The broader debate of women in videogames needs no introduction, regardless of one’s stance on the matter. Everyone with an Internet connection and at least some investment in videogame culture has heard stories of the industry’s gender bias (which we’ll go ahead and assert is very readily apparent).
Now, Desktop Dungeons itself isn’t some haven of progressive social ideas and forward thinking. We didn’t start the game with an overarching agenda in that area – but during the course of development, we were heavily informed by the dialogues, rants and documentaries around the topic of female portrayal and how some games screw that up so badly. More…
In this post, we’re dedicating some time to the flipside of last week’s writeup for illustrators wanting to break into game art. For reasons explained last time, this isn’t just gonna be a straight reversal of the previous advice – a few core asymmetries exist between the work that artists and programmers do, and it’s not about the creative vs logical approach or however else the issue gets generalised. It’s about high-constraint versus low-constraint environments, and the reality that artists are often forced to adapt to a coder’s constraints rather than the other way around.
More importantly, unlike larger studios (where formalised roles of designers and project managers become more clear and compartmentalised), indie projects tend to be dominated by a programmer, simply because there’s no other way for that project to exist short of an artist engaging with some cross-discipline learning. Either way, an artist-driven project would have its own set of problems separate from the ones described here and it’s not the sort of environment that we have enough experience to comment on.
So, let’s assume you’re a coder-boss-type person on a project where you’re telling somebody who’s way better than you at visual design to draw things in exactly the way you want them to. Here’s a few ways to make the artists you work with a lot less miserable about that: More…
Over the years, I’ve learned a bit about the diversity of the drawy-artstuffs field. I speak from the outside, of course – the closest I’ve come to being an artist myself is a one year communication design course (read: layout and colour theory) and the occasional desperate move with game prototypes where I simply couldn’t find anybody to draw things for me.
However, while I cannot tell anybody how to “do” art, I am sympathetic to some of the difficulties that visual creatives have when they’re forced to operate in the weird and wondrous framework of a programmer’s code base. None more so than classically-trained artists, who usually operate in environments which have loose constraints (or none at all) in areas that happen to be of absolutely vital importance to the average programmer.
Sometimes a situation emerges where talented artists in the wrong category hop onto an indie project: the devs are hoping for a particular style, perhaps, or the project exists in a territory where game development is still getting its legs and the required specialists are rare. Or maybe some friends just wanna work together on something regardless of the hurdles.
This can be pretty cool in the long run – particularly if said illustrator is excited and enthused about learning a new form – but there’s a few growing pains that need to be worked past. In my experience, practically all classic artists will need to learn the following: More…
At QCF Design, we’re actively trying to promote a jam culture at the office to produce more prototypes and experimental work.
As it so happens, we’re also trying our hand at making more videos and sharing some of our experiments with a broader audience. Behold one recent side project, tentatively called Stoic:
For those who can’t see the video for any magical computer reason, Stoic was built with the aim of simplifying ideas present in Frozen Synapse and Toribash to string together epic, flowing action sequences with wild swingy swords and enough blood to fill the arteries of a dozen over-the-top anime villains.
By merging turn-based, predictable combat with real-time playback, players have the opportunity to create impressive, organic-ish fights with tough enemies, weapon momentum and lots of cinematic eye candy.
We’ve finally built a page that houses all the stats we’ve been collecting. You can now see which enemies are killed the most, which dungeons have the most losses, and which gods give out the most boons.
Draw you own conclusions and share them on the forum.
And hey, Steam users: we’ve also released our community package of tradeable Desktop Dungeons goodies to the big bad world. For your digital swapmeeting pleasure, our artists have produced six game cards, seven profile backgrounds, five emoticons and a partridge in a pear tree.