Devlog #11- The Lost & Forgotten - Part 1
I managed to find some time and thought I would write up another update, I have so much to share that I felt compelled to do so. I am likely going to split this into multiple parts otherwise it would be a completely absurdly long post. (i get the feeling it will anyway) Please bare with me and I hope you enjoy a look behind the scenes at some of the things that didn't make it to this far into the games development or was altered along the way.
The Lost & Forgotten - Ekho, The Hero
Since our absence I have spent a ton of time refining animations and implementing the new character art. Over the course of the games development the hero has gone through several iterations and various designs. At the start we were going for a more cute style but as the game evolved and we finalized various story elements we realized that the game was going to have a serious/atmospheric tone, so we really needed a more flexible character that could be taken seriously. The old style just simply was not cutting it.
My very first day 1 hero design! At the time I was going to use a lined style and this was my first draft. I was planning to use a small character at that point and the thick lines were to much for what I was doing. This was also right after I got my drawing tablet and I was not use to drawing without a mouse. Yikes! I'm glad I have improved and become more adept at using a drawing tablet since.
Here you can see the several designs we went through over the course of the games development. The earliest from the left and the latest on the right.
Below are some sketches and the process to develop the latest iteration of the hero.
Finally I came up with a design that I am 100% happy with. The specific style is inspired by where he is from and his "profession". He lives in a mountain village and works as an apprentice under his grandfather as a blacksmith. You can clearly see that they have similar clothing and style.
An Expressive Hero
After we finally got a design for the hero that we were happy with it was now time to start thinking about how the player would move, play and react to the world around him. From the start our vision has been for the hero to be flexible, expressive and unique. He is a character that is meant to evolve with the player in a realistic way.
Inspired by Luigi's Mansion many years ago I always loved how Luigi's expressiveness drew me into the game. He was afraid at every little creak or howl in the night and its something I wanted to see in other games. I kept that in the back of my mind and finally when this game began development I knew it was something I wanted to do.
I wanted the hero to react realistically to being thrown into a terrifying adventure just like a normal person would. He isn't a warrior at the start of the game, he is a normal person like most of us and shouldn't be stone faced when he sees his first monster. He would be afraid, freak out just like "most" of us. However with that said he will overcome his fears as he does his enemies and eventually will stare down the most hardened monster with confidence.
With all of that said fear is not the only emotion the Ekho will show. He has a variety of emotions and will react to most circumstances in unique ways. We are really pushing for a believable world and this takes a bunch of work, but is completely worth it in the end.
Art & Styles Further Refined
Ekho isn't the only character that has been refined or completely redesigned since the start of the game. We went through several changes since the beginning and I personally grew as an artist as I used this particular style. So naturally I improved and have honed my craft. I really cannot imagine where I will be at the end of this road but at least I can show you some of my early work and where we are at now.
Here you can see Grandpa in his early state and his current one. He hasn't changed physically to much but you can see his latest design is more detailed and smoother. The previous iteration used more heavy/solid colors without any gradients, while the new one makes use of gradients and more detail.
I also have various enemies, animals and friendly characters who who I adapted as well. You can see here that I initially had a very flat and low detailed version of the mammoot. But the finished version in the adapted style looks fresh and appealing
This road was not an easy one at all. I will occasionally get into a funk where I feel like I can no longer draw in this style of art or draw at all for the matter. Here are my first attempts at a bird (the bluejay) and the versions I redid as time went on. Oldest on the left and newest to the right.
I was really just having a ton of trouble with this one but luckily I am persistent and eventually found something I was very happy with! I think it shows as well. You can actually see this little guy hopping and flying around in Loomia already.
The Lost & Forgotten - Enemies
Here are just a handful of enemies that have not yet been adapted to the new art style. I designed these characters so early that most of them dont even have animations. However they are still on my list to redo and just need a make over. I will get to them as soon as I have managed to get the core requirements, enemies and characters out of the way. But you can definitely tell that prior to some large changes we were a bit looser with the designs. The enemies as they were a little more generic, but still very cool.
Here are a ton of enemies that actually never made the cut. I spent a bunch of time just drawing whatever came to my head. There is nothing to spectacular. I was in a bit of a slump creatively but its interesting to see where my head was at, at the time. You can actually see some of these enemies in another game I completed after starting this one. Its called Specter Knight and its free on Newgrounds.com & Kongregate. It actually was featured on both sites and won various rewards..
You can check the game out in the link below! It was also my first game with a drawing tablet and took about 2 months worth of work.
The forgotten enemy designs from years ago!
