Category Archives: sketches

Roger steel world: meet Roger Steel!

rogersteel

Taking a break from PSCD characters intro to introduce nonetheless than Roger Steel himself!!! 🙂

Introducing Roger Steel… Explorer. Spy. Legend. Pawn.

When Ann and Arthur are ambushed at a remote temple, the surviving sibling and their friends are rescued by a handsome stranger in the middle of a mission of his own. Little do they know it is Roger Steel himself, whose adventures real and ‘enhanced’ are broadcast across the British Empire as part of its 20th century quest to maintain global order and confidence in its rule in these troubled times.

In books and movies Steel’s adventures have been chronicled and mythologized so much it is hard to separate man from legend. But the real Roger Steel is very human indeed, and when in a rash act of kindness he intervenes that ill-fated day, his duty to a ruthless Empire and his human inclinations are set on a collision course.

But unbeknownst to him, in the corridors of power in London, his mission has already taken a darker turn. With the endgame in sight, as with all pawns, the day might soon come when it is easier to remove him permanently from the board than keep him in the game.

Update about Seasons Of The Wolf

If you follow the game development in my forums, you know the mess I managed to make last week 😀 In practice I wanted to use the new Ren’Py, then found out the saves weren’t compatible because of a variable, I changed it, meanwhile Ren’Py coder kindly had fixed that on the framework-side, but was too late. And I even managed to run the auto-updater stopping it in half, so I had a mixed version (part old, part new Ren’Py)!!

In short: a giant mess. I can load some savegames but other won’t work, and the safest thing is to start again the game from scratch… even if is normal during such early beta testing to lose access to old saves, every time it happens I’m angry at myself.

Luckily the testers are very supportive and accept it without drama. Well, almost 😉 I heard some started drinking after the 7th consecutive playthrough from scratch…

Jokes apart, I am still going on with the game. Admire a portrait of a Kraken below:

kraken

I am coding ACT4 right now, even if ACT3 is still not playable because I need the tileset (won’t go in more details to avoid spoilers for those who never played it). So as fun as it might seem, considering the tileset won’t be ready before 1-2 weeks at least, I might be done with ACT4 before ACT3! It’s not bad though, since means I’m not losing any time.

jealousy2
During act3 you can also do all the romance talks, including some funny jealousy scenes!

If all goes well the full game (still in beta though) could be done by end of month. But when was last time that “everything went as planned”? Hmm…I can’t remember 😀

Roger steel world: meet Arthur

arthur

Time for another character from Roger Steel world. Please note that all those images are still work in progress: for example we’re thinking to make Arthur’s hair light brown to match Ann’s. His “devilish look” will still remain though 😀

Introducing Arthur

Up until now, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Roger Steel is a yuri title given that all the characters we’ve introduced so far have been women (not that there’s anything wrong with that!); but you’d be mistaken as our next character attests.

Arthur is a rather outgoing fellow who’s probably a bit too clever for his own good, especially with his tongue (and get your minds out of the gutter right now: that is not what I meant!). Along with his partner in crime, Neville, genius inventor whom we’ll meet in a couple of weeks or so, Arthur is something of a whiz with gadgets, although you, his esteemed players, might prefer to develop his sharpshooting, archery, martial arts, or sundry other non-combat skills.

Whether Arthur indulges in romance or simply becomes the star of his very own action buddy movie VN-TBS RPG, is up to you; as is whether he treats the rescue of his sister as a true coming-of-age, or simply a great excuse for a damn good time with lots of handsome gents and lovely ladies to party with during those long evenings camping beneath the stars in the wilderness.

Seasons Of The Wolf update

Work on SOTW continues, last week I finally had the last missing images for Dingirra, like the big Arena:

newarena

And the artist who was busy with another project now can resume working on this, he’s currently doing the 3rd Act tileset (won’t be more specific for people who didn’t play the game yet to avoid spoilers!).

Another big new feature was the improved AI, which gave me a whole new array of possibilities to make the player think “wow this computer opponent could even seem smart sometimes!” 😀

newAI

Currently coding battles against Ghosts and Wraiths, Zombies and Liches, and so on. (the background on the battle screen above is temporary obviously).

While I cannot give any estimate yet, also because a lot of art is still missing, I’m guessing that could be done with Act3 for end of September 🙂 I also have two new games approved on Steam (Roommates and Bionic Heart 2) so adding them to the portal will take some time too!

One last thing, do you remember that preview image I posted last week? still not announcing the game officially but I’m facing a tough choice. More info and a poll in my forums: http://winterwolves.net/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=3418

Roger Steel world: meet Christina

christina

Time for another Roger Steel post! SOTW act 2 will come 99.99% tomorrow, meanwhile enjoy this new character art and introduction:

“Sidekicks are problematic characters. Too strong and they risk overshadowing the heroine or hero. Too weak, and you wonder why the protagonist bothers to have them tag along. (Multiply them by 8, and you might have some idea why Roger Steel is taking so long to develop!) Include in the ensemble, the eponymous Roger Steel who is the de facto head of the expedition (whether he remains the leader of the expedition is up to you to decide!), and you have a dense network of personal dynamics to juggle while attempting not to lose track of the story itself.

Personalities, skills, and worldviews all need to complement each other and hopefully add to the thematic resonance of the work itself. If we look around at our friends and lovers, we often find that they provide something we perceive as lacking in ourselves. They ‘complete us’, as the adage goes.

