We had a lot of debate regarding the art style - torn between making a short game with a minimalist look or something graphically stronger in detail. In the end, I made the decision to attempt a more polished look but at a low resolution. I felt, if I was going to personally get motivated about yet another game, I needed to express my art fully. In all previous games, I’ve felt like I had to hold back, either to get the job done or just for aesthetic purposes. To be totally honest, I want to see if I can create a look that can go toe to toe with the best pixel art adventure indie games of modern times - no easy task with so much talent and skill around, but it’s a goal that gets me excited and should at the very least keep me engaged.
INCANTAMENTUM really started to build some momentum artistically, in the final quarter of last year. However, we were both really wary about burnout (see previous blog) and so I have taken a much calmer approach to this title. With more rest days, in-between sessions, a patient mind-set and even an entire month off. I usually go very hard, after my day job, into the early hours each night. This time however, I’ve made a real effort to check myself and steer away from these habits. Working in many small stints rather than huge mammoth sessions and letting days go by where I don’t touch the project at all. It may mean the game takes longer, but it has brought back a bit more joy to the creative process and possibly meant less design mistakes and rash decisions have been made.
So let’s look at how it’s going…
The setting for this game is a quaint Victorian countryside. Key to this projects art style is the colour palette. Our game takes place across rainy days and nights. We are working hard to try to create an eerie atmospheric setting in this resolution, befitting of the folk horror genre.
This project seemed to get a lot of positive feedback from some early screenshots, which has been very encouraging and given us belief that we can do something a bit special this time around, at least, by our standards.
We’ve always strived to create a sense of atmosphere in our games, but we hope to crank that up a notch in this title - with subtle background movements ranging from flocks of birds flying in the distance to plants, trees and blades of grass gently bobbing where the wind peaks on higher terrain. Due to its well contained scope this is without doubt the most attention we have given a game in terms of presentation and we hope that we can continue to maintain this throughout.
Our own fatigue and boredom is something we are hoping to limit this time around. If experience has taught us anything about working in this manner, it’s to pace one’s self and keep health at the forefront. I hope that the drain we usually start to feel after the adrenaline of a new project fades will be negated by the more visually exciting art we have lined up for later on in the projects cycle - but I’m afraid we won’t be spoiling what exactly that entails at this stage.
You can find the trailer, more screenshots, and full info on the INCANTAMENTUM Steam page here. Please do add it to your wishlist!