As 2019 comes to a slow end, we’ve been looking back and thinking about all our emotional experiences throughout the past few months. The days got shorter, reminding us of …
Come on, starting the last newsletter of 2019 with a nostalgic analysis of the weather sucks bigger than a purple whale with too many biblical ambitions. Let’s talk about the fun stuff. Let’s talk about how we ended up working with the coolest publisher in Germany.
For the longest time throughout Resolutiion’s development cycle, we didn’t waste a single thought on marketing, or how we’d have to publish the game one day. Then in early October (when we were quite close to making some stupid decisions), a nerdy metalhead named Micha reached out:
“Angry greetings from Deck13. We think your game looks awesome and hopefully does not play like dried poop. Let’s talk!”
It turned out that these guys reside not far from where we live, have shipped some great games in the past and enjoy distorted music. They wanted what we had built, and —with a sobering look at our meager marketing efforts— we wanted what they could add to it. After some paperwork and the obligatory TV-set-drop-from-hotel-window, we announced Deck13 and Monolith of Minds's collaboration in early November with a new trailer:
So while the trees surrender their leaves in a colorful dance, we also had to let go of …
Well, Chris has been a core member of the Resolutiion team for the last two years. Not only did his art prominently influence all our animations, but he also edited every newsletter and contributed piles of details to each map in our pixel-world.
November marked his last month with us. If you, dear reader, are a game developer, hire this guy. If not, do it anyway: he’s stubborn and more talented than you and me.
As his final task, he went out all Tim Burton and made the Mechanical Mines an even more nightmarish place to wander and fight possessed Buddhists.
“You don’t leave studio work to become a freelancer because you want to be part of a team. You do it to drop in on projects for a while, do some cool stuff and get out before the corporate wheel starts to crush your soul.
From my first days on Resolutiion, the team made me feel like we’d been working together for years … but in a good way. There was none of the punch-pulling that the new guy gets, instead it was instantly like the working environment my friend and I had cultivated on our own two-man video game projects. This wasn’t a typical job where I came in, did it and left. I came in, did it, and got asked to stay. Three months turned into almost two years, and in that time the Monolith of Minds team have become friends that I hope to keep in touch with for many more years to come.
Always open to my ideas and opinions, they offered me the chance to be an equal player on their team. This openness to discussion and influence from wherever it comes (as long as it’s good) is perfectly reflected in the weird world of Resolutiion they’ve created. It’s a skillful mash-up of deserts and underwater cities, zombies, toy robots, biblical(ish) symbolism, and Star Wars. Somehow they make these seemingly disparate things work together. And somehow, they made a freelancer part of a team, and happy to hang around till the end. And I’m very thankful that they did.”
Between cozy fires, reindeer sweaters and other lame winter themes, we drove Resolutiion’s development-sledge through snow-mountains of bugs, testing, details, animations, balancing and polish (oh God …).
Action-items got some special attention in November, a few even received long-overdue redesigns:
We always liked the Chromatic Aberration’s function of changing what the player can see but actually using it was slow trudge through a waist-deep bank of freshly fallen Christmas snow … sorry. It slowed the pacing down way too much. In our seventh attempt, we reduced the handling to a single button press, stripped away all other effects and signals and ended up with a fun item that also looked impressive.
The Haven turned from an offensive attack-drone into a strictly defensive shield. While this sounds boring in theory, it turned out to add a completely new layer to enemy and boss encounters: with the Haven, you can now continue to carelessly smash piles of blood in the middle of a projectile hailstorm. Sound fun? It is.
2019 and this newsletter are coming to a well-deserved end, but we want you to continue reading about the glamorous world of video game development. That’s why we wrote an article about how we designed and build our world at 80LV: Walking on Paper: Crafting Resolutiion’s Levels.
Enjoy the read, and feel free to start warming up your thumbs, because it’s cold outside, and because in early 2020, you get to play Resolutiion.