In Roger Steel and the Human Element, Ann and Arthur are overtaken by adventure whilst vacationing with their old friends, siblings Christina and Neville. As friends, the foursome know each other well even though they have spent a lot of time apart. Playing as Ann or Arthur, your relationship with your two friends will determine the whole mood of the story.

As anyone who has observed people for any length of time will attest, men and women relate to each other differently, no matter whether they are straight, gay, lesbian, or transgender. Equally, the relationships the player experiences with Christina and Neville will be different playing as Ann or Arthur, and straight, lesbian, or gay (or indeed entirely platonic). This is not a game where the only difference between the conversations you make as Ann or Arthur is the name accompanying the dialogue.

When writing Christina, I had to ensure that she is flexible enough to relate to realistically to all the dialogue and game choices available to the player, whilst retaining her own personality. I wanted her to have a quiet strength and dignity that would withstand the worst of Ann’s or Arthur’s behaviour whilst being open to developing a relationship with either of them in new and unexpected ways.

Christina has her own unique skills as a field medic and voice of reason and temperance. She is strong enough not to be overwhelmed by the hard-driving company she finds herself in, even though her self-confidence is not very deep. It takes some grit and determination to appear in public with her prosthetic leg, let alone adventure with it in places even the able-bodied might fear to go, and I think that the artist has captured a lot of Christina’s personality in his rendering.

I hope her open face and beautiful green eyes (not to mention that finely crafted mechanical leg!) will invite you to learn more about her as you explore the world of Roger Steel and unearth the dark secrets that lie therein.”

Roger Steel world: meet Ann

ann

Above you see Ann in full color and some preliminary sketches done by the artist 🙂 This week, a guest post by Roger Steel’s writer himself:

“Greetings, patient Roger Steel fans! Civilizations have fallen; continents have collided; the sun’s a little dimmer … or maybe it’s just my eyes. Yes, it’s been a while since my last appearance, I know, and for that I humbly apologize. But in the void, things are stirring. Progress is being made. The chronicling continues… but such is the nature of game development that, even as I write, Roger and the gang are being brought to life in another way – the artwork has begun!

It’s been a strange experience, the last few weeks, seeing characters that have only been resident in the musty confines of my imagination (believe me, there’s a lot of rubbish in there, and the light’s not too good…) for the last ‘few’ months being brought to life in another medium. A bit like the transition from book to film, seeing Ann emerge from words on a page to pixels into her full-colour glory has been an exercise in managing expectations. But the results are here, and they are great.

Ann is a complex character, and made more so by the need to have her develop over the course of her adventure with Roger Steel and the gang according to her player’s vision. (The same goes for Arthur, of course, but he will have his day in the sun another time.) Whether she develops as a tough-as-nails leader with a sarcastic streak or as an easy-going girl who is content to hang out as Roger Steel’s trusty lieutenant – whether you see Ann as your protégé or as your avatar – her portrait will have to resonate as true to your reading of her character.

In this respect, I think the artist has done a great job. The Ann he has brought to life shows just the right amount of resolution and vulnerability that players will recognize something of their Ann whatever particular conversational, skill, and plot choices they make when developing her character over the course of the adventure.

She is not the Ann that was in my head while writing her adventures, but in many ways it is a better realization of her than I could have hoped for. When I open her picture, she looks at me directly, her own woman: strong enough to tackle the perils that lie ahead, to open her heart to any of the people she will be traveling with, or simply get the job done without any romantic distractions at all – just rescue her idiot brother and hope none of this gets back to her parents before their return to India.

I hope you too, her potential player, will see aspects in her portrait of the character you envisage playing, and help define the memorable adventures you will experience together.”

I just want to add that, as you have noticed already, this time the characters use a “full rendering” technique. Something I’ve never tried in my other games before, but the results so far are great. Is time to experiment with new art styles, writing, and games! 🙂 Stay tuned, the plan is to give a new character preview each week, though some week could talk also about SOTW and other stuff.

Next week you have a meeting with Nicole

Nicole_OPver2.mkv_snapshot_00.18_[2013.10.09_17.12.02]
A screenshot taken from the game trailer. Apologize for the blurriness 😉

Yes you heard it well, next week (weekend probably) you have a meeting with a certain Nicole! Those are bold words, I know, but if I check the project status:

  • all writing completed: check
  • all texts proofread: almost (Sarah is checking them this weekend but she’s basically done)
  • all art done: check
  • all music ready: check
  • all GUI/icons done: only a few gift items are missing, but is not a problem, I can start the beta anyway even with temporary art
  • coding: need to finish implementing the online shopping and the gifts, but in a week it should be no problem

Of course in case wasn’t clear, I’m still talking about the beta testing version, but in this case should be very close to the final product (probably only some minor tweaking on stats/money/relationship and difficulty levels).

The goal is to have the game on sale for Halloween. Even if seems far away, I know from past experiences that it’s going to be very hard to release it officially before that date, but we’ll try! 😉

At least once this game is out I won’t say anymore every year “damn I wish I had a game good of Halloween!”. And when Undead Lily is out, I’ll have two! Speaking of which, below you see some nice (and not so nice, like the Harpy) card creatures:

creatures
From left to right: the Nymph, the Harpy and the Mermaid

Of course there’ll be a variety of genders from the classic mythology, those are only the ones which were done first 🙂

That’s all for now, going back to work on Nicole, I have a new deadline to meet!