Posted on Posted on in category Categories Characters
Growing up surrounded by the criminal underworld, Yuuki eventually found his way at the upper ranks of a small gang. He’s not the smartest, but when it comes to people he likely knows them better than they know themselves. His talents and experience make him extremely confident in any scenario, often to the detriment of those around him, and sometimes himself.
Recent times have been hard on Yuuki when he’s shoved on yet another job – a standard harassment against someone pushing their way into his gang’s territory. Unfortunately, he quickly realises that they aren’t the second rate thugs he usually deals with.
As his past knocks him on his ass, he’s about to become just another nameless enemy in someone else’s story.
Today we’re breaking up our bi-weekly schedule, don’t worry, we’ll still be back next week, and with the next character reveal, but this weeks a little bit special.
Tomorrow marks the 1 year anniversary from the beginning of project Atropos!
When Kadan designed some characters and unveiled them this time last year, there was no expectation that anything would happen, until Dan stepped in. Suddenly a Concept Document was being created for a game that was dubbed “Kadan’s Butt game” (for a short while). It was over a month into the project that it gained the title Atropos, a name that would stick around.
We started this blog a couple of months ago to document the project and share it with the world, but when looking back over the past year it can feel like not much has happened development-wise. Admittedly a lot of the work has been background work that we can’t really show off here on the blog. But putting everything into perspective, we’re surprised by what we’ve managed to complete on top of full time jobs!
We’ve managed to churn out 200,000 words of Concept, plot and dialogue
Multiple conceptual music pieces are underway, including the much loved but halfheartedly named Tense2
We’ve made 10 character models, with five of them running around a virtual Manchester, even though they’re still a little confused about how walls work.
We have our first dungeon greyboxed, a dialogue system, animations, characters, locations and so much more that we can’t wait to show off!
Our first year has been eventful, it’s shown us the truth of indie game development, staying up late and working through weekends, spending every minute we’re not working on the game wishing that we were working on the game. We didn’t get as far as we hoped at the beginning of the year, but it’s shown us what we’re capable of and where our limits are.
Now that a lot of the groundwork has been laid, we’re ready to really start getting into the tangible parts of development and having more of that fuzzy feeling we get when we hit a milestone and remember that this is a game that we’re making. A lot has changed since the start of the project, and we’re sure there will be more changes as things progress, but now we want to take you along for the ride.
Alright, we’ve been holding back on showing any actual game stuff for a while, partly because we’re in super early stages, partly because we’re very busy. In fact, because we’re so busy, we can only really show you pictures for now. Don’t worry, we’ll get a first preview video out once we have something more substantial and less horrifyingly buggy. Anyway, here are a couple of early character models and a really blocky city!
Here’s a preview of the initial model for the protagonist, Agi! Here you can see that we already have a semi-cel shading style going on, as well as what the characters would look like in-engine. Now there are clear parts where the model can be improved – this is just a first draft after all – but this model helped ground our ideas, and make the whole game actually feel real. She is animated, and has some facial rigging set up (She can blink and scream at things!), but I’m afraid we won’t be showing that off until a little later in the dev cycle. She probably won’t have her shirt sticking through her jacket shoulders then either! Remember, early days!
And now for the next member of the team, Marid! Once again, this is a first draft of the model, so expect things to improve massively as time goes on. We created Marid to have a proper companion character to work with, and to aid in the development of the companion system as a whole. Like Agi, he’s animated, although he is lacking facial rigging for the moment – his stare definitely creeps out Kadan! For now, Marid is also filling in the role of a bunch of other characters that we’ll eventually have modelled and ready to show you all!
Manchester – Picadilly Gardens
Our final image for today is a super early prototype of the open world part of Manchester – specifically the main hub, Picadilly Gardens! Currently, it’s primarily in early blocking out stages, obviously, and there are large parts of Manchester also blocked out that are out of view. We’re aiming to get the basics down in most places, add some functionality, then add all the details to bring it to life. You may also notice the satellite imagery on parts of the ground. We’re using that to ensure that everything is as accurate as possible without resorting to actual real world blueprints (Although we will use real data wherever we can, with some embellishments representing the near future state of Manchester.)
On the technical side of things, since Manchester is a very large area, we are using level streaming techniques and will be building the level in blocks.In fact, one of the blocks on the top right of this image unloaded while I was placing the camera for this shot – go figure. Manchester, having many straight roads, will also be modelled significantly far away from the play area, and you may spot some landmarks that are otherwise outside the playable area. It’s safe to say we have a lot of work ahead of us.
Anyway, that’s all we have to show for now. While we do have a functional battle system and other parts of the game, we’re going to keep that under wraps for a future post (And so we can polish out the REALLY ugly bits). Signing off for now.