Author Topic: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview  (Read 5025 times)

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,237
Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« on: August 28, 2012, 10:14:00 AM »
Original: http://christophermpark.blogspot.com/2012/08/shattered-haven-artwork-preview.html

So, you may remember that we're currently working on a project called Shattered Haven:


Heavy Cat Studios, who are also doing the art revamp for A Valley Without Wind, have been hard at work on the graphics for Shattered Haven as well.  The two games have a very different in-game style, as SH is a more retro pixelart style whereas AVWW is more of a painted/drawn modern style.  I'm extremely fond of both styles.

However, for the main menu of Shattered Haven, we're doing a more modern painted/drawn style as well to set the mood.  This is how it's turned out thus far (you can click it to enlarge):


There's a lot of cool elements going on in that image.  For one, you have the parents -- Darrell and Mary -- protecting the kids on the left side of the screen.  Lela is clinging to her mom, and Pierce (who is slightly older) is also sheltering a bit.

You can see some of the grays looking out from the forest on the right, and a very large monster obviously closer up on the right.  On the left, behind the family, you've got a squid-like monster with razor hooks at the end of its tentacle.  Perhaps most significantly, on the right you've got a specific gray that we half-jokingly have internally been referring to as "zombie mom," although that's not her real name.

You can also see the interesting weapons that the family are using -- Darrell has a pitchfork with the outer two tines broken off, while Mary is holding a grenade in one hand and a bottle of water in the other.  All three are effective weapons against the grays, but for reasons you'll discover in the game, guns and most traditional weapons like swords or knives are not effective.  The bottles of water are actually traps that you lay rather than weapons that you directly throw or swing.

This image turned out so amazing that I'm actually going to be looking to Heavy Cat to do some more panels in this style for the various endings of the game as well as for some other key scenes as the story of the game unfolds.  If you can't tell, I'm a bit giddy as to how well these are turning out!

I know that we've not shown any real screenshots of the actual game itself, but that's because it's been so heavily in progress.  I've been porting the old Alden Ridge game over into the new AVWW engine, and making tons of improvements to the game we now call Shattered Haven as we go.  Plus obviously all the Heavy Cat work on the art is still ongoing.  The old way that the game used to is here:


There again, you can click to enlarge if you like.  All of that was either art that I did, or art from free sources.  It doesn't look horrible, but it's not as remotely nice as it could be, either.  There were some screenshots of this on Co-Optimus and Rock Paper Shotgun back in 2010 or so, but they are woefully outdated.

Here's how things are shaping up thus far, although there's still a lot more to do in the coming weeks:


Definitely click that to see the full quality, if you wish.  A lot of the art has been swapped out here, but the enemy grays are still old art, and plus all of the pixellated weapons and traps are outdated, too.  The older game was at a smaller scale, so I had to scale up the images for prototype purposes, and they look pretty rough.  It hardly matters, because by the time the game is really in the hands of players, those will be swapped out.

The water also has not yet been upgraded, but we plan to do something a lot less blocky if we can.  And the roof on the building is also still out of date.  Oh, and the dead brown trees.  All the other trees and bushes shown here, and the bricks, signs, cattails, HUD, and Darrell himself (in the bottom left) have all been updated.

So it's coming along!  We're still 2-4 weeks away from being able to start a public beta (probably closer to 4 weeks), but we're really excited about how it's turning out.  The all-new inventory system in the new version is one of my favorite things, as it makes the game so much more fun to play, heh.

Until next time!
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Hunam

  • Newbie Mark III
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2012, 05:37:52 PM »
I like the artwork of this game with the simple roguelikish look. The original certainly does not look terrible, but the new look is much cleaner so far.

Also the mood of this game certainly looks much darker than previous titles judging from the top image. Is protecting fellow survivors going to be a large aspect of this game?  Just curious as the main image seems to suggest it. Love the concept and looking forward to trying it out!

Offline Teal_Blue

  • Hero Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 935
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2012, 06:08:09 PM »
Whoa!!!!   Is this cool or what??  :)  Very Nice!  Thank you for the shots, hoping to see more of course when you go to beta.

:)

Teal


Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,237
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2012, 06:42:40 PM »
Glad you like it!  And yes, this is definitely a much darker game than our others -- it may wind up being the equivalent of T rated rather than E10 like our others, too.

Protecting fellow survivors is a thematic underpinning of the story, but it's not really a factor in actual gameplay.  In other words, there are no escort quests or anything like that.  But the entire motive for the adventure you go on revolves around protecting your kids. :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Hunam

  • Newbie Mark III
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2012, 06:59:12 PM »
Protecting fellow survivors is a thematic underpinning of the story, but it's not really a factor in actual gameplay.  In other words, there are no escort quests or anything like that.  But the entire motive for the adventure you go on revolves around protecting your kids. :)

I'm very much relieved that escort missions are not a central part of the game and just seeing that image of children clutching the survivors legs made me worried (although the one shaking the fist seems ok).

