Letter to F4B14N

Terracon Inc. State Printing center
At The Source, May the 18th 221st year a.F.
Content auditted and approved by civil servant: ID 626C 6F77 6A6F 62
Content author: EXT S4MU3L 4M1D4S

Hi F4B14N.

I hope you have recovered from your migraines. I suppose that P4TR1C14 told you about my journey by train, what a hell! Although I guess it is better and cheaper than one of those electric caravans. Do not think that the situation got better after leaving the train. My nose, which had already got used to the stench in the interior of the coach, got shocked when I inhaled the turbid air coming from the near factories. Fortunately that stinky billow is less thick as one moves to the South of the city.

The day was getting dark when I arrived but, when I left the station, it was like if the night fell suddenly, the huge buildings projected their infinite shadows on the asphalt, preventing even the most elusive ray of light from seeping among them. It turns out paradoxical that, being it the Reactor District where, indeed, there is an unbihexium reactor and the extractor which I have to visit, they have so few lights throughout the avenues. The environment was a bit oppressive and hostile, there are people laying down on the streets, covered with grime, drinking or injecting themselves in view of everybody. Some alleys are used as pissers, and I have seen even excrements. I almost fall down when I stumbled over a corpse, due to the lack of light. It is another world, nothing to do with our home. In their favor I have to say that the people do not look depressed in general but the opposite. Somehow they have developed an innate skill to transform their filth into their strength. This can even be observed before entering the city: their border walls are neither made of steel nor rock, they are ruins! They use entire buildings, demolished in the right direction, as a defense! Can you believe it?

I walked for a while searching for an inn until I stumbled upon some kind of boulevard full of bars, shops and brothels. It was like if all the lights they did not use in the rest of streets had been put in that one. There were a lot of people celebrating and drinking. My curiosity defeated my prudence and I entered one of those bars, which had a green neon above the iron door, imitating a snake. It seems that writing the name of the stores is not a habit here. What I found inside was a bit grotesque: there was a young man sat on a table, apparently a slave, to whom a group of men was forcing to look upside, with a funnel in the mouth in which they spilled drinks of all kind; as far as I deduced, the fun was in betting how long was the young going to support that before puking, although there were bets about whether he was to be in coma or was going to die. So, they were preparing cocktails in turns, paid by themselves, including the owner of the poor man, cheered on, of course, by the holder of the bar. In case you are curious, a one-eyed man with almost no teeth won, when the young man threw out even his gastric acids like if he was a fountain. I even had to clean some spatters in my boots, and I was standing on the bar.

When the fun was over they began to argue and I, tired of the insistent questions of the waiter bout my origin, left that place quickly before they drew their swords. Idiot of me, I did not bring the saber you gifted me, so I better avoid these situations. Some well-built men, with a scruffy appearance but very armed, entered when they heard the dispute. I only knew later that they are the authority here, a kind of mercenaries salaried by the government.

During my conversation with the waiter I could figure out how the lodging business works in this place. Apparently, the majority of the buildings are empty, they have no owner, and people occupy them as they wish. The man was very clear: if you can defend yourself, just choose the flat you like the most; otherwise, pay for your security in one of the guarded buildings. Obviously I preferred to pay, I had had enough adventures so far, and certainly I have been doing well there despite the shouts of the neighbors. I gave the guard an extra for him to get another mattress for me to put it over the other I already had so I was farther from the floor.

I have to leave you now, I have so much work to do, I will tell you how was my visit to the brothels (not even a word to P4TR1C14). And do not worry about your order, I have already compared prices and the 10 milligrams doses are much cheaper than there, as you said.

Regards and get better with the help of God.

End of the printing – Page 1/1

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Carta a P4TR1C14

Centro de impresión del Estado de Terracon Inc.
En La Fuente, a 15 de Mayo del 221º año d.F.
Contenido auditado y aprobado por el funcionario: ID 5365 786F 2061 6E61 6C
Autor del contenido: EXT S4MU3L 4M1D4S

Hola P4TR1C14, ya he llegado a La Fuente, y de una pieza que ya es decir.

El tren es una máquina maravillosa, más rápida de lo que me esperaba. El viaje fue realmente cómodo hasta que paramos en el Nexo. Allí abandoné el tren para tomar otro, pasando por una aduana donde me registraron todo el cuerpo. No voy a dar detalles pero fue harto desagradable. Según ellos, los escáneres no funcionaban pero yo veía cómo el resto de personas pasaban por ellos sin ningún problema. Tuve que dar cientos de explicaciones sobre lo que iba a hacer en La Fuente y para qué servían mis herramientas. Aproveché para cambiar mis créditos a emblemas; la cantidad que me devolvieron, comisión aparte, no coincidía con el valor que tenían en el cartel, creo que me estafaron. Pasado ese tormento, compré otro billete y esperé en el andén exterior. No me atreví a preguntar por qué había cuerpos colgados de la pasarela superior que atraviesa las vías, atados por las muñecas y sin las extremidades inferiores. El precio de imprimir una foto aquí es prohibitivo, ya te las enseñaré a la vuelta.

