Category Archives: Time Stone

The Background Art of Time Stone

Or ‘How I cheated to get the right perspective’

The following may shock you, but… I’m not that good at art. I mean, I get by okay, people tell me they dig the artwork in my games, but when I look at the art I can just tell it isn’t that good. People say that as a designer, you’re your own worst critic and maybe that’s true, but I don’t really think about things like colour pallets, perspective, shading etc and I feel that my artwork suffers for it.

One of these things that I’ve managed to find a way around for, a cheat if you will, is perspective. Yeah, sure you can sketch something out on paper or in Photoshop or whatever and have vanishing points for perspective and then create your background based on that perspective adding in objects to the room and such, but what if you do all that and it still doesn’t look right to you? This happened with me quite frequently when creating backgrounds for Entrapment (which was one of the things I mentioned in my Entrapment Post-mortem). I would create a rough draft of the room using vanishing points and perspective and place a character sprite in it and it just wouldn’t look right. Especially if you moved the character around the room and the scale would look all wrong. Then I would have to start from scratch with new vanishing points/horizon lines which was really frustrating.

For Time Stone, I tried something different. I thought, instead of messing around with all that perspective stuff, why don’t I just create my scene in 3D? That way I can move the camera around to get the right angle and my perspective will always be right. I can also move objects around when I please to change the composition without compromising the perspective like it would in Photoshop. So I did just that. Google SketchUp is free and simple to learn if you’ve never used 3D modelling tools before. You can use it to create really simple 3D interiors using an effective toolset, but the best thing about it by far is components. Components are basically, a collection of 3D models that people have already made and shared so that anyone else can download and use them in their 3D scene. Need a bed? There’s a ton that people have made. What about a bookcase? Yup, got that too. But you would think it would be difficult to find more obscure things like a giant birdcage, cauldron or a crystal ball? What? They have those too? Of course, they have just about any object you could think of. From random items of furniture to whole buildings! Even a football stadium!

Now I’m not saying that you need to find the exact item that you need for your game, you’re just using this to get the right perspective. For example, the bed in the scene above is different to the bed which was drawn for the background in Time Stone. I simply used it as a base when painting the bed in, in order to get the correct perspective for it. You also can’t rely on the lighting from the Google Sketchup image as you may have light sources in different locations. You need to think about this carefully when you are painting over the objects from your 3D scene.

beds

Once you have created your room and added in all of the key objects for your game then you can set up the camera and export an image of the current camera view. This would work from any perspective. Side on, top down, some weird perspective from an awkward angle if you’re going for a certain style. For Time Stone, I chose a side on view of the professor’s house. Below is the final camera view used or the background in Time Stone:

It contains all of the essential items from the room. Any object that would warrant me needing to get the perspective right for it such as the bed, the table, the fridge, the bird cage, etc. But notice that I didn’t bother with the paintings on the walls or the tapestries. These were added in later using the existing objects within the room as a guide for the perspective. The reason for this is that I know enough about perspective in order to draw these items myself. I also included a handy scale model, so that the character art and background art would look correct in terms of scale. The only thing I wish I had done is adding in foreground  features. Maybe next time.

After that it was simply a matter of painting over the scene to create the background for Time Stone. This Gif shows roughly the steps taken.

1. The base image, before I started to paint over it.

2. I blocked out most of the colour and detail for major objects

3. Coloured in the rest of the image

4. Added in some smaller objects for detail

5. More detail

6. Lighting and shadow (also made some changes to a few objects).

Some things missing from the background are the objects. This is anything that needs to move/animate in the game. For example the main door and the blanket over the cage are missing. These won’t have been painted as part of the background as they would have to move and so there obviously needs to be something behind them. These were done on separate layers to appear in front of the background.

Something that is easy to forget is to make sure you remember your interface. That’s what the black space was for at the bottom of all of the images. You need to think ahead and figure out if your interface is going to take up any of the screen. You don’t want to waste your time and effort and creating an awesome part to your background only to cover it up with the GUI.

There you have it! A few insights into how I created the artwork for Time Stone. So if like me, you have trouble getting the perspective right on your adventure game backgrounds (or artwork in general), then try out this method. It was a much more efficient method than the one I used for Entrapment and although it might be “cheating” in terms of not learning how to create a correct perspective, it gets me the results I want and who knows, using this method a few more times may help me learn a thing or two about perspective and scale.

We’re Back!

Hello! We’re back after our brief hiatus which included (but not limited to) camping trips, travelling across the country, changing jobs, spraining an ankle, flash floods, anniversaries and swinging around through the tree tops at a large forest (that last one is actually real!)

So what have been up to since our return? Well there’s a few things to announce.

