1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Greetings Guest!!

    In order to combat SPAM on the forums, all users are required to have a minimum of 2 posts before they can submit links in any post or thread.

    Dismiss Notice

Saphireena's new game is live!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Saphireena, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    12
    Y'all know how passionate and attached I've felt to the animals and creatures in Ultima Online. How many times I've raved on about their endearingly-cute-and-yet-completely-unaware-of-it style that we haven't seen in the new UO animals for a loooong time. Well it was that essence that I wanted to capture as I made the animals for the game we at the Helsinki studio of Digital Chocolate just released this week. May I present:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A Facebook social game for players of all ages. Simple enough for kids, but visually chic enough to appeal to adults as well. None of that in-yer-face corny humor that you will see patronizing you in other Facebook games.

    One of the coolest things about our game was the feminine touch it had from the start. We started out with only 1 game designer (female), 1 artist (me, another female), 1 programmer, our producer and PM. So it was a woman behind the design and concept of the game (basing it of course on what has proven to be a hit with players already) and a woman laying down the foundations for the visual style. Later the team grew quickly as we started to realize that this is going to be good. Very good.

    All in all we had 4 artists in the end and tasks were divided. I worked on all the animals, the professor dude leaning on the tutorial popups, about half of the decorations (trees, fences, jeeps, tents, ponds and some of the more delicate vegetation) (more to come obviously as we work further on the game).

    However the avatars, avatar clothing, user interface, effects, other decorations, background scenery etc were made by our 3 other artists. I think the avatar system is one of the coolest ones I've seen in any of the Facebook games. For once I actually feel like customizing my character! And they did an awesome job on the user interface as well. I love how gratifying everything feels to click and interact with. Really really polished and solid!

    So far everyone is having a blast decorating their safaris and it will only get better as we get more items into the game. Right now we have 20 animals but obviously we'll have more and more of those as well. Looking forward to starting to work on them!

    If you're interested in giving it a whirl, go here. And if there's any feedback you'd like to give ol' Saph, you can either send me an IM here in Stratics or post it up on the game's own home page.
     
  2. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    YES! We needed another "raise some dumb animals" game on Facebook! THANK YOU SAPHIREENA FOR FILLING A NICHE that for too long has been completely empty.


    No wait...
     
  3. five oclock

    five oclock Guest

    Hey Aran...ya know I don't consider a post a post UNLESS you insult it in one way or another. Thats like the greatest honor. Having one of your insults in it :p thats all

    Now back to the topic. I think its great. Will I play it probally not, BUT I know a few people who probally would. Im also jelous too for there are people who BUY the stuff thats for sale in those free games. Its a BIG business now. Im jelous I didn't think of that 5 years ago.

    so aye the game looks pretty good. I wish you nothing but the best of luck...
     
  4. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    Out.
     
  5. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    12
    Aran: Actually when we started developing this game, there weren't any "raise animal" games yet. (You don't just make a game like this overnight) Back then it was just the farming games and they were very much about planting crops back then. The whole concept started with us talking about "Hey, let's make a game like country story, but with animals instead of crops!".

    So you can imagine how frustrating and heart breaking it's been to see like a zillion similar animal games popping up in the last months. Not that the idea is all that original to begin with, mind you. So fair enough :).

    five oclock: Thank you for the words of support and nice wishes. Yeah I remember when these facebook games started showing up (if you can even call them games). They were nothing more than an irritance to me with all the spam they generated. So my daily tasks in Facebook were to block all the new apps being requested, left and right. Block block delete block. I couldn't BELIEVE people were actually investing real money in them.

    That was until we were told at work to start playing them and suddenly I found myself quite addicted to Zynga's Café World. As much as I tried to fight the lunacy of logging on and doing something so useless and time wasting, I kept on returning and started to analyze why. Well it's just like crafting in UO or grinding in WoW - it's brainless and relaxing. It sort of forces your brain into taking a break and by the time you've done your little session, you feel refreshed. There has to be some reason millions upon millions of people are so addicted to these, and my guess that this is one of the reasons.
     
  6. Kiminality

    Kiminality Guest

    So, it's kind of like most of your posts, then.
    Only most likely more entertaining.
     
  7. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    Must have taken you forever to get it to this buggy stage then, since games where you raise animals have been out for ages.
     
  8. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    You love me.
     