Ever since Goldeneye on the N64 I have had an intense loathing of protecting NPCs. Especially those that whine about the amount of noise my frantic gunfire is making...

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,237
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2012, 07:01:48 PM »
Oh, believe me, I am not a fan of escort missions either.  There are a few instances of that being done moderately to extremely well, but overall it's not great.  There's definitely none in sight here!
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Oralordos

  • Sr. Member Mark III
  • ****
  • Posts: 434
  • Suffering from Chronic Backstabbing Disorder
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2012, 07:43:41 PM »
I know on my part that there is only really one game I have played that did the escort mission well. That would be Frozen Synapse.

Offline Coppermantis

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,212
  • Avenger? I hardly know 'er!
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2012, 07:54:26 PM »
I know on my part that there is only really one game I have played that did the escort mission well. That would be Frozen Synapse.

Starcraft II and Half-Life 2: Episode I have good escort missions as well, although EP1's was admittedly pretty short.
I can already tell this is going to be a roller coaster ride of disappointment.

Offline chemical_art

  • Core Member Mark IV
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,952
  • Fabulous
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2012, 08:35:27 PM »
The only escort mission I liked was in Ace Combat 4...it was the only mission you were alone...the mission was called "escort"...and the whole mission you were basically hailed as god as your enemies lamented you were only one fighter while the civilians you were protected were in awe that one person was covering their bum...a good escort mission...

I think the key was the not usual "why aren't you protect me! You are an idiot!" vibe most escort missions give...while that one was a matter of "you are our only hope! Wow, we are alive from you, thank you! You are awesome, please keep us alive!"

that and it was only one short mission. Cool as a thematic piece as a part of a larger "you are becoming stronger, hero" mission, a drag if done without a distinct theme to it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCEhba9X-s4
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 08:46:28 PM by chemical_art »
Life is short. Have fun.

Offline KingIsaacLinksr

  • Master Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,332
  • A Paladin Without A Crusade...
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2012, 04:07:28 PM »
That is some great looking artwork Chris, I'm getting more interested in what you guys put out :).
Casual reviewer with a sense of justice.
Visit the Arcen Mantis to help: https://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/
A Paladin's Blog. Long form videogame reviews focusing on mechanics and narrative analyzing. Plus other stuff. www.kingisaaclinksr.com

Offline Lancefighter

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,440
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2012, 12:20:53 AM »
Quote
We're still 2-4 weeks away from being able to start a public beta (probably closer to 4 weeks)

Most excellent. Give us just enough hype, so that immediately before midterms start, BOOM PUBLIC BETA. Failed classes, failed classes everywhere.
Ideas? Suggestions? Concerns? Bugs to be squashed? Report them on the Mantis Bugtracker!

Author of the Dyson Project and the Spire Gambit

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,237
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2012, 07:40:27 AM »
Quote
We're still 2-4 weeks away from being able to start a public beta (probably closer to 4 weeks)

Most excellent. Give us just enough hype, so that immediately before midterms start, BOOM PUBLIC BETA. Failed classes, failed classes everywhere.

Derp! Hadn't thought of that. :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline KingIsaacLinksr

  • Master Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,332
  • A Paladin Without A Crusade...
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2012, 12:00:05 PM »
Quote
We're still 2-4 weeks away from being able to start a public beta (probably closer to 4 weeks)

Most excellent. Give us just enough hype, so that immediately before midterms start, BOOM PUBLIC BETA. Failed classes, failed classes everywhere.

Derp! Hadn't thought of that. :)

For me, it looks like your going to release just as I start classes. Completely unfair if you ask me ;)
Casual reviewer with a sense of justice.
Visit the Arcen Mantis to help: https://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/
A Paladin's Blog. Long form videogame reviews focusing on mechanics and narrative analyzing. Plus other stuff. www.kingisaaclinksr.com

Offline ChristopherRC2000

  • Newbie Mark II
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2012, 03:11:57 PM »
Hi, is the game going to have the resources hidden and the players will have to find them? Or will they be readily visible, just scattered around the level? I guess the number and kind will vary depending on level?
Thanks,

 

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,237
Re: Shattered Haven Artwork Preview
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2012, 09:17:17 AM »
Hi, is the game going to have the resources hidden and the players will have to find them? Or will they be readily visible, just scattered around the level? I guess the number and kind will vary depending on level?
Thanks,

It varies in both cases -- all of this is hand-designed, so it's really up to the level designers in each case.  Out of the 90+ levels we already have, both styles are well represented. :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!