New Version of Time Stone

Yes Time Stone Version 1.1 has now been released and you can download it via the game’s page, Game Jolt or Itch.io. The new version has fixes to some bugs that were pointed out to us during shortly after the games release in November, but we’ve only just got round to it now. Better late than never I suppose! The changes include fixed typos, fixed audio issues and fixed graphical problems.

 

Donations Upgrade

We’ve updated our Help Us Page in order to incorporate the option to donate by “buying” our games via itch.io. Essentially our games such as Time Stone and Entrapment are free, but you can buy them from Itch.io on a pay-what-you-want basis. Meaning that you can spend anything from $0.00 up to whatever you see fit to donate. Any help you wish to give us would be GREATLY appreciated.

Donate to Scared Square

Tumblr

We’ve found that we often want to post things that may not necessarily be related to the development of games. They may be a bit of artwork here or a photograph there or maybe even an article or two that wouldn’t fit on the Scared Square Games site. Now Stu’s got his very own Tumblr! He’s even imported his old blog so that you can see his old short stories and game design competition entries. Please follow us there for a behind the scenes look at development and other shenanigans.

http://stuartlilford.tumblr.com/

That’s all the news for now. Next we’re going to be busy working on our next project which we will hopefully be unveiling shortly!

Bye for now!

Time Stone & Entrapment now available on Itch.io

 

I just realised that it’s been over a year since I started working on Time Stone. Since then I’ve also re-released Entrapment and in that time my games have won awards and been featured on a number of sites. It’s been a crazy year and I’ll have to write up something about the year to come. But that’s not what this post is for.

Time Stone and Entrapment are now available on Itch.io. Why is this newsworthy? Well, Itch.io allows players to easily make donations to the games’ developers. Time Stone and Entrapment have both been on there for a couple of weeks and already someone has donated $5 to Time Stone. I found this amazing to say that I never even announced that they were on there! Someone must have found the game, played it and liked it enough to give a little something back to the developer that made it and I just found it heart-warming. It’s also hugely inspiring and even though it’s a small amount, has increased my motivation for making games.

So, If you have played either Time Stone or Entrapment and enjoyed them and feel as though you want to contribute something towards the future developments of Scared Square Games, then head on over to Itch.io and help us out by donating.

Scared Square Itch.io Page

Thanks to all the fans of Time Stone and/or Entrapment

Time Stone OST Is Now Available For Download

The original Soundtrack for our little adventure game, Time Stone, is now available to download for FREE!

This bundle of Time Stone tunes contains 8 wonderful tracks by Mark Lovegrove

1. Main Menu
2. Professor In Trouble
3. Garglewart Appears
4. Gotta Get My Hands On A…
5. Defeating Garglewart
6. Time Slip
7. Credits
8. A Pocket Full Of Time (Bonus Track)

You can download the full track on Time Stone’s Gamejolt page right here: http://gamejolt.com/games/adventure/time-stone/18955/

Or you can download it here or here.

Time Stone is featured on Gamejolt

Gamejolt Featured

Time Stone is currently the featured game on Game Jolt. This is the first time a game by us has ever been featured like this and so it feels like a great achievement and honour to be selected. This means that more people will get to play Time Stone and hopefully enjoy it.

DOWNLOAD AND PLAY TIME STONE ON GAME JOLT FOR FREE!

Time Stone Release

After months of programming, creating artwork, writing, finding musicians, game design and late nights, what was once meant to be a month-long game competition entry turned into something that took 4 Months to finish. After tirelessly using up evenings and weekends to work on it, Time Stone is now available to download and play for FREE!

Time Stone

Head on over the Time Stone page for download options or click here to download direct (Windows only).

Time Stone is a short adventure game made with Adventure Game Studio. With wonderful low-res art, it hopes to help you find the enjoyment you found when playing those awesome classic adventure games of years past, such as Day of The Tentacle and Simon the Sorcerer.

Time Stone was designed and created by Stuart Lilford

Original Soundtrack by Mark Lovegrove

Time Stone Announcement

Scared Square Games are proud to announce their first game under the Scared Square umbrella:

TimeStoneLogo02v02

Time Stone is a short, indie adventure game made with Adventure Game Studio. With wonderful low-res art, it hopes to help you find the enjoyment you found when playing those awesome classic adventure games of years past (you know the ones).

The Story

In a fantasy realm, Elle, a young Wizard’s apprentice, arrives at the Professor’s house one day for her potions lesson, only to discover that the Professor is in terrible danger and an Evil Warlock is looking for something that holds tremendous power. Will you be able to uncover the Professor’s secret and rescue him from the evil clutches of the Warlock? Only time will tell.

Time Stone is being written and created by Stuart Lilford and is set for release very soon.


For insider development updates, follow: @Stuart_Lilford

For general updates, follow: @Scared_Square

For other updates, check out our Facebook Page: Scared Square Games

Got a Question? Email: stuart.lilford@scaredsquare.com