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:: Coming up with the characters for Rush Bros. (Our First Foray Onto Steam) seemed easy.
"So they're brother's right? What else do we need?"
"I guess... Let's put it in a generic fantasy setting."
"Yes. They're adventurer brothers!"
"Wait. How do you explain that one of them falling into spikes is OK with the other?"
"Well they're competing to see who is the best!"
"But they're BROTHERS. That's beyond mean."
"Well... They can't die because it's a video game and they understand this."
"How? They broke the fourth wall?"
The motivators weren't enough.
The characters didn't have enough back story.
We were originally going with the "Nonchalant Back-story That Won't be Explained" style solution:
"Man! Good thing we're indestructible!"
"I know right!"
Then later during a boss fight:
"OH NO! Dad's indestructibility serum isn't working around this guy!"
"What do you figure?"
"Well best estimate is we have about 10 lives between the two of us."
"10 huh? That's a nice round number."
"I bet we can kick this guy's butt in just ONE EACH!"
Was it too much information? Too little? Just right? Everybody was in disagreement.
We won't lie. There were shouting matches...
But then we started thinking about the musical score, how it was all chip-tunes...
Then the idea came to us: What if we threw in some dub step and other DJ-ish songs?
Then it came to us: An all dub-step/chip-tune soundtrack, and we'll have the brothers be DJs.
DJs existing inside a computerized world.
All at once the visual aesthetic fell into place.
No longer were floating platforms something hard to explain.
The fact that dying wasn't really a problem to them any more made sense.
We could use more bright colors and less nature-ish colors (and WAY less brown) and get away with it.
And we could simplify the character designs to include Goggles (because Goggles are cool).
As an added bonus: Bosses and achievements based on Internet Memes suddenly made WAY more sense...
Here's an example of the original character designs we were leaning toward so you can see how dramatic the change was:
Obviously they've gone through a massive change here to something that's more stream-lined, more line-arty, more usable all-around as video game characters and less generic.
We aren't done yet. There's a lot more art to do (about 9000 frames of animation in all) but we promise our lead (and right now our only) artist (Ian Boswell) is on the case!
The programming team is going to get things moving in October and the art and code should be finalized IN-TANDEM thanks to Ian's awesome 2D games experience & technical art skills (as well as our programming team's awesome abilities to follow an artists orders to the T) to have the game Steam Ready sometime in December 2011 or July 2012!
Are you excited yet? Because we sure are!
Be sure to subscribe and follow us here and on Myxyla.com for more info and updates as they're released!
~ Xyla Entertainments