Two-fer!

Aside from Ye’ Olde Sketch Dump, I don’t post a ton of WIP. Most of what you see in these posts are my favorite lil’ gems, which are carefully curated and groomed to avoid any spoilers. I’m kind of a stickler for spoilers… according to my brother.

However, when I do post some WIP stuff, it’s usually for good reason. The creature seen above is yet another class in GREEN KNIGHT, and one of my personal favorites, actually. You may have noticed a few lines of text, along with arrows and so forth. Those are notes: they indicate areas I need to correct, stuff I need to cut out completely, sections where revisions need to be made to the base design, or areas I need to layer up and embellish even further. Kinda like… editing, ya know? At times it can be tedious trying to calibrate something perfectly to the initial vision, but now and then the process of editing and revision yields strange fruit, in the form of a better design. I fucking love those moments. It’s like finding a treasure chest, and THEN finding a second treasure chest buried UNDER the first.

Two-fer!

Not to be confused with a twofer, which (according to Wikipedia) is a cabling device used in theatrical stage lighting, which allows two stage lighting instruments to be connected to one circuit:

So… back to the explanation of the Battick.

The Battick are a unit I’ve toyed with a whole hell of a lot, and I have admit, they’re super fucking fun. They’re petite units, relatively speaking, and it’s just so damned satisfying to see their little limbs and heads getting shucked off and bouncing about mid-battle. I’ve invested a lot of polish work into ensuring the animations are rewarding to watch, and varied enough not to get stale. The lore behind their culture is fairly deep, and the Battick have some added benefits that aren’t immediately obvious.

Formations play a big part in GREEN KNIGHT, to be clear. I should probably start by stating that.

As such, switching between formations that best accommodate the scenario is strategically advantageous. Basic tactics, right? As you’d imagine, various units have places within formations that suit them better than others, but that’s true with any game that prioritizes strategy and tactical awareness. You know the staples. They’re dictated, largely, by physics and real world mechanics. Meatshields, for example, don’t hide. That kinda stuff.

But, as you might expect, I have some tricks up my sleeve, and a few innovations that have manifested themselves in my mind only in those moments when I’m almost asleep, and which have necessitated keeping a sketchbook within reach of my bed.

I’ve spent a lot of time revising my approach to a gameplay mechanic I refer to simply as ‘group-shielding’. By correctly positioning units within a formation, shielding can be amplified incrementally. It’s also visually distinctive, and manifests itself as a flickering, coruscating dome of light that encloses covered units. As a result, approaching heavily defended objectives and strongholds becomes notably easier. There are other advantages, but I’ll explain that another time, because I wanted to elaborate on the role the Battick play in all this.

One of their passive abilities is to reinforce group shielding. The advantage of having one or two Battick in a formation is negligible, overall. Having a few more than that starts to present a modest bonus, and interspersing the same number according to specific, proscribed positions can actually be incredibly beneficial.

And, if you can swing it, having a ton of the little guys enclosing your entire formation is damned near unstoppable, boasts a host of other useful abilities, and essentially supercharges the units at the center of the formation.

Seeing it in action for the first time was especially memorable, and afterward, I just sort of.. sat there, replaying the moment in my head as a double-layered diamond formation of mixed units approached an enemy redoubt and obliterated everything inside the first turn the formation was within striking distance.

On another note, I won a free order of hashbrowns today:

Jealous? They were amazing, trust me.

Halloween is just around the corner, and I have this, like… ritual, I suppose you’d call it.

Since I saw ‘As Above, So Below’ back in 2015, each year for Halloween I watch it from start to finish, with no pausing or breaks in between. Why? Mainly to keep from breaking the pace it sets. If you haven’t seen it, then I’d highly recommend it.

The best horror is, in my opinion, always based on history and real world locations. The catacombs of France, for example are very, very real. You can still tour small portions of the them, actually. The majority of those dusty corridors are far too unstable to risk much foot traffic though, and to this day people still get lost and die down there. There are some people who have made homes there, far from the light, down in the darkness, among the bones and dust.

Cults too. They love that shit.

And oddly: artists.

Some artists, apparently, favor the seclusion and pursue artwork of… uh… questionable.. er.. moral foundations. Work involving bones… and other… um, stuff.

To each their own, I guess?

I can’t imagine feeling anything but paranoia and hostility down there, personally. Certainly not creativity.

I have to say though, if I knew I was dying from cancer or something, and I didn’t have much time left, and I’d already said my goodbyes, and had had a few good months of bacon/donut appreciation… then, well… climbing down as far as I could to see what all is there actually sounds appealing.

Think of it. The further down you go, the more risk you’re taking… but you’re also delving deep into history itself. A sordid, strange history, but history no less. Imagine the artifacts down there… rusted swords, ornate coffins, dusty mirrors, broken instruments, engraved plaques…

Not to mention mysterious architecture.

I’m just saying… it’d be interesting, so long as you didn’t care about making it back out again. Now can you see why someone made a movie about the catacombs?

I’m actually adding another movie to the rotation this year: ‘The VVitch’:

It’s good. Real good. Stories of Roanoke always fascinated me as a child, and this movie is set in the same early colonial era, when religious sects occasionally had disagreements and people just split off from their communities to live alone or in small groups amid the wilderness.

Can you imagine that?

Can you imagine living in isolation, outside a community, beholden to no one and reliant on only yourself and a few others to farm enough to survive?

Stop reading this. Go watch it yourself!

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