Adarakion Developer Diary: Issue 3

Before I introduce you to the next member of our team I thought I would take the opportunity to bring you up to speed with where we are at with Project Blast! We have spent a considerable amount of time designing and coding the actual map creation tools, ensuring that the information generated during the map creation process is accurate and complete. We are also in the process of splitting up the coding tasks of the main “game” so that I and my co-developer, Liam, can take parts of the required code and code these segments independently of each other within the constraints / design of the game and its engine.

This is difficult to coordinate when you see someone on a daily basis but it really presents problems when each of you live in different corners of the UK! However modern technology makes seemingly impossible tasks, possible. We use online project management software (well, we will when we figure out how to use it properly!) and also Skype and MSN for regular conference calls and updates. This enables us all to stay on track with who is doing what, when, where and how. Hopefully we will have something a bit more solid in terms of game mechanics/screenshots etc. to share with you over the coming issues, but we don’t want to reveal all until we feel the game has the right feel to it and looks how it should!

Anyway, onto our next team member, Phil. He is the artist of the team – or, as we like to call him, “the one that gets more hassle than everyone else”. He arguably has the heaviest workload in terms of volume of stuff to actually create, however he does assist Chris with the design too, and Liam with the web side of things, being a very small team, that crossover is important in all departments. So, over to Phil:

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“..Ahoy, so alas it’s my turn to write in the Adarakion diary.

Firstly, the biography. My names Phil Diggle and I’m currently at University studying towards a BSc(Hons) in Robotics & Automation, looking to go on and do a Masters in this in 2011/12. Leading up to my degree I work freelance as a Graphic Designer which also encompasses web design. I first got into Graphics and Web Design when I was at the tender age of 13!! Some 7 Years later I’ve become proficient in the Adobe Suite as well as Corel amongst many other programs. My love of all things “gadgety” and “computerific” (if that is such a word) was from our first PC when I was about 6 or 7 years old. Can’t remember the exact specification, but it was an old IBM computer running Windows 3.1 (oh yeah!) as well as a small hard drive, and next to no memory! Somehow after this we took a step back with an Amstrad, but made good progress in the end investing a sizable chunk of money in a Windows 95 PC!!

So, where do I fit in with Adarakion Games? Well, I know Lee through his best mate’s sister. Got that? Great. I saw he was after an artist for his projects and thought I had nothing to lose by casually asking (in a manner) if he still needed an artist. Suffice to say, my first task was the Adarakion Logo. Simples. Well, not quite – everyone liked my first attempt, so much so it became the actual logo. However, as my role became more involved with the artwork for the game I decided to revamp the logo – hopefully giving it more meaning as well as looking the part! This constant alteration and change, I discovered, became fashion with the team – or more should I say Lee. One second we would see engine version 0.8. An hour later, V0.85, V0.90 and so forth! Anyway, I digress.

Project Blast! for me will be the ultimate experience in graphic design. I’ve done websites, designed flyers and even shop signage – but to leave your mark on what I hope will be a bit of gaming history is a tall order. Check back on TSA Diary to find out how I and the team overcome the challenges presented!…”.

As Phil alluded to there, our logo will be changing shortly – but we will keep that under wraps till the website is up and running in full capacity! One of the great things about being such a small team is the fluidity of the development process. If we don’t like something – we change it or bin it. This hopefully will improve the quality of the final game.

Its easy to see that how, on the large commercial teams, the art department is incredibly busy and well funded. Our game isn’t going to look like the next GTA or even the last GTA(!) but the amount of art and graphics work required is immense – I could come up with hundreds of assets and designs required if I was let loose totally but I guess part of coordinating a project and a team is knowing what we need and when we need it, and whilst graphics are incredibly important in any title they can be left out until the end before full implementation. We use “placeholder” graphics in the interim to see how the various control systems etc. work and how the various graphical flourishes look on screen. The placeholders will perform the function of the “main game” graphics until such time as we can substitute them for the real professionally drawn graphics, and usually consist of a poorly drawn MS paint sprite or some such!

So that’s art and Adarakion. As I always say, PLEASE keep checking our website – www.adarakion.co.uk – the new design will be going live VERY soon now (if not already) and I cant wait to reveal more about Project Blast! with you all. Also, we have a high concept document floating around the team for Project 2, which will be worked on after Project Blast! The two games couldn’t be more different if we tried, and the sheer scope of Project 2 is daunting to say the least, but more on that at a later date… a MUCH later date!!

Previous Developer Diaries:

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