Concept Phase: A.K.A Hitting My Head On A Desk To See If An Idea Pops Out.

Matt Syrett: Polygon Pusher.

This is my first blog post relating to a game I have been working on with partner-in-crime Tommy Thompson, Rob Watling and James Tatum called Sure Footing. Before I begin talking about my progress, we’ll start with a short story that tells how I became part of all this mess.  Following that, we have the good bit: as I discuss the art style I had planned for the game.

A Little Story…

For me, this project started around February 2014 when one afternoon I walked into my office to find Tommy working on a game made up of ‘programmer art’.  In short: boxes… everywhere.  This was a recurring theme with Tommy, given that in our last game demo called ‘Clocking Off‘ which we demoed at GameCity last year,  his answer to most problems was to throw more boxes at it.

Tommy's Note: Yes, what he says is true.  A very rough mock-up of the game I had in mind can be seen in the screengrab below.  Yes there are a lot of cubes and no I am not particularly proud of myself either.
Early Concept

Anyway, getting back on topic, I asked him “you got anybody doing your art for the game?”  His response was “No.  Do you want to do it?”  I jumped at the chance, if anything to ensure I would no longer have to keep staring at boxes.  It’s rather ironic then that the art style of Sure Footing is built around around pixels.

The Art Style

From the start, my art style was focussed on making a game that was colourful.  Now, I am not the best at drawing but I try and get down as much information to help me when it comes to modelling.  However, this time I created the 3D model and then did a paint-over to get an idea of the colour for the main character, which can be seen in the sketch below.  It was at that point that the player’s avatar, ‘Pixel Pete’, was created.  The prototype build of the game had boxes for the platforms, so the logical design decision was to create more detailed platforms which the player would run across.  I wanted to add lots of colour into the scene with different coloured platforms which could change colour depending on what is going on in the game level.  This was in-part inspired by a game called Tiny Wings, given the environment changes colour depending on what part of the level you where flying across.


Pixel Pete looking very happy with himself 🙂

In the next update I will talk about more recent work with Shader Forge and getting the character in game with a lot of help from Tommy.

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