Sonó un aviso ininteligible por unos altavoces, se supone que advirtiendo de la llegada del tren que hizo aparición un minuto después con un estridente chirrido por la frenada, acariciando suavemente las tripas de los cadáveres colgantes. La gente se agolpó en las puertas como si nos acorralara un incendio; me parece increíble que nadie cayese a las vías. El viaje que prosiguió no tuvo nada que ver con el anterior. Allí entró toda clase de gentuza y mi vagón se llenó de un olor nauseabundo, no te haces una idea; aquello no se debía sólo a la falta de higiene propia de estas tierras, juro que olía a podrido como si a alguno de los viajeros lo estuviese devorando la gangrena. Y no sólo eso, los cálidos rayos de sol que se colaban por los barrotes de las ventanas quedaron eclipsados por gente sucia de ropajes raídos, el vagón se volvió oscuro súbitamente. Me habría gustado dormir durante el trayecto pero no me podía fiar de esos bandidos; además, el ruido que hacían al hablar me destrozaba los nervios. Gritaban idioteces sobre unas elecciones de su gobierno, sobre qué candidato era mejor que el otro y a quién iban a votar. Doy gracias por que les requisaran las armas en la aduana (por lo visto las llevan a un vagón aparte), a más de uno le vi echarse la mano al cinto con intención de sacarle las entrañas al del “bando” contrario. Bendito sea nuestro Presidente que nos libra de estas pugnas entre paisanos. No quiero ni imaginar qué clase de decisiones puede llegar a tomar esta turba mediante su voto.

Para colmo, en mitad del recorrido hubo un percance relacionado con una tribu salvaje, pude deducir poca cosa de los comentarios de la gente. Para una vez que me interesaba lo que decían se pusieron de acuerdo para guardar silencio y susurrar. La situación parecía seria, se oyeron varios disparos y golpes sobre el techo de nuestro vagón. No alcancé a ver nada por las ventanas abarrotadas de cabezas curiosas. Tras unos minutos de tensión, el tren reanudó la marcha y horas más tarde llegamos a la estación de La Fuente, sanos y salvos. Por un momento pensé que Dios me había negado la oportunidad de honrarle con mi trabajo. Haré lo posible por no defraudaros a ninguno. Ni a Dios, dueño nuestra sabiduría; ni al Presidente, nuestro guía a la gloria; ni a ti, la estrella que me orienta hasta en las noches más negras.

Nos veremos pronto.

Fin de la impresión – Página 1/1

Letter to P4TR1C14

Terracon Inc. State Printing center
At The Source, May the 15th 221st year a.F.
Content auditted and approved by civil servant: ID 616E 616C 2073 6578
Content author: EXT S4MU3L 4M1D4S

Hi P4TR1C14, I have finally arrived in The Source, and in one piece which is saying a lot.

The train is a wonderful machine, it is faster than what I have ever imagined. The trip was really comfortable until we stopped at The Nexus. There I left the train with the aim of taking another one, going through a customs house where they frisked all my body. I am not going to talk about the details but it was very unpleasant. They said scanners were not working while I was seeing how the rest of the people were passing through them with no issues. I had to give a lot of explanations about what was I going to do in The Source and what were my tools for. I made the most of staying there and changed my credits to emblems; the amount of money they gave me in return, putting the commission aside, did not match up with the value they wrote in the poster, I think they swindled me out. Once all that torment finished, I bought another ticket and waited at the platform outside. I did not dare to ask why there were corpses hung on the upper footbridge that goes across the tracks, tied by their wrists and without lower extremities. The price for printing a photo here is prohibitive, I will show it to you when I am back.

