Hello everyone! This is our first post on the TinyWars Development Blog, I have no idea where to begin writing about this project so I’ll just introduce myself as well as the project and how it all got started! In later updates, we should be able to show off more game content, story, features, etc… We’ll do our best to keep this blog updated!

 

tiny kingdom sketch 2small - SMALL

Intro

Having been in the website, software and app industry for several years, I had been highly regarded by my colleagues as a “super star” in front end design and development. Through my passion for app designs, logos, and user experience, it was becoming increasingly evident that I was completely in the wrong industry.  My app UI designs increasingly began to embody look and feel of interactive video games rather than apps. I also believe that I’ve worked on too many of the “next big thing” type of apps that in and of themselves, are not very exciting at all. Which is what is so appealing to me about video games, the game, in and of itself, can be all that’s necessary to drive excitement! You can view some of our impressive app projects on This Website.

Video Game Concept

Some time ago, me and one of my app development partners sat down and decided to build a tower defense test game. After many hours of research, coding, and several gallons of soda and coffee, we finally pumped out our very first tower defense demo!  As abstract shapes danced on screen before our very eyes, my mind began to race with new ideas, concepts, and mechanics. Out of all the apps and website I have ever built, this moment was by far one of the most exciting! (The test game was literally red and blue squares, with a grey background.)

At this point, I had already developed very vague plans for the TinyWars project prior to this, as well as the story line had been a mental project of mine for quite some time; but what this concept demo really proved to me was that we didn’t need an entire team of expensive developers to build this game, and that game development was not this strange, alien world we, as app and website developers, had once thought it to be. The end goal in developing a fully featured video game was within our reach!

Mary PNG

Getting Down to Business

One of the things I have earned a reputation for is being relentless at getting tasks done. Some of my former business partners have often questioned if I am even human, which I will gladly accept as a compliment! At this point, the process of programming and developing the software for the game was very straight forward, but try to imagine a video game without graphics, artwork, and music and you have nothing. There definitely is a game engine running behind that black screen, but it can never be known except through the senses via graphics, animations, and design. This was our dilemma, as we as programmers did not have the final project in mind, even with abstract mock ups and ideas the final look of the game was still vague.

Part of the problem was that the programming on the game heavily relied on the visuals of the game! Sure we can program a pit of lava that kills characters when they step in it. But without visuals it’s entirely possible that a pit of lava looks ridiculous in our game and we might not even want it in the game anymore! When it comes to programmers who have very expensive prices on their head, wasted time and unnecessary programming is NOT an option. (Of course sometimes mistakes can not be avoided!) It is obvious that many of the exact visuals and functions of the game needed to be fully realized first in order to make effective use of the programmers time and the game’s limited budget.

My life as a game developer quickly became a real life RPG quest for artwork. First I had to create the character and background design plans, then I had to bring them to the artists to develop digital renders, then I could bring those renders to chibi artists so they could convert the full body designs to chibi, then take those chibis to the animators so they could animate it, (Full body animations wouldn’t fit on a mobile screen and I’m sure would be much more expensive than chibi animations) ….and the cycle continues until we have established all the artwork and graphical assets we need for the finished game! (or at least to build an original, playable demo)

Note: The screen shot featured at the top of this article contains animations, background art, UI design, character designs, object artwork, and effects. This single screen shot took us literally months of work and thousands of dollars to produce! And that render will probably look much different from the final game!

Building the Team

We already had the developers round up and ready for action, but none of them had any artistic ability whatsoever. Honestly I believe those guys would be happy building a game with just squares and triangles, abstract visuals is definitely a trend in mobile app games, though I believe it’s difficult for players to actually “bond” with the game at that point. Programmers are easy to please artistically! Not me an not an audience who demands a fully fleshed out game!

After several months of blasting emails, contacting amazing artists, musicians, and programmers, email after email of rejection, ridiculously high prices, or poor quality of work,  we finally established a solid team that we’re working with! Some people have joined and left, others here to stay, but most importantly, I’ve connected with, and found everyone we need to create at least the graphical and musical assets of the game! Honestly, the amount of connections I have made with hard working, talented individuals has greatly increased since working on this project! Of course, we are always interested in new artists, musicians, and programmers who are willing to contribute to our game.

As you can see I’ve also began working on an incredible soundtrack for the game! We’ve been working with some of the most talented musicians from around the world!

My Role

My main role in the TinyWars project is being the creative director for the game, this includes being in charge of all the artwork and music for the game as well as conjuring up the script for the story. (We have a fantastic story to tell!) Aside from that, my company Bizurk Software, is the primary source of funding for this project and as such, I have to manage some of the most boring aspects of the development such as accounting, payroll, licensing, trademarks, contract, etc. I’d rather not get into those details though, if I didn’t enjoy doing them, what makes you think I’d enjoy writing about them?

Lastly, my main role is as the Game Director. I am constantly keeping communications with all the people involved in the project to make sure everyone understands the project, their role in the project, and that we are able to deliver our products and tasks on time!

commssion132_by_ladollblanche-d90ttjf

Hopefully this article has provided some insight as to how the TinyWars project got started. I will post more updates in the future covering more specific aspects such as the progress of our artwork, music, and game development! I know it seemes like I spent this entire post talking about myself! As we get into more specific areas, and once I complete the developer credits section of this website, I will be able to properly recognize and acknowledge everyone who has helped make this project so wonderful and unique!

What I can say is I am extremely grateful to all the new friends and connections I have made while pursuing this project, all the people who have dedicated their time and energy into making this project great, I’m truly thankful for! This game project has been a really fun, frustrating, educational, and expensive adventure!

Thanks for reading! Be sure to keep up with our social media and new development blog posts!

 

Author andrew
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