5th June 2019 – David
“Cutscenes can be made in so many different ways, which affect the mood, the tension, and the expectation of the player.”
I love in-game cinematics. I love that feeling when you start up a brand new game, the intro scene loads in and you are introduced to the characters, the world, the enemy. They can be done in so many different ways, which affect the mood, the tension, and the expectation of the player.
The animation, art style, lighting, camera angles, story narration, musical score and a myriad of other important aspects, all combine to create a new world for us, the player, to immerse ourselves in and, if done well, can be breathtaking. A great game married to a great story is what every games studio is striving for.
Now, obviously, I am talking about AAA titles with massive budgets and huge teams of artists and programmers working on them, like World of Warcraft, for example.
So, how do you try and build an atmosphere for a game that has little to no budget, just the dedication and effort of a handful of people? In my experience on, “Dwarves of Glistenveld”, it is a tricky, but ultimately satisfying, business.
When I first joined the Nysko team I remember Martyn saying to me, “Do you fancy doing a few drawings for our cut-scenes?”
“Sure.” Was my innocent reply. Martyn showed me the story board he had come up with and I set about recreating this in a manner that I thought would suit the style and tone of the game.
And that was that……oh wait, no, that was not that.
The task of tying together the art I had done with the story narration and music that Chris had done, was given to Steven (Huckle, our illustrious mentor here at “The Games Hub”)
There were problems. The story was too long to fit with the amount of visuals we had. The player would become bored of looking at the same piece of art whilst the story was told. Parts of the narration needed to be cut out and more art was needed to keep the flow of the story interesting.
Normally when I create an illustration, I flatten out the layers to make the file size smaller and this is a habit that hindered the cut scene creation. Much to Steven’s annoyance, areas of an image that he would like to move or animate were not on a separate layer. I had to go back in and make images in layers, whilst filling in the background behind. A rookie error I won’t be making again! “Layers, layers, layers”, my new mantra.
Over time, the cut scenes have become more streamlined, visually more interesting and flow much better. There were many discussions, compromises, iterations, re-works and additional content created.
However, all this hard work is paying off. The Dwarves of Glistenveld definitely has it’s own visual style. The limitations of our budget have made us focus on a style we can achieve, that works really well.
I am really excited for you all to play the game and see what we have come up with!
David – Lead Artist