An unintelligible notice came from the speakers, supposedly to tell us about the arrival of the train which appeared one minute later with a strident squeal produced by the breaks, caressing the guts of the hanging cadavers. The people crowded together at the doors like if a fire surrounded us; I think it is unbelievable that nobody fell down to the rails. The journey from then on had nothing to do with the previous one. A lot of scum of all kind entered to my coach and they brought a nauseating smell with them, you cannot get an idea; it was not because of the lack of hygiene typical of these lands, I swear it smelled like if a traveler was being devoured by the gangrene. And not only that, the warm sunbeams that seep through the iron bars of the windows were eclipsed by dirty people with worn-out clothes, suddenly the coach turned dark. I would have loved to sleep during the journey but I did not trust those bandits; besides, the noise they made when talking was wrecking my nerves. They shouted stupidities about elections of their government, about which candidate was better than the other and who were they voting for. I am glad that their weapons were confiscated in the customs house (it seems they put them in a separate coach), I saw some of them moving the hand to their belt with the aim of gutting the person in the opposite “bloc”. Blessed be our President who frees us from these rivalries among people of the same country. I do not want to imagine what kind of decisions could this mob make through their vote.

To top it all, a problem arised in the middle of the route related to a wild tribe, I could barely deduce something from people’s comments. Right when I was interested in what they were saying they agreed to be quiet and talk whispering. The situation seemed serious, I heard several shots and hits on the roof of our coach. I was not able to see anything through the windows, full of curious heads. After some tense minutes, the train resumed the march and some hours later we arrived at the station of The Source, safe and sound. For a moment I thought God had deprived me to have the opportunity to honor him with my job. I will do my best not to disspoint any of you. Neither God, owner of our wisdom; nor the President, our guide to glory; nor you, the star that orients me even in the blackest nights.

See you soon.

End of the printing – Page 1/1

Taking off!

It’s been a while since the development of Blue Heaven was officially kicked off, concretely 1 month and 1 week. Although it seems to be a very short lapse of time, it feels like a year for us. We started having only a barely finished script, a description of the game universe and main characters, and a list with 300 ideas that potentially would be added to the game. Let’s make a brief recapitulation of what came next:

Sharing knowledge

Once the team was complete, the main goal was to homogenize our knowledge and our objectives. The entire team had to have the same understanding of the big picture. This included reading the script, the setting description, solving doubts and knowing the references (movies, music, videogames, drawings, etc.), which took some days. After this, we could talk the same language while working every day.

Marketing

It was clear for us that the first thing we had to build was our public image. Once you start developing the game itself, it’s very hard to reserve some time to do boring stuff like writing an accurate description of the game or choosing the colors of the logo. The first step was to create the official website, trying to make it distinguishable from the others, selecting the appropiate colors to transmit the right appereance regarding the adult and dark tone of the game, putting references to its story since the very beginning… We also wanted to produce some kind of impact on the visitor at the first time he entered the site so we worked on an colorful animated background that could also tell something related to the story.

inkonwater

We spent 2 full working days to achieve the effect you see at the top of the website, we faced many problems related to lighting, reflections, ink density… until we come up with a good result. Maybe we’ll share with you all the tricks in the future, when we’ve time…

In the meantime, we were designing the game logo too and, after tens of attempts, we got one that we really liked. It was important that it was easy to recognize and easy to rescale. It was also our intention to include elements in it that told something related to the game, not only about the content in general but also about the universe itself.

Then we wrote the web contents, created the social network accounts and greet the world.

Adventure time!

One of the most exciting things of this project is exploring the unknown, doing something nobody did before and creating new paths. Making rotoscopied isometric animations? What were we smoking? We had absolutely no guideline nor guarantee of what we wanted to do was to work, just a handmade drawing and some basic trigonometric calculations that should emulate an impossible dimetric perspective camera. Besides, we wanted to get 8 points of view around characters. With some external collaboration, we built the eight 3 meters long iron supports, bought the eight cameras and searched for a place outdoors (due to the required angle of the camera, we were forced to occupy 10×10 meters) were we could film without drawing attention too much. We spent one morning on our first attempt and we learned a lot. Filming animations has a very high cost for us, 2 of us are not working on other things during the time we are there, and we return home quite tired for the rest of the day due to the effort required for acting and especially for moving all the stuff to the film set. Remember, we are only 3 people. But it’s ok! Doing this is cool!

img-20161027-wa0000 img_20161110_121555

With some real footage in our hands, we made some pixelated rotoscopy attempts and we got something quite convincing, better than what we had imagined. Using the 8 points of view, we rotoscopied the walking movements of a woman (a model we hired) and put everything together in a test project with an isometric background. That was the trial by fire, everything depended on the final result, and it was a complete success.

