Two weeks since my last blog post? Shameful. I’ll get put in the monkey cage for this, for sure. And what have I been doing while I fail to write?
Well. In Iliara-land, aside from the usual tasks of making levels, making art and breaking stuff, we have talked over the level progression and have cemented the way forward. It always goes really well when we get together round the whiteboard and talk, which I think bodes very well for the future. There was always going to be a bit of worry when we first started, because at it’s core Total Monkery is a family business and it’s not like comedians tell jokes about how harmonious and successful families are, but everything has worked out so far. It helps that we all have someone who can get away with interjecting when a disagreement starts slipping out of Business-space. Richard tells Will and I to stop our shenanigans; Will and I recklessly offer up our opinions when Mum and Richard’s discussion becomes a little overenthusiastic; Will and Richard both keep quiet and try to steer me and mum away from each other at all times.
Anyway, the upshot of the talk was we’ll probably have 100 levels in the finished Iliara, and definitely more than 60. Most of them will be in Story Mode, and the story of Story Mode is becoming more significant by the minute. Will has linked up all the story mode levels, although some are just blank, but it should be simple now to start filling in the gaps with the millions of levels and level bits he’s made so far. I’m working on the map art, which is giving me immense pleasure. I am drawing a teeny-tiny overview of the alien cave system where the story of Iliara was painted, complete with tiny wall doodles, alien handprint art (a bit like this) and an exciting array of tiny stalactites, stalagmites, rockfalls, pools, water drips, crystal formations and other pretty things. I have been staring at this image map a lot trying to decide which cave formations will look best in tiny form. I have also realised how happy it makes me to draw things small.
But Iliara is not the only thing going on, oh no. Aside from Richard’s Sekrit Project, which I gather from listening in on Skype is getting just a touch complex, we have also just completed the most awesome pitch document for our newest project. And it looks frickin’ sexy, if you ask me.
Richard, Will and I are all involved, but so are others. Phil Corbett – who is awesome and writes books about adorable kittens with horrible parasites – is part responsible for the concept and will be involved in the art side. Then there is James Fletcher of Rinse Games… who has provided some essential and awesome art for the pitch and things look 100% more swanky when he’s involved. Hopefully Rinse Games will be key partners in MagNets, because they are cool dudes.
But more about that later. Also, probably a website soon. This time, a somewhat quicker and slicker one because boy have I learned a lot about CSS in the past month. Among a million other things. I’m having so much fun.