Or “I really enjoy using cliches as headings”

 

Cliche as it may be (hah!), the idea of a man not being an island, and me indeed being a person with man parts, fits pretty well with my plan to turn game development into a career. When I began this journey a few months ago I had an idea to make a game. I would make a game. I felt from the start that I would need to be my own foundation for this project: I would need to be able to do everything – coding, art, writing, design, QA, music, sound effects, who knows what else (no seriously, I’m not sure). But as I told people about my game, they wanted to contribute towards its development. It’s an odd feeling, having people throw their skills and time at a project that I conceived. And now it’s become something so much more, so I wanted to write a post about who I’m working with, and what Zero Degrees Games has become, at least for the purpose of Among the Innocent. It’s quite staggering, really; I need to stop telling people about “my game”, and start talking about it like the independent entity that it is.

 

Orla Hunter

Orla’s most impressive skill is putting up with me 24/7, but after that, her immeasurable wisdom and no-bullshit attitude to everything is what keeps me and this whole project grounded. When I told her my frustrations with the snowy landscape, she suggested I scrap the snow altogether. When I bitch about Ultimate FPS’s inability to work with everything that exists ever, she nods lovingly. When I need someone in the room while I vent (otherwise I’d be talking to myself, and apparently that’s a no-go), she’s there. On top of all that, Orla is a kickass artist, art director, and graphic designer, so expect some tasty visuals to emerge over the coming months.

 

Rhys Ap Gwyn

The most recent addition to the team, Rhys is an exceptionally talented comic book artist and card game creator, and has taken on the task of illustrating a short prequel comic for Among the Innocent. If everything goes according to plan, that comic will be printed in time for rAge in very limited quantities (hey, this stuff is expensive!), and given away during the show. I originally planned on releasing a comic between Among the Innocent and the next Stricken game, but when Bevan and I got scheming on the backstory for Among the Innocent, we knew that we had to have something in time for rAge.

Here’s a sneak peek at the first two pages of Stricken #0 during the early layout phase:

Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale

A super-duper early WIP of Stricken #0

Duncan Bell

Duncan was the first person to jump on board, and brought his skills as a 3D artist. He quickly made some nearly game-ready assets and I knew immediately that his help would be invaluable. Despite working on his own game (the tentatively titled Skadonk Showdown, which will also be at rAge), Duncan has kindly agreed to continue providing art for Among the Innocent.

 

Richard Braum and Aiden Morris (and Music Mate Cresta)

Richard is my guitar teacher and was eager to help me write and perform the music for Among the Innocent. He’s been a great source of inspiration not just in terms of audio, but for the game as a whole. Recently Richard roped in his fellow band-mate Aiden to add his expertise to the pile, and we got together at Music Mate Cresta (big thanks to these folks!) to record the main theme song for Among the Innocent.

Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale

Richard and Aiden, trying to pretend that I’m not taking a photo of them while they jam.

You can have a listen to the very raw, unpolished version below. I hope it brings across the kind of weird, off-centre creepiness and intensity that we were going for. That’s the intention of the game itself, and the music was written to work with that idea as best as possible.

 

Bevan Wall

Long-time friend, fellow 3D artist and infinite source of energy, Bevan has come on board to assist with the writing. After a couple of exhaustive brainstorming sessions, Bevan and I discovered that there’s so much to the story of Among the Innocent, and the Stricken series as a whole, that we needed to expand on it. If you enjoy a deep narrative in your games, bring your helmet and a shovel, because Stricken is going abyssal.

 

Going by the first few months, I have no doubt that Among the Innocent will grow even more during the course of development. The team that is coming together is so talented and dedicated that I just know you’re all going to love this game when it finally launches. Until then, be sure to come to the home_coded booth at rAge from the 9th to the 11th of October and play the demo for yourself. I can’t wait to show you Among the Innocent!

 

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 Next post: Rage against the deadline