Eitr: 5 tools behind pixel-art action/RPG Eitr

Eitr: 5 tools behind pixel-art action/RPG Eitr

Artist David Wright discussed the tools that help to make pixel-art action/RPG Eitr.

Eitr is a great example of a clean and simple indie game with deep hardcore mechanics. Two developers from London-based Eneme Entertainment want to create a massive action/RPG with impressive battle mechanics and detailed animation. We’ve contacted David Wright – the man behind the artistic direction of the game – and discussed the tools that help to make this northern dream a reality.

Could you tell us about your team?

Eirt © eitrthegame.com, 2015

We’re a two man team from London, England. I’m in charge of Art and Game Design and my colleague Tobi Harper is my indie-duo and he is in charge of all things coding. We both have educational backgrounds in software and web development and have been making games as a hobby for a long time. We never went public with anything until Eitr.

Eitr looks amazing. When did you decide to make it and what are the main features of this project?

We were actually watching the TV Show called Vikings on the History Channel and fell in love with one of the characters – Lagertha Lothbrok (Katheryn Winnick). She’s this bad-ass Shield Maiden. We thought, “How cool would it be if there was a game centered around a character like her?”. At the time we were working on another game that we weren’t super excited about and that got sent to the hard drive shortly after and we started concepting Eitr.

You’ve got quite a list of games you were inspired by Diablo, Dark Souls, Path of Exile and Zelda. These are all first class masterpieces. How is your game similar to these products?

Eirt © eitrthegame.com, 2015

Firstly let me say that, I personally have spent 100’s of hours in each of those worlds, aside being a game developer, I’m also a very active gamer. When I played those games, I noticed a lot of things that were done exceptionally well and there are some systems within those games that I would personally love to see used more often, or blended together.

Eirt © eitrthegame.com, 2015

The most obvious thing from just taking a glance at Eitr is the sword and shield combat from Souls/Zelda, with the perspective of Diablo/PoE. This was what Eitr was at it’s core, when we first started developing it. Almost all isometric RPG I’ve played, specifically on PC, have this click to move and click to attack sort of combat system where it is more about theory crafting character builds than actual skill. This is the main thing we wanted to experiment with when making Eitr.

Could you point out the best tools that are essential for building an indie game right now?

Yeah, that’s going to be easy.

Unity 5
It’s free, it’s expandable and there’s a ton of resources available online making it easy to learn.

Adobe Photoshop/Graphics Gale
For image manipulation there’s really nothing better than Adobe Photoshop. Some people prefer to use other tools for pixel art like Graphics Gale, which is great too. The choice really is down to what you’re doing – if you’re working with a limited color palette and going for 16-bit perfection, go for Graphics Gale instead, otherwise I’d recommend Photoshop.

Texture Packer
This will significantly lower the time it takes to make Sprite Sheets and help keep everything organized.

Seriously, Google is your best friend when it comes to game creation! I cannot stress this enough, when you have a problem, go to Google. See that little “Help” button in the software you’re using? Yeah forget that, go to Google.

If you’re making a pixel-art game, chances are you’re going to want to show people some GIF’s! VirtualDub is a great tool for converting video’s into GIF’s whilst minimizing quality loss.

Honestly, we really don’t use that much software. Eitr is mostly just being made in Unity and Photoshop for 99% of tasks. There are some rare circumstances where we’ll find ourselves for example, using Maya to create a 3D asset, and then using FRAPS to capture and export images, but things like these really aren’t essential.

Why pixel art?

Eirt © eitrthegame.com, 2015

Well we love it! Honestly at first it was simply because we thought we could save a lot of time, being only a two man team and only one of us working on art. If we were to do anything else, the task becomes much bigger, we don’t want the game to be short and we want there to be a decent variety of environments, enemies and assets. I’m very happy with where the art is going now. I’m starting to find my own style with the whole pixel art thing.

Tell us a little bit about your funding?

We’ve actually signed a publishing deal with a well known publisher. Just waiting for our chance at a big announcement. Ask me again at E3.

How do you test the game?

Eirt © eitrthegame.com, 2015

We personally play it and have some friends play it, we’re going to be expanding the amount of players to test the game as we move forward. Don’t worry, I’ll get you guys involved soon!

What are your plans for the release? What platforms are you aiming at, what distribution channels would you like to use?

At this moment Eitr is confirmed for Steam on PC / Mac / Linux.

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    Eitr: pixel-art blend of Diablo and Dark Souls