The Lost & Forgotten- Bosses
Oh boy! I cant believe I forgot about these guys! While rummaging through my old work I stumbled across various early boss designs. They all had neat mechanics in their battles but visually they were a bit odd. Take a look & judge for yourself. You can definitely see the more light hearted tone attached to the game in the designs as they are a bit zany.
Trust me there is more. :(
At least I wasn't hurting for creativity haha.
Here is one that I actually still really like. I wont use this exact design but I am sure I am going to adapt it to the game for the style we have now. It will have some updates and creativity added in but overall you will get something similar.
Finally here is one that is making it into the complete game. Regardless the design has went through some changes. You can see the first iteration(s) here.
Followed by the final design, but with the old hero. Game is looking stellar at this point though.
The Lost & Forgotten - Weapons
At the start of this games development the weapons/items were more of a center focus of the game. They were going to act very similarly to what you would expect in a Zelda styled game and would be used to solve puzzles and defeat certain enemies. But as development has progressed we had opted to instead take a more unique route where the player will instead use a plethora of powers/abilities for puzzle solving. Don't worry though, we will still have some items. But here are some of the lost weapons that didn't make the cut into the final design(s).
You can see here that we had a few different sword and shield types. Initially you were able to equip stones to the weapons that would grant them special abilities and augmentations. Eventually we decided to drop the idea due to us coming up with the idea for Shieldpa and he is central to the story.
You can also make out some masks, an early shieldpa design and a more finalized sketch and some bows. The bows themselves were nothing special but we did have an idea for a plunger bow. It was going to attach to enemies with a rope so you could pull them around or even create tight ropes to walk across. This mechanic still may make its way into the game but it will no doubt take another form.
The Lost & Forgotten - Environment
If there is one thing that went through a ton of changes, it is the environment art. We have had several iterations and various styles used. Here are just a few of them.
My very own first sketches, they look pretty nice as I look back. I think I was being a bit picky and was wanting a very specific style. Its to bad I never added color or anything. I think they could have come out really nice.
Here is a simple mountain village setting. I will likely adapt and reuse some of these elements but alot of the cartoony elements wont be making the cut.
And a skewed building, we likely wont have any buildings at this angle.
And some more early level art with some colored cartoony trees and grass.
And here is a later version.
And finally here are some of our most up to date styles.
A nice mysterious forest setting.
A snow setting.
Here is a lake setting, complete with fishing.
Here is one of our early dungeons.
A desert location with some of the heros expressiveness on display.
A lava location showing off some of the mechanics involved with the shield.
Here is an image showing off some of our height mechanics and the dynamic weather system.
You cant see the dynamic lighting and shadow casting in these versions but just about everything else is here. And the levels look really stunning in my opinion.
The Lost & Forgotten - The Logo
The Logo was something we had a ton of trouble finalizing. It went through various iterations but eventually we got there and to a point that we were happy with. Below is one of our very first designs. Its a nice simple design but we felt it lacked character or any defining features in the end.
We went on to put another together but this one went on the other end of the spectrum. It had to much going on and was just not easy to read. Not to mention there were some color decisions we were not to keen on. It needed some refinement.
Finally we managed to marry everything together to come up with a nice logo that could be animated and seemed to fit within the games style
Believe it or not there is still so much more I could share. This is why im going to split it into at the very least two parts (maybe even 3 or 4 XD) . I could easily keep writing, sharing and searching my hard drive for awhile and keep finding things I had forgot about long ago. Needless to say the game has a lot of history and has evolved so much since it inception. It will no doubt go through more iterations and produce more unused art along the way that I will no doubt be sharing right here on this devlog.
I'm proud of everything we have done and cannot wait to release our first demo in a few weeks. Its going to be the culmination of years of work and I think it will really impress those of you who are anxious to get your hands on the game. If you are one of those people who want to play the demo and are looking for a way to support us feel free to check out our preorder page. The demo is exclusive to those who have pre-ordered it. Not to mention there are a lot of ways to get involved with the game and we will have a ton of goodies and demo(s) exclusive for those of you who are interested. Plus it is a good cause. The 2 full time starving developers working on this game :D.
Now if your an absolute fan of the game and you are all about exclusive content you can further support us by purchasing a shirt for The Untold Legacy complete with a Logo. It even features Shieldpa, sweet! We have men and women sizes with multiple color variations. These will only be available for a very limited time, 7 days and counting at the time of this post. So make sure to pick yours up before you miss it.
Visit the link here to check it out!
Limited Edition Untold Legacy Shirt
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