!
I do want to spend some time talking about the TinyWars are team. We have worked with a lot of different artists throughout the year for various specialized tasks, but there have been a few key artists who have stayed with the project for a very long time and I’d like to take some time to write about them.
LaDollBlanche joined the project in June of 2015, and has been working with us for over a year on various tasks! Back in the early days of TinyWars, we needed character renders. The character designs came from various artists, but we wanted one artists to be in control of the final render that will be displayed in game. And boy does she do a fantastic job rendering our characters!
There’s a high degree of consistency with her renders and shading methods, which look very high quality and detailed. As you might have noticed however, her artwork has not really been featured much in the latest TinyWars Prototype. And as of recently, the TinyWars project is finally moving into the next phase, which is story intensive. Cutscenes will be making their way to the project and we hope you will be able to fully appreciate the work and skill the she has put into rendering every one of our characters.
LaDollBlanche has been a blessing to this project and is one of the artists that I can truly rely on. She’s been with us since, essentially the beginning of the project, and hopefully play a role in the completion of it as well. The characters are the face of TinyWars, and thus, her work is the face of this project!
Chibionpu (Also goes by Nicole on DeviantArt) joined us in September 2015. I think, one of the most underappreciated assets to any project is background art, but Nicole does a fantastic job and I think her artwork is really going to shine in a project where background and perspectives is a huge emphasis. Her work is highly detailed, and one of the greatest things about her personality is the drive to continue improving and adding more and more details to pieces until they look so polished, I’m almost blinded by it!
I swear, when she first sent this piece to me, from the thumbnail, I thought it was a photograph! This is the depiction of the giant’s house from the game, and it looks like we’re viewing it from the perspective of a tiny person, really brilliant. As you have seen in the title image above this one, her background art blends well with LaDollBlanche’s character renders. The hardness of LaDollBlanche’s character renders meshes so well with the smooth, dream like details of Nicole’s background art!
Nicole is also helping us front the new design theme for the TinyWars demo. The “Book Theme” will be the permanent theme for TinyWars and will be present in the demo and the final game. Her attention to detail makes her one of the most valuable members of the art team, no one cam do backgrounds like her! Thanks for being a part of this project, it’s truly an honor to have you on our team.
Nicole has also done some of the animations for the enemy units in the prototype! She has many skills besides BG work!
Starlipop joined us in October 2015 as an animator for the in-game units. His animations, of course, is what brings the game to life. It turns a piece of software into an interactive experience, and I think Starlipop has done an incredible job with the animation work so far.
Keep in mind the animations featured in our prototype were not fully completed, but you will be able to experience the full animations in all of their glory in our next demo. We’re not using cell shaded, 3D applications to do our animations, Starlipop draws every single frame out and details them wonderfully!
With Stparlipop as our primary character animator, I can rest assured that love and attention is being put into every single frame of our game. We really are going above and beyond what other mobile game companies are doing in terms of 2D anime projects or even 2D tower defense games for that matter. We hope that our players will experience and appreciate the high production value we have put into our project.
Much of the gameplay experience will be dominated by the character animations, and we have to thank Starlipop for the work he has done on this project.
Hyanna Natsu joined the TinyWars project in December of 2015. Her role in the project was to help translate our ideas about our characters (relevant to the story and personality) into their physical appearances. The goal was to make sure that each character was unique and iconic in their own way, while still having interesting design and looking like they all belonged in the same world.
While Hyanna did NOT do the designs for all of our characters, she did do them for a few of our characters which have been well received by the fans.
All the girls to the right of Mary were designed by Hyanna. It’s obvious that the art style on those 4 characters doesn’t exactly match the art style of the other girls, of course, our Chief Executive Character Renderer, LaDollBlanche, will process these character designs into the final output of the game; but those 4 renders (pictured above) are Hyanna’s design renders for these characters.
One of the greatest things about working with Hyanna Natsu is her ability to turn over work, FAST! When it comes to designing new characters, it’s a lot of work to take in all our backstory, personality, and ideas and turn that into a representation. What Hyanna has the ability to do is to quickly create MULTIPLE different versions of the characters she’s designing and send them all to us to choose from. She works really fast, but she also delivers high quality work, there’s no compromise!
Now it does pain me to say this, but the last and final female main character has been designed by Hyannna Natsu not too long ago. This girl (pictured above) is not a tiny person, and is in fact someone who is fascinated with tiny people, so much so that she has been collecting artifacts of their existence in her book that she’s holding to her side.
Because this is the final female lead that needed to be designed, we might not see Hyanna involved in the project any longer. But there is no reason to be sad! These characters, that she has designed, are the main characters in the project. Little pieces of her creativity are present in those characters, and will be present throughout the game. We thank you for your work Hyanna, it’s been really great working with you.
P.S. One of my fellow indie game developers, YandereDev, had expressed interest in working with Hyanna for some unspecified work on his project. He asked me to reach out to her and connect them. While Hyanna might be leaving the TinyWars project, there is definitely a lot of opportunities awaiting her in the future, especially in the gaming world! Good luck Hyanna! You’re a rock star! 🙂
The Art Team
While I have taken some time to specifically appreciate 4 super star members of our art team, ALL of the artists involved in the project have been amazing. The reason I took my time to write specifically about these 4 artists was because my communications with the artists in 2015 – 2016 was primarily dominated by these 4 people, they worked on projects throughout the entire year and sometimes I would be communicating with these people on a daily basis. They played a huge role in taking this project from the baby stages to a more fleshed out and materialized reality.
TinyWars would not be where it is today if it wasn’t for these 4 members. We hope, as development intensifies, and maybe if we raise some bigger funding for this project (kickstarter or Patreon in the future? We’re not ready for it right now, maybe after the first demo releases) I hope we will be able to bring on some more key members to our art team.
The art is the front facing assets that players interact with, while some of our code (my code) has been messy at times, the art really redeems a lot of those glitches. I’m working hard to refine the project behind the scenes and make everything come together through software development, but the artists provide the work that most people will really appreciate and enjoy!
If you’re interested in seeing everyone who was involved in this project, please visit the credits page.
In Part 2, we’ll talk about the Music Team!