A duo of developers is working hard on a hand-painted co-operative platformer for PC and consoles.
Yonder is a new interactive game project, developed by tiny two-man team, which includes two devs Johan and André. Together they program and draw ‘a two-dimensional adventure game with the emphasis on cooperative interaction’. André has very little experience with programming, so Unity was too much of a challenge for him, so instead he decided to use Construct 2.
The most interesting part of Yonder so far is the art style. The game features some stunning visuals. Everything here is done by hand in Photoshop with as little reusing of assets ad possible. This makes every frame stand out on its own, making it look like a living piece of concept art. Here’s how the developers describe their art-production.
After we had decided on a style, we started roughly sketching out the entire game which mostly consisted of doodles and notes. This helped us finalize some of our harder decisions regarding story and the overall player journey. The most time consuming parts of creating layouts for us are interactions and story events. When complications occur, whatever they may be, we find it is best to move on to a different part in the process as to not get stuck and return to the issue another time.
Another time trap is Photoshop document structure. Keeping our documents tidy really helps save time. Since we are working with a lot of layers it can easily get messy if we don’t organize. Creating a place-holder document with groups, layers, names and overall structure setup is a good way to streamline things.
After preparations are made, we start extending on what we have from our colour script and earlier layouts. When we don’t have a clear image of an environment, it helps dropping in references or textures to create a collage for inspiration purposes. Whatever tool or shortcut that can speed things up, within limits as to not affect the quality, we try to use it. This is also the part where we drop in shapes that we created earlier during our pre-production. It’s basically a matter of filling in blanks and trying to keep in mind shapes and framing.
When everything is sketched out, it is all finally ready to be coloured. We tend to work a lot with masks so that it is easier to change or tweak colours. Colouring is probably the quickest part of creating the environments since we already have the colours picked out from pre-production. Although final changes will be made to fit adjacent layouts.
And last but not least is time management. It is vital to always have a bird’s-eye view of a project so that it does not grow too big in terms of time and scope.
We have no idea when the game will be released, but it seems like the development is going strong. The devlogs are being updated regularly and we’re seeing more and more gorgeous images released every month. Let’s pray for a successful start in 2017.