Labor of Love

The Sword of Storms.

…he’s a character from GREEN KNIGHT, a PSVR title I’ve been lovingly doting on for awhile now. He has eight arms, and perambulates around via a two-legged, armored shell of gold and silver. He doesn’t talk much, but he’s a jolly, gleeful spirit with an ever-changing array of weaponry. The full sized version is here.

He’s a fun unit to use. What you’re seeing today is some concept art I started for him awhile back, but as usual, I was impatient and jumped to the modelling phase without ever actually finishing the concept.

Sorry, Jay. You taught me better. You really did.

I wouldn’t want to know how many brush strokes went into the Sword of Storm’s creation, but it’s a lot. I would guess… somewhere over a hundred thousand, but that includes all eight weapons pictured, his chassis, plus some other tidbits.

A labor of love, yo.

In the mornings I eat scrambled eggs as I start working, and the view out the window never fails to brighten my spirits. This time of year, insects whiz past, occasionally stopping to rest on the mesh storm window, or to fight each other. It’s a violent, chaotic world.

But it’s our world.

And it really is beautiful.

While I’m working I often listen to those bizarre binaural beats tracks on YouTube. They’re apparently supposed to enhance cognition, improve memory, release serotonin, some even claim to “repair DNA”.

Imagine that. Music. Repairing your very DNA.

Mm.

I uh, think… the soft tones and lack of lyrics simply encourage clarity and peace of mind. They’re calming, you know?

One of the challenges to attempting to make a truly great game is, in my opinion, learning the lessons taught by it’s contemporaries, setting your sights even higher, and then *reaching* that goal.

That’s the best way to pay homage, isn’t it? To learn from the best, and then aim even higher?

In GREEN KNIGHT, I’ve pioneered a new mechanic that’s several steps beyond traditional tile-awareness. What do I mean by tile-awareness? I mean an awareness of the reach of an enemy in terms of a tile value: “I’m going to ignore that enemy because he’s eleven tiles away right now.” Of course, the term could be applied to anything on the map, really. Buildings, chests, hazards, cover, you name it.

There’s a great challenge in building something that sucks people in and draws all their focus and concentration. You have to really dig deep, and eventually you find yourself squatting amid this buzzing, complicated orchestra of interlocking mechanics that have to play nice together and can’t (initially) be overwhelming.

Sometimes, when I think of being closer to releasing this monstrosity, I get a giant developer boner at the thought of players cursing my name and trying to figure out ways to break the formula. I want to see what people come up with, and then I want to iterate on each lesson learned. I can’t say I’ve ever had an interest in crafting a kiddy ride, but I hope the majority of folks find it within themselves to keep experimenting and tinkering around.

That’s the fun, right? Finding your own approach, and then carving your victory from the bloodied cadavers of your foes?

In the game, under ideal circumstances, platforms powered by arcane forces can be harnessed to whisk your units to different parts of the battlefield. However, in less ideal circumstances, they may take longer to reach you, or they may be blocked, frozen, or otherwise hindered. They may even have to drill up through the ground beneath your unit to reach them.

So, does that effect your strategy if you’re counting on retreating or staying mobile?

I hope so, for your sake.

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