Monolith of Minds

Valor & Goliath

Valor & Goliath

Fallen King

My husband trained them to be violent, but no one trained them to be kind. Those poor souls will never know the line between order and chaos.

—Naamah

Once, there were two brothers. One strong and courageous, the other mindful and creative. They played and laughed and fought and got older.

One joined the People’s Power and rose in rank and reputation. The other remained with his family, receding in resolve and relevance.

One cared for the other, but the other cared for a girl. A girl with foreign thoughts and blue boots. So the strong brother raised his sword and cut the corruption from the weak, banishing that girl to a dark place.

And all was good.

Until it wasn’t.

Views from the Monolith 008

Valor & Goliath

Six months ago we headed into our first boss sprint barely knowing how to approach such an enormous task. Our planning was way off — those bastards turned out to be significantly more complicated than just oversized enemies. We only managed two unsatisfying prototypes.

An amazing part of indie game development is the process of learning new things and improving your skills along the way. October saw us take on our second boss sprint, and this time we had learned our lesson. We took things a little slower, planning each boss in detail before diving into code and pixels. Multiple attacks had to be indicated and executed; respective arenas had to be prepared; story and lore had to be written to prepare players for these dangerous encounters… there was a lot to do, but this time we were ready for it.

Proper planning helped us hammer through two mini-bosses and two major ones: Blue, the Penetrator, Mutant King, and the Cyan Archon. In wrapping up those guys we reached a major milestone: all the main enemies are now in place, providing Valor some serious muscle to contend with.

Speaking of our (anti)hero, Chris delivered October’s second milestone — the completion of Valor’s sprite sheet. Here are some of his thoughts:

I’ve been pixel-arting for about five years now. In that time I’ve worked on a couple of client jobs, but the majority of my experience has been on projects for my own company, Not Quite Black and White. At NQBW we had developed a certain style of pixel art and we were sticking with it, mainly because that was all we really knew how to do. So when Günther got in touch asking if I could help fix up Valor’s animations, I was relieved to see that Valor — as he existed back then — already shared many similarities to my own style. That meant the job of revamping Valor didn’t require a total rethinking of the character, just a reworking into the only style I knew how to produce.

Pixel art is an impressionistic medium, no two players will interpret details the same way. As an artist, you need to accept this and consider the bigger picture. I generally focus on a character’s silhouette. If you can sell a movement with the silhouette, people can read what they like into the details. That said, I could see from the start that with Valor being mostly black, keeping individual limbs defined as they moved across his body was going to be an issue. Looking at the non-pixel concept art, I could see a lot of cool robotic elements that I wanted to bring into my pixel version. Luckily, these perfectly helped remedy most of the definition issues. Adding blue strips of light to Valor’s chest helped sell movement of his torso, while stripes on his left leg differentiated it from the right.

Then it all just came down to the additional little details that injected some more motion into Valor and made him feel a bit more dynamic. His cape and scarf add to his silhouette as he runs, billowing out behind him to emphasis his speed, but they also provide some visual interest to other animations. They can reveal the sway of his body as he climbs, or convey sharp impacts as he turns or takes damage — all helping these few, flat pixels feel alive.

Looking Up

Resolutiion is developed by six guys mostly in their spare time. Everybody brings as much to the project as they can, across cities, countries and time zones. We stay connected via Telegram and have pushed our work to Git every day for the last three years.

As 2018 comes to an end, we have two more sprints to tackle: improving the Desert of Giants and crafting the very final boss. As of now, we’re close to completing the alpha build of the game we have dedicated years of our lives to — pretty damn cool, right?

If things go well, we plan to release Resolutiion through Steam sometime towards the end of next year. As the roadmap for 2019 is coming together, we were wondering what you guys out there thought about the production so far? Do you find the newsletter and our infrequent Twitter posts interesting? Would you enjoy us setting up a Discord channel? Something else?

Creating an indie game from scratch is a journey, and we’re insanely excited about everybody coming along for the ride. So let us know what we can do better via the contact options below.