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A sweeping change for Chaos Cult Games: Xenos now has a team of artists and a radically new art style.

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When I posted Xenos demo two weeks ago, I was hoping that people would play it and maybe become interested in my game. It did work: the site was visited by more than a thousand people, and many of them played the demo (and some gave valuable feedback).

But, in addition to these people, Xenos also attracted some unexpected attention from game developers – unexpected, but most surely welcome. I’ve originally started development all by myself, and thought it would stay that way. I’m glad to say that I was very wrong. At first, my friend and fellow developer from Mail.Ru Games – Timofej Nikitchenko – joined me as a partner at Chaos Cult Games. Then, some people who saw the game on tigsource.com forums offered to help out with art for Xenos. And Timofej, who has lots of contacts in russian game development (he’s a pretty outgoing guy, as opposed to me) brought in basically a whole art team, willing to make art for us.

Between these two categories, we now have more artists that I know what to do with – probably more than 10 people, although some of them would probably drop out later. This means that this whole operation just became way more serious. More people, more resources, more possibilities and less tight budget – all of this has to be put to good use now.

What does it mean for Xenos? As a first thing, the pseudo-voxel art style is gone. I’ve originally devised it as a way to make as many assets as possible myself; now it’s not a problem and we can do better. The whole concept of grid-based world – made up of all those small squares – is gone too, as it’s too restricting artistically. The world would still be a grid under the hood, but made of bigger, much more varied pieces, with unrestricted object placement.

These changes mean that around two or three months of my previous work would go down the drain: all art assets, all map generation code, pathfinding, storage, physics etc. This sort of thing happens in game development, and I’m not at all sad to see it gone: I know I can do better now. Right now, I’m busy working on the new tile-less world prototype; and our concept artists are creating sketches to finalize new Xenos art style.

While I can’t show any pretty pictures this time, soon, I hope, we’ll have loads of them. Stay tuned for the new, much better Xenos!

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