Archive for the ‘Background Screens’ Category

Don’t mistake the relative silence here for a lack of behind-the-scenes work on Rise of the Hidden Sun. We’re still toiling away, albeit slowly, to bring the adventures of ‘Rattlesnake’ Jake Dawson onto your computer screen in all of his 1024×768-pixel glory.

Since it’s been awhile since my last update, I thought I’d share this little scene with you all. It’s a just-completed location from episode one. We call it “Off the Rails.” Below I’ve posted the original black-and-white line art, an example of the coloring process, and then final finished version. Hope you like it. More to come in the months ahead!

Layout by Josh Roberts, Line art by Hazel Mitchell and Damian Isherwood, colors by Jacek Grzeskowiak

Work-in-progress: Colors by Jacek Grzeskowiak

Finished: Layout by Josh Roberts, Line art by Hazel Mitchell and Damian Isherwood, colors by Jacek Grzeskowiak

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We’ve just put the finishing touches on another screen from episode one. This one shows a cave entrance leading down into a cliff. Where does it come out? You’ll have to wait and see—but is that a forest of petrified trees below? Hmmm.

Layout by Josh Roberts, Line art by Hazel Mitchell, colors by Jacek Grzeskowiak

Layout by Josh Roberts, Line art by Hazel Mitchell, colors by Jacek Grzeskowiak

Mooney Falls, Havasu Canyon, Arizona (Photo by Josh Roberts)

Mooney Falls, Havasu Canyon, Arizona (Photo by Josh Roberts)

Interesting (?) side note: This location was inspired by a trip I took to Havasu Falls in 2004. Take a look at the photo to the right: That’s a place called Mooney Falls, just past the more famous Havasu Falls. The rocks are so slick from the waterfall spray that everything is slippery. In the 1800s, a drunk cowboy named Mooney fell from the top and died—but at least he got a waterfall named after him. I loved the idea of a cave leading into the cliff, and when the time came to design this location I decided to steal from it for Rise of the Hidden Sun.

If you’re keeping track at home, we now have just three more screens to complete for episode one!

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I’ve been posting a lot of artwork from the first episode lately. That’s where the bulk of our attention is going these days as we finalize background screens, continue to ramp up work on the animation sequences, etc. But that’s not all we’re working on. Rise of the Hidden Sun is a four-episode epic adventure, and today I’d like to give you a sneak peak at some concept art from the game’s final episode in which (SPOILER!) ‘Rattlensake’ Jake actually makes to the lost underground city he and the Brotherhood of the Hidden Sun are pursuing.

DISCLAIMER: This is just concept art. It’s not final artwork; it’s not even what the final sequence may ultimately end up looking like. But it is a little taste of the flavor we’re going for. Let me know what you think!

Artwork Credit: Paul Schmalenberg.

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It’s been a while since our last update. Don’t take that silence to mean we’re not working hard, though. Silence is good. It means we’re too busy to post anything here.

What, you want evidence? Here’s our latest completed screen. See if you can spot all the differences from the final pencil-and-paper version I posted last year.

I’ve been meaning to share this one, too.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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Original pencils by Hazel Mitchell, colors by Jacek Grzeskowiak. Based on a sketch by Josh Roberts.

Sorry it’s been so quiet around here lately! As you can see, we’re still hard at work. This is our most recently finished screen, a secret entrance into the haunted mine area of episode one.

Sadly for our hero, ‘Rattlesnake’ Jake,  the ways appears to be blocked by a very large boulder. We know that kind of trap doesn’t turn out so well for Indiana Jones. Will Jake have better luck? And what’s the significance of all this vulture iconography, anyway? Hmm…

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This isn’t a finished product yet, but it’s pretty close. Here’s a look at one of our newest creations, a long vertical screen that hints at some of the areas you’ll be able to explore in Rise of the Hidden Sun‘s first episode.

I figured after yesterday’s April Fool’s joke, you all deserve some evidence that we’re not ditching the 1024×768 screen resolution in favor of ye olden days 320×200 screens!

Click the thumbnail image on the right to enlarge. What do you think?

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Let the Treasure Hunt Begin!

You can’t have a treasure hunt without a treasure map! But does ‘X’ really mark the spot, or is it just the beginning of ‘Rattlesnake’ Jake’s epic quest to discover the Lost City of Gold?

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From Concept to Completion (Original Pencils by Hazel Mitchell)

So here we have the final pencil art for a new location we’ve just added to episode one. The top image is the original location sketch, which Hazel whipped up based on a description and some of my chicken scratches. (Discussed here earlier this month.)

Below that is the finished version, which reflects my suggestions for additional tweaks. The windmill and the vulture will be animated in the final in-game version of this screen.

There are four or five little “easter eggs” in here for adventure game aficionados, but I’m keeping the image size intentionally small right now so we don’t spoil the surprise. (Although the industrious among you can probably figure them out anyway…)

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Colors by Jacek Grzeskowiak over original pencil art by John Green

As promised, here’s the final color work for the pencil-and-paper background screen I posted last month. (See the original pencil art here.)

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Sketch by Hazel Mitchell based on a concept by Josh Roberts

One thing that’s bothered me from the moment I decided to split Rise of the Hidden Sun into four parts is that the first episode is quite a bit shorter than the subsequent ones. It’s more of a set up to the main action than anything else, in much the same way that the opening sequence of an Indiana Jones movie is different than the primary quest.

So even though we’re focusing most of our efforts these days on completing all of the episode one animation sequences, I’m also tinkering with the early background screens to introduce a few more locations. Basically, it’s a way to expand the universe of episode one without introducing any new puzzles or animation sequences. (Some objects are being moved around within the game to justify the existence of these new screens, however.)

This location sketch here is for a new area called “The Old Sierra Burying Ground.” This is not a final screen, but it’s close enough that I thought I’d share it. I’m really happy with how it’s turning out. I’ll post the final pencil art version when it’s completed, along with some notes about what we changed, and why.

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