Crystallization

Another innovation we wanted to achieve was to define a new pixel art sub-style. We want our game to be recognizable at a glance and that’s very difficult, we don’t know if it’s even possible but we’ll try hard. The soundtrack of the game should be also original; we’re going to take some risks breaking the players’ typical expectations. That’s what we’ve been working on the rest of the time, making many drafts (visuals and aurals), until we get what we think is the best way to bring the game universe to your senses. We’ve finished several songs, many visual concepts and pixel art test scenarios. We’ve already shared some of them with you and we’ll share more soon.

testreactordistrict

We’ve also defined the combat system and the main mechanics. This will help to know the exact animations that we’ll need and to estimate how much work we’ve to face for the next 2 years. Currently we’re designing the inventory system, which probably is going to be very different from what we’ve seen until now in an action-RPG.

statediagram-copy

Apart from the above, we’ve to consider the time it takes to define the working process and to transform ideas you’ve in a paper or in your mind into something tangible. Besides, even in a very small team, people need to adapt to each other: you don’t talk to a person you don’t know as fluent as to a friend. This first phase has served to achieve all of that, so we can now move faster. The team fits perfectly, all uncertainties have vanished and we’ve a very clear vision of the quality and the amount of content we can deliver. Of course your help is so important and we’re so grateful for spreading our news throughout social networks, keep it up and we promise we’ll create something that you have never experienced before!

In next posts, we’ll talk about the game universe so you can immerse your feet in the dark waters of Blue Heaven.

A VERY hard day

blueheavenmakingofheader

There are days that you mark in the planning calendar as “a good day to die”. The amount of atrezzo objects and tools that we had to transport to the film set (a public park at the top of a small hill) was bigger than in all the previous recording sessions, specially due to the need of a running machine to record all the walking and running animations (so the actor doesn’t move from the center of the image).

blueheavenmakingof3

It was a hard-to-accomplish risky operation, we did know that, not only because of the effort required to bring the machine to the top but also because the success depended on many things that could go wrong. In order to let you understand what we mean by a risk, just think about the following facts:

Since we were outdoors, we had to think of a way to provide electricity to the running machine and therefore we got a gasoline engine powerful enough and bought some fuel; the engine wasn’t ours and it was old, so we didn’t know how it was going to perform. The eight cameras are always a risk, if just one of them fails (it oscillates too much because of the wind, the video gets corrupted, etc.) then everything is useless. Apart from that, it was the first day we hired a female model that we hadn’t met in person before. We didn’t know what to expect from her, we didn’t know even if she was either going to be punctual or backing out at the very last moment. On top of all of those things, it was a very windy day

blueheavenmakingof2

Fortunatelly, everything went smooth. Sofia arrived on time and we discovered a professional and easy-to-work-with person that adapted to every situation. The engine worked perfectly and all the cameras stayed on during the full session. We hadn’t enough time to film all the animations we wanted (we’re limited by the lifetime of the batteries of the cameras) but it’s ok, and we had counted on that so we plan a second session.

As an anecdote, we have to tell that not everything was that “””easy”””. Some minutes after we finished the session, a gust of wind made the airbed fly and hit one of the camera tripods… pushing it forward and making the camera crash into the ground. Our shouts were heard from the North Pole. We were tired but satisfied, the huge effort was worthy until that freaking moment. The fastener of the camera was broken although we fixed it so it can still do its task and the micro-SD card was out of the slot. No visible damages in the camera. Once at home, when copying the content of the memory cards one by one, we realized the horror: the video file was corrupted due to the hit. Curses everywhere, despondency… But there’s something we have always in mind when working on this project: never give up. It turns out these are wonderful times in which wonderful people make wonderful MP4 repairing tools. And voilà! After a long search and after testing many programs we got the file (and our smile) back. Everything wasn’t in vain.

blueheavenmakingof1

Sometimes we wonder if we are overcomplicating everything. Couldn’t we just do as all the other 2D game developers and draw the animations of just a few frames, based on either a 3D model or the artist’s imagination? No, we couldn’t, because then we would be doing just another 2D game, we wouldn’t be adding anything new, we would be repeating what others already did in the hope that we will magically be preferred by the people. And more important for us, it would be boring.

In next posts we’ll share some new concept art and will dig a bit into the world of Blue Heaven. Have a nice weekend!

Action!

grabacionblueheaven

More pictures of the recording sessions.

We’ve been filming this week although there’s still much to record. We’ve to move and set up everything every session due to filming outdoors, which is a big effort, but it’s worth. People look at us with expressions that are a mixture of curiosity and worry (what are those vandals doing there?) as they pass aside the court which is funny sometimes. Due to the dimensions of the film set we need, we’re forced to record outside. Fortunatelly we live in the Coast of the Sun (Costa del Sol) and rainy days aren’t so frequent.

 

Mystery solved!

noporn

It’s NOT an outdoors pr0n movie, we swear!

We’re recording all the movements we’ll use in our game, there’re more than 300! An exhausting job for sure, but we’re having fun while doing something such innovative that gives so good results. We hope we can share some pixel art animations with all of you soon. Have a nice weekend!