We had a bit of an existential quandary on the art side of Handmade Hero
last month. The project is at the point where the artwork is becoming more technical, and requires more iteration and experimentation to line up with what we’re doing in the engine code. Working with Yangtian
was excellent for the cutscene art, but she had other obligations she was going to be working on this year, and since she was part time and
remote, it was going to be difficult to collaborate closely going forward.
But if she wasn’t going to do the rest of the artwork, who was? Finding talented artists is extremely difficult, and I was not looking forward to doing that again.
Since Handmade Hero was really a side project for me that I started before Anna
came to Seattle to work on 1935
full time, we had never really talked about it before. But nowadays Anna and I make all Molly
decisions together as a team, so I thought this might be a good time to bring Handmade Hero into the fold officially and get Anna’s opinion on what we should do with the art.
It is important to understand how business-like this process was.
Since I am President of Molly Rocket, a highly prestigious corporation, obviously I know a lot of special business things you don’t know. That’s just how it is with us businessy businessmen who conduct business.
So yes, if you were to see the situation unfold yourself, you might think something very pedestrian and unbusinesslike, such as, “Casey had no idea what to do so he figured he’d ask Anna, because she has all the good ideas.” But I happen to know that the more appropriate business term for this is, “consensus building.”
Anyway, the point is, after consensus building about it with Anna, I was surprised to find that she was really interested in Handmade Hero and wanted to do the artwork herself. She’s way ahead of me on 1935, so she felt like she had plenty of time to devote to it, and it was a great project to compliment the kinds of realistic art she’s been working on.
This opened up a whole lot of new opportunities for the project.
With Anna on board, it only seemed fitting to sit down and dig in to Handmade Hero as a team. So we essentially threw out the rudimentary art plans I’d had before for the game, and over the past few weeks we’ve been developing a much deeper and richer design for the world and its inhabitants. It’s been a real pleasure seeing the design improve dramatically with so much more creative energy, and it makes me super excited to start putting Anna’s art into the engine!
And speaking of Anna’s art for Handmade Hero, we’ll be back next week with some specifics on that. Until then, thanks for reading, and we’ll see you out there on the magical information superhighway!