Hi, I'm Blake. my big project is a tower defence game called 'Forgive Me My Henchmen'. you play as a typical head 'bad guy', deploying henchmen and sabotaging a building to delay an unstoppable one-man army.
It’s been a great month! I didn’t finish the trailer but I still made a ton of forward progress - perhaps because of my trailer goal.
It is only when you are working on a trailer that you finally realize that there are 80,000 things to be done before your game becomes presentable, haha. For me, this included:
- putting all the sprites into the project.
- improving the nunchuk animations (I did this by studying Bruce Lee videos).
- drawing out the ol ‘vigilante jumps out of the window then swings into the floor below’ animation.
- putting in the hit impact animation.
- Adding the smoke effect.
- Getting one of my artists (Jonatan) to create dirt! I didn’t know it was possible to make dirt look cool, yet he did. I love this guy!
Check out this video - it should show, for example, the smoke effect, new henchmen sprites, and the hit impact animation - pretty snazzy eh?
On another positive note, this month I commissioned two new people for the trailer. The first was a voice actor with a voice so rugged I wanted to take it on a camping trip. I found him through voicebunny, and he did a great job. Only cost me $60 as well. Thanks to this guy, my trailer will be leaking testosterone.
The second was an artist I commissioned for some images (done in a different art style) I need for the trailer’s beginning. He worked faster than a rocket propelled ostrich and created some really dark, gritty images that I think will be perfect in setting the trailer’s tone.
To prepare to make the trailer, a few weeks ago I brainstormed a whole list of scenes from the game that I thought would be cool to show. What has kept me busy the past few days is capturing these as gameplay footage. It can be a bit tedious at times, but it is progressing nicely.
One of the main things that is going to stop me moving forward at the moment is that I still haven’t decided what music to use for the trailer. I like the idea of an upbeat, strong rhythmic track because it will capture the intensity and ‘forward-motion’ of the action. The best songs I’ve found so far have been from Kevin MacLeod and Matt McFarland. What’s awesome about these tracks is that all of them are both free and royalty free. That being said, I am worried that a lot of the tracks sound too ‘trancy’ for this trailer - as a consequence, instead of buying the game, people might just buy glow-sticks.
Perhaps the music will be from my current short list, but perhaps it will be from a new site. I would prefer free (if possible) BUT I wouldn’t mind forking over a few bucks if it means I can get something that’s perfect. Choosing a great track will be my priority for the next few days...any tips or suggestions?
Then will come the beastly process of putting this all together...I am going to try using Openshot video editor for this: it is open source and seems easy enough to use. Let’s hope it’s foolproof! If so, then I should be okay, haha.
Self-depreciation aside, I am happy about this month. I did not achieve all I hoped to, that being said, I accomplished a lot of things that absolutely had to be done and were bound to take a ton of time and my trailer - and my game - will be better for it.
Follow the game's development on twitter (@FMMHenchmen), on facebook, or follow me on twitter @BlakeMcDeezy
Here are two of the six images I got commissioned for the trailer. If they were any cooler, I would use them as air conditioning. Thanks to jinsworld!
I am working on creating my trailer, so recently had to commission an artist to draw some images that the trailer will need. I created an ad, got a decent number of responses, then had to decide who I would use.
I wanted to make a quick blog entry explaining why one of the most important factors I based my decision on was the artist’s ‘trustworthiness’, and how the artist managed to come across as trustworthy. I can’t speak on behalf of all who commission artists, but hopefully, writing this will especially help those artists who have a ton of skill and act professionally, but aren’t necessarily standing out in the market in the way they deserve to.
From the offset, the artist made an effort to establish his trustworthiness. When he first wrote to me, he even described himself as a ‘reliable and versatile’ and provided the link to his website. On his website was not only his portfolio, but also a ton of positive reviews that he had received from previous clients. I can’t stress enough how important these testimonials were to me.
For me, one of the biggest fears that I have when doing business via the internet is that I’ll be ripped off. Either I’ll pay the artist and they end up being like Patrick Swayze and GHOST or that they will be difficult to work with. For those reasons, building trust is so important when doing business online. When a ton of clients write on someone’s site saying how awesome that they are to work with and how they can be relied upon to come through, the risk I’ll be ripped off or be dealing with an unprofessional feels waaaaaaay smaller. Simply put, in my opinion, collecting and displaying positive testimonials from previous and satisfied clients builds trust.
Another thing that builds trust is when an artist (eventually) uses their actual name. I know it is not safe to overshare one’s personal information on the internet, but when you have been calling someone ‘Generic Designs’ or something similar for days/weeks, you don’t know what country they live in, you don’t know if they have a face, you don’t even know if they actually exist - when that happens you wonder why they are being so secretive, and consequently, what they are trying to hide.
I am not saying this is logical (it would be incredibly easy for someone to create a scam profile), BUT I am saying that this is what goes through my (and likely many others) heads. I don’t need to know someone’s life story about them to be able to trust them, but I do need to know that I’m dealing with a person and not a nameless, faceless, locationless entity. The more ‘human’ someone comes across as, the more one trusts them. That is why even companies make an effort to have a personality as opposed to being seen as cold, emotionless, impersonal institutions.
When I was faced with choosing an artist, it was the one who provided EVIDENCE that I could actually rely on them to do a great job - in the above ways - who got the nod of approval.
So all in all, find a way to signal to potential clients that they can trust you. I think testimonials and sharing (but not oversharing) some basic information can be a great way to do that. More importantly though, be trustworthy! If you are trustworthy, and end up signalling it effectively, then you definitely deserve all the great business that will come your way. (If, however, you are a scam artist who reads this to try and figure out how you can scam more effectively, then I hope you get a papercut you swine!)
Before I actually create the trailer in reality, I knew I needed to create it in my head. In my (ever so bulbous) head I have a clear idea of what it will look like, sound like, and why. I wanted to talk about the creation process, and why I’ll be doing what I’m doing. Hopefully, it will all work out.
One of the biggest things to get across was that this game is that it is a twist on action films. I felt that the best way to show this would be to create a ten-fifteen second prelude at the beginning, setting up that premise.
Ideally, this misdirection will capture attention as well as set up the premise, so that when I start showing the gameplay footage, people have a clear idea of what this game is about and why it is different. Hopefully, people will also find this misdirection humourous.
I have already taken steps to creating the prelude.
The second thing I needed to do was find an artist. This I did on reddit. Another time, I will blog about the issues I encountered trying to find an artist this way (my fault), but all in all, it’s been a positive experience and I think I found someone who will be great for this. I had quite a few applicants (about 4 were reeeeeeaaaallly good), so I think why I ended up choosing the one I did will make another good blog entry (and I will try to do this sometime).
But yeah, all in all, things are moving forward. Soon I should be able to start recording the gameplay footage that goes into the trailer. Wish me luck!
This month, the big mission is to create a trailer.
Because this game parodies action movies, I have been looking at 80s action movie trailers for inspiration. Today I watched the trailers for Bloodsport (1988), Cobra (1986), Commando (1985), Die Hard (1988), Missing in Action (1984), Rambo 3 (1988), Robocop (1987) and Predator (1987). I watched each trailer...TWICE!
What this whole experience taught me is that they don’t do bad-ass lines like they used to: