Friday, June 18, 2010

Characters: The Chancellor

One of the most important portions of any story is the antagonist, or villain. A lot of things can make or break a good story, but a good villain of some kind is a key element. If you ask anyone to name a list of characters from a classic movie, the first two characters that usually are mentioned if the movie was done well are usually the Hero and the Villain. We like our villains to be memorable. We like them to feel threatening, comical, or maybe both. We like it when the villain makes sense. More then one villain has been ruined simply through poor writing, bad plot choices, or inconsistent character, which brings a level of challenge to putting together any villain, even if part of his character is already preconstructed by virtue of an established universe. With this in mind, I'm presenting the initial character build of SatLoA's chief villain and declaring that if there was ever a place for feedback, this should be a primary one.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Characters: Blaze the Cat

Man, all this E3 hype has kept me hopping over at The Game Critic, but I've still got time to get work in on The Underwater Hedgehog and one of my other design projects (which is coming along well and getting a lot of cool work done on it lately). I must admit, I was rather surprised that no one had anything to say about my outlines for the games music design, I was sure that would stir up some comments. Ah well, I guess that means no news is good news! Anyway, on to the character design for today!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sound Design: Music

Now I'll take another break from characters to make a small post about sound, specifically the musical genre and composition that SatLoA requires. Some may not realize how much of an impact sound design carries on any game. Much like film, music and sound effects have a large affect on how the player views the game. Scene and mood are very determined by music, and more so in a Sonic game, where music has always played a large part of the series. If SatLoA were to be a success, it would need to have good music.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Characters: Amy Rose the Hedgehog

Yep, it's time for another character design update, this time returning to the Hedgehog roots of the series with Amy Rose, the little pink hedgehog who has, kudos to Sega, moved from abject dislike to acceptance in the Sonic universe, and now even has fans. I'm not joking, here either, I seem to recall a Sonic fansite back in the wee early days of the internet that ran a poll asking fans if they were a fan of Amy with a yes or no response. Out of over 5000 responses, two admitted yes. Ouch. Since then though, Sega's given her significant redesigns and managed to improve her standing among the fans.

As usual though with my designs for SatLoA, Amy will not behave exactly like her current iteration, but rather reflect a more advanced and mature character. Much like Black Knight changed Amy to fit her role in the story, SatLoA will be doing the same.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Characters: The Thief Kings

Some of you followers may be wondering why I've been writing up some of the smaller plot-centric characters lately, and the reasons pretty simply actually. There are a lot of hedgehogs, and I was feeling that it was a little tiring when I did all three in a row. They were similar characters in  lot of respects, which is not a bad thing, but I wanted to stretch out the other characters and not get caught up in similarity of design with the hedgehog characters. Which is why today I'm tackling the most complex (programming and animation-wise) of the characters, The three-in-one character known as The Thief Kings. I'll be dead honest, no matter how "cool" they turn out, if any characters are given the axe (and it will happen) I'd give this "character" the highest likelihood of going, as they aren't heavily needed in the game and represent a high level of development complexity. Still, nothing like rounding out the character log with some really wild ideas.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Characters: Tails the Fox

Wow, it's been a full 11 days since I last managed a post on here! Sorry guys, been busy. Anyway, this time I'll be going over the character designs for none other then Tails the Fox, that classic two-tailed vulpine hailing all the way from Sonic 2 on the Sega Genesis. Now, the key difference in characterization this time around is that Tails is actually working against Sonic in this game rather then with him. As Captain of the Atlantian Air Corp, he's duty bound to obey the orders of the Chancellor, and does so throughout the game, serving as a foil to the heroes. To acknowledge this key difference, Tails is going to be a bit different this time around. Like Silver, he's going to be a lot more mature and a bit older. His design will also be much more militarized and slightly darker, as he's playing for the other side this time around.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Characters: Espio the Chameleon

Wow. It's only been six days since my last post here, but it feels like its been a lot longer. A lot longer. Anyway, after last weeks brief discussion of the visuals (which really surprised me in that there were no comments for or against the new art direction outlined)  I'm returning this week to characters, starting with a lesser known fan favorite: Espio of the Chaotix. So get ready to see how his unique style fits into the game. But first, I would like to throw out an alert. Sterling Verses, a Sonic-themed podcast, has hinted that SatLoA might come up during it's second season. If you've never heard of Sterling, give it a listen and a bit of leeway. It starts a little rough, but you can see that the crew is committed to making it work, and the show gets better and better as the season goes on. By the time they reach the first season finale, you can tell that they're getting used to the way things work and the order of the show. If you're a Sonic fan (and since you're here, I'm assuming you may be) give it a listen. Now, on with the design...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Visual Design: The Look of the World and Game

No, I'm not done with character designs, I just thought you guys might want to see a little something different. That and it's nice to do something different for a little bit. Anyway, you guys might be wondering what Visual design is, as I have already referenced the setting of the world. Visual design is the colors and graphical style that the game will use. This covers things such as the color palette of the game and levels as well as the graphic animation, modeling, textures, shading, etc. As you can probably guess, I'm not going with a style that Sonic has seen before.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Characters: Knuckles the Echidna

 Sorry it's been a few days. I've been busy with a lot of other stuff...some imperitive, some not so much (although I will say that the Halo: Reach beta offers a lot of change from the classic Halo design that I welcome). Regardless, I've been wanting to get back this as soon as possible to continue with this design. Although currently it is not quite as exciting (lets face it, I'm simply modifying characters that already exist to suit this game) as entirely new content or characters (of which Sonic has enough for now) even slight modifications can bring about some real difference, such as with my reference to Halo: Reach. Anyway, why am I talking here? I should be letting you read up on Knuckles! Oh yes, still calling for concept art if you'd like to give it a go. Oh, and if you know anyone who would be interested in this site, let them know! The more feedback I have the better! Anyway, on with the designs!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Characters: Silver the Hedgehog

Another Character Update. As soon as I get all of these out of the way I'll jump into engine and graphics and then level concepts. Of course,there are a lot of characters, so this could take a bit. I may interrupt the characters periodically with the other stuff. Your call, what do you want to see next?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Characters: Shadow the Hedgehog

Alright, for the next week or so I'll be putting up some basic character concepts, as I already start with the other day. There are a lot of characters in this design (as you may have seen with earlier posts) and as I said, expect about 1/3 of them to be cut, but that leaves me with a lot of work in the meantime. Today, I decided to jump slightly ahead in the character roster and present Shadow. There were two reasons for doing so, the first of which is that I have been spending a large amount of time thinking about how to take his character past what has already been done. Secondly, he's popular and I do not doubt that people are more curious to see how Shadow works into this then say...Tails or Silver.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Characters: Sonic the Hedgehog

Alright,  before I move onto stages themselves, I'd answer a few questions and begin putting up the chracter profiles, plot and descriptions as well as begin to flesh out the playable differences between characters. At this time, I would also like to announce that I am opening this design document to your outside assistance in the form of concept art. Those of you who don't know as much about game design may be shocked to find that games can call for literally thousands of pieces of concept art, some of which never makes a public appearance, some of which sets the tone for the games many ideas, and some that goes as far as to add new ideas that can be built into the game. I'm not an artist in the visual 'draw, paint, or sketch' category myself, the best I can do is straightforward 2D sketches, so at this point I am opening the call to SatLoA concept art. If you read through this and want to do your own design of what the Atlantian cityscape, levels, or characters may look like, feel free and post a link in the comments of the section that best applies to that art. If if gets a favorable response and fits the vision, I'll go through and begin putting it in the design doc itself (with permission of course). So those of you who have the artist itch. sharpen your pencils, ink your pen and get ready!

The World: Atlantis Overview

Well, I said that this would be soon, but this is likely sooner then you expected. But I've found myself in possession of some more free time since finals ended, so much so that I am putting up another one tonight! Anyway, as promised, you're getting a world overview of Atlantis, the kingdom in which Sonic and the Legend of Atlantis takes place in.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Plot: The Basic Prompt, Outline, Characters and Key Events

Whew! Finals are over (much to my enjoyment) and I can finally get back to work on this! Now, the question in my mind following the last post was "in what direction do I go from here?" Not in the sense that I am out of ideas by any means, but in the concept that I present a logical flow of information based on the fact that this is a blog, and the less confusing it is the better. With that in mind, I feel that the next best area of presentation is plot, as the plot not only establishes the story, it more importantly defines the world in which the game is set. The world, at this point in design, is more vital knowledge then the actual plot of the game, because we need the stage to enact the play. So expect to see an in depth world description coming soon as well. Hopefully enough is here to be clear.

Many will notice that there is a lot of content here. Fact is, I'd expect about 33% (especially characters) to get cut from the game (I'd rather not, but some would be unnecessary, and some just due to time.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Controls/Movement: Initial Concept

Yeah yeah, I've got plot, characters, all that jazz to get to, but I felt that it would first be a better idea to present the control and the movement system, especially considering the last post referenced the various modes. So here we're going to get the first explanation of how the player will control the game. The system that Sonic and the Legend of Atlantis will be using is very different from conventional games, so I will also need to explain how the controls relate to the player characters actions.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Camera System: Initial Write Up

This is the initial write-up for the camera systems to be used  by SatLoA. What will separate this system from current Sonic games (I believe) is the introduction of three separate camera systems that will flow from one to the other to improve playability. Because of the difference in the camera and how heavily it will impact gameplay (in addition to camera complaints being a common issue in Sonic games) I decided to put this up first. More on how this will be implemented will be detailed in a later post when I discuss the difference controls schemes available to the player as they will be heavily tied to the camera. Although most of you can probably guess how these will apply to the controls.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The One Sheet--Version .7

Alright, for those of you who are unfamiliar with game design, the One Sheet is a quick, summarized write up of a game design, usually entailing what the game is like, how it will play, key features, what system it is for, what market it will be aimed at and any other important details about the game. The One Sheet is also what most people first see and hear about the game. In effect, it could almost be considered a lengthy (although more technical) preview of what the game will be like. Additionally, it can be used as a quick reminder of the goals of the game during development. So of course it stands to reason that the first thing I put up here is a one sheet for SatLoA.

The Concept: Sonic and the Legend of Atlantis

Hey, I've always liked Sonic games, and growing up I used to doodle my own little Sonic adventures in the margins of my notebooks. I even used to draw levels and create basic ideas which looking back at them now, really needed some serious work. But I enjoyed it, and I kept at it. Years later, when I got serious about game design and started getting serious with it, it wasn't long before my mind asked "What could you do with a Sonic game?" I promptly told it to be quiet, but deep rooted childhood ideals don't die easily in my mind, and the ideas kept coming back, even if I didn't use them.