One of the reasons I’ve always preferred collaboration projects to solitary work is the sense of fun that combined endeavours provide. I feel this is particularly important when living the demanding, frustrating and often isolating (part-time) lifestyle that game dev demands. Working together has many benefits- when one of you is flagging, the other is on hand to motivate and inspire, helping you push through the tough times. It means you always have someone to discuss projects with and get excited over, even when no else cares. It also keeps things unpredictable but in a good way. You work really hard on something and then are treated when new material emerges from the other person. Most importantly, you have someone who shares your dream.
Our somewhat unusual set up at Cloak and Dagger allows different people’s visions to be realised for each new game and with that comes a sense of variety and freshness from project to project. I mean, I would never have dreamt up a world based around a 1980’s college American Football setting and yet here I am working on one! Working on visions that are not your own (but which you are still passionate about) can be rewarding in their own right. That being said I’m taking far more of a back seat on our project Football Game. The game is now very much in its later stages of development and I have come on-board to breathe life into the character portraits and a few other select animations.
This has been a particularly interesting challenge for me due to the simplistic but striking style that Shaun has set for the game. For example my original animations for the character portraits were far too expressive for the tone of the game. I had already created quite a few before we decided that they did not suit the world - which might have meant many wasted hours. However, due to the games' style, rectifying this has been a very quick process. I think the more subtle motions fit nicely into the somewhat unsettling tone of this quaint world.
But the real fun for me is the mystery of this project. Shaun has given me very little insight into the story and only hinted at it’s themes. As this is, in a sense, the spiritual successor to A Date in the Park, I’m expecting a few twists and turns as well as some head scratching from players.
The game will also feature a few close up animations where I’m taking inspiration from one of my all-time favourite classic games ‘Another World (AMIGA), which is ironic as its creator Éric Chahi (much like Shaun) was also very secretive over his work and wouldn’t reveal any information - even to those who were helping him out with music! However, I hear that our musicians were also keeping their work secret from Shaun... so this game is certainly going to be interesting.