Tumbling Apart: Then vs Now - April 25, 2018
This month will mark the second year that Tumbling Apart has been in development, and the final one before it is released on Steam. During that time, there have been highs and lows, tears of joy and frustration, and a whole lot of learning. We're at a point in the project where we’re diving into the meat of the climax, and because Tumbling Apart isn’t so much a game as an interactive story, I don’t want to give anything away by revealing any screens. What I can do, however, is show you a bit of how much Tumbling Apart has changed over the course of its life.
Disclosure: I’ve always considered myself a writer. When I began work on Tumbling Apart, I made sure to keep that priority number one. It takes a team of dozens (sometimes hundreds), to create the visuals you see in modern AAA games. That’s a remarkable achievement and a testament to what a talented group can do, but it isn’t what Tumbling Apart aims for. I kept reminding myself throughout development: You don’t have throngs of gifted artists working on this game, but it only takes one to tell a story.
You have to play to your strengths.
Keeping that in mind, visuals in games are still pretty important. Let’s be honest- if they didn’t matter, we’d never feel that hankering to play games at all and just stick with novels. I like to think of visuals as the vehicle by which immersion is facilitated in the gamer. Take a look at our old, earlier than beta title screen vs the new:
Sure, neither is going to win any awards, but the second doesn't look so... amateur. Plus, it sets the mood for player before the first line of dialogue even appears on the screen. It helps to create the tone.
Moving on, we can start to take a look at animations. Here’s a gif (or is it jiff?) from the opening scene of Tumbling Apart when graphics were just a placeholder compared to what it is after some polishing:
Again, no awards here. But the added touches in the finalized version bring just enough detail to facilitate that immersion within the player. There’s actual dust blowing, the words are no longer static, and Isaac’s hair waves in the wind as it pushes against him, threatening to drive him back. It isn’t much, but it all comes together to help that story feel just a bit more alive.
Finally, you never want to look lazy. What are you going to think if you fire up a game only to find the sprites are the exact same stock assets you’ve seen time and time again? If the devs don’t care enough to even change the basics, how much attention have they given to the narrative? Now that we are approaching the end game, we can finally work on replacing the stock character assets. Here’s a peek at the old Isaac and McKenna beside the new, created by the talented Gustavo Santos.
New Website and What's to Come - March 16, 2018
Seeing as how our old website looked like it was pulled from an internet time capsule during the high-water mark of Geocities, we're pleased (relieved, really) to have the new version live. In before any 90's kids are like "Haha! There's no way it could be that bad." Have a look for yourself:
Speaking of eyesores, those who have been following the game may have noticed that a lot our graphics up to this point have been placeholders. Thankfully, we're at a point where we can start incorporating our own art. Gustavo Santos is at the helm of our sprite work, and we're happy to have him along. He's in the midst of working on Isaac's various looks through time, and it's coming along nicely. McKenna is to follow soon, with an emphasis on clean and simple design to facilitate animations which have limited pixels to work with. In spirit with the new ideals of the website, we aren't going to fill it with old images that don't represent what the game will be upon its release. But if you're curious and want to see how the progress is going, the pics are out there. Just beware of graphical cringe.
While Tumbling Apart's focus is the narrative (and we believe it will deliver hard on that point), we still desire that the game have at least some visual flair. Ultimately, there will be thousands of hand-drawn animations and dozens of unique environments to help immerse you into something that will stick with you for quite some time. And if you've been following development you've probably heard us say that before. But there's a reason we reiterate it so much: That's the numero uno goal we've set from the get-go. Tumbling Apart is going to be one of those games that you find yourself randomly reflecting over in bed, three months after you've finished it.
In closing, let's take the opportunity to go over the various platforms where you can snag some updates. Aside from the official site (where you'll want to come back and check this blog to get the big updates, development thoughts, and "big" news), we are on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Indiedb, and Youtube. You can access all of the respective links by clicking the corresponding buttons at the top right of the page. Twitter will have the most frequent updates, for those of you interested in the minutia of the development process, but if that isn't your cup of tea, check the other portals. Subscribe to us on Youtube to keep up to date on trailers and game discussion, and to watch the occasional "how we did it" vid. Sometimes they aren't half bad :^).
Have a great day all,
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