  9. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    12
    Thank you for generating so much attention to this thread with raising the post counts Aran. That's money in our pockets! *beams*
     
  10. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    Just from my personal perspective...
    A bit over-board on the cuteness. Bit too much pastel A bit too cartoonish. The avatars are more guilty of this than the actual animals.
    I like how, for the most part, you didn't force "cuteness" on the animals but just drew them as they are, which naturally results in them looking cute.
    (side note: never force a "smile" on an animal to make it "cuter")

    Can't say for sure since I can't see it, but black edges might have done a good deal to reduce the overall plushy look.
     
  11. Tiny Dancer

    Tiny Dancer Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    3
    Wow Saph, I am actually tempted to play this which says a lot cause I despise facebook games!

    The animals look adorable and I love them! Great job to all the people who worked on that.
     
  12. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    But I'm telling you it's crap. :(
     
  13. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    I don't and won't do Facebook or other "social networking" places because of personal preferences. But that aside I gotta say it does look good and based on your thread on graphics way back I know it's stellar effort by all. Keep going.

    As for Aran, I consider him an irritant like fleas, ticks and cockroaches. Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done to alleviate it.
     
  14. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    12
    Stupid Miner: Oh I agree with you 10000000% on the "never make an animal smile to force cuteness" thing. That's exactly what irritates me about so many of those games. Argh!

    As for the colors and cartoony levels, well the game is super casual, super simple and very family friendly so we were intentionally aiming for that look. Something that perhaps doesn't come across from viewing these scaled down screenshots alone. So no, it's not meant to be a game based on realism.

    Everything has stroked edges, but they are not black, instead darker shades of the fill in color. Black looked too harsh - and actually would have made it look even more cartoony. Using a darker shade to match the fill takes a step closer to something more subtle and realistic.

    Again, it's understandable that from viewing the scaled down screenies alone, one might not be able to get a clear picture. Once you play the game it all makes more sense.

    Tiny Dancer: Thanks! And that's very flattering coming from a person who hates Facebook games hehe.

    Beer_Cayse: Heheh no worries. Did you see how his face turned purple and grouchy?

    Aran is not amused.

    I on the other hand, am.
     
  15. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    Why aren't you in IRC so I can abuse you in real-time?
     
  16. Kiminality

    Kiminality Guest

    You might just be onto something there.
    But, then, no matter where I go, I always seem to have to remind you of the relevant rules.
    http://vboards.stratics.com/faq.php
    Let's start with A-D, for the time being, shall we?
     
  17. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    I don't see any of those rules being broken here Kimi. Go back to your animes.
     
  18. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    12
    Aran I understand that this obsession you have with me may get a little frustrating, especially considering the fact that I keep on rejecting your friend requests in Facebook - but is this really the right place?
     
  19. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    Uh... what?
     
  20. Sawo

    Sawo Visitor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2001
    Messages:
    3,521
    Likes Received:
    0
    aran... do you have a facebook account?
     
  21. canary

    canary Guest

    Ehn, I think the game is cute as heck. Its pretty fun, imo.
     
  22. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    Of course I do.
     
  23. Sawo

    Sawo Visitor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2001
    Messages:
    3,521
    Likes Received:
    0
    i am so sorry
     
  24. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    for Aran or Facebook population? <makes side bet on which answer is correct>
     
  25. Sawo

    Sawo Visitor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2001
    Messages:
    3,521
    Likes Received:
    0
    Both wrong! Im sorry because I asked.

    Now give me your moola!
     
  26. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    <hands over 4 quatloo and 15 dinar plus a rusty Katana>

    Here ... and no squawking ... it's what the bet was.
     
  27. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    12
    Our latest game which I've been working on is Gangs of Boomtown.

    https://www.facebook.com/gangsofboomtown

    My tasks included in game characters where are vector and animated in Flash:
    http://andrea.net/flash/animations_before_and_after.swf
    We had a trainee helping me out, but some of the work needed improving later on after she'd left (the after versions are mine). So this was used a sample of iteration, something which is a normal process of production.

    I've also made some of the bitmap house decos. We modeled them first in Google SketchUp, rendered them in all 4 directions and hand painted in all the textures etc with aid of smart objects and masks:

    [​IMG]

    If you like Spaghetti Westerns and enjoy Facebook games, you might just enjoy this. (also on Google+)
     
  28. Sauteed Onion

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    512
    Totally off topic, but can I haz some jelly beans? Meow!