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Sunday, April 27, 2014

DevDiary – April 2014 About Rolling Legend Graphics


Source: CRYsoftdev website/DevDiary



Hi folks! This is Frandalì from CRYsoft Team and for this month, I will be your interface with Rolling Legend's world, of which I am the proud "hand" (a role a bit dangerous though, because everything you see and you will interact with, is the result of my doodles. So if you ever get the urge to insult the game artist, you can blame me)!
This is my first experience in game design, and perhaps it is what characterizes the style of Rolling Legend, this bizarre world in which you will be called to fight improbable monsters and where you'll meet heroes almost ridiculous, who will lead you frame by frame, through the parodies of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters! Over the last few months you have got to peeking around our work thanks to regular publications of work in progress and ingame screenshots posted by my friends and colleagues and myself. Now, I'd like to tell you about the project from my point of view and tell you about the evolution of its graphics.
During the briefings over the first months of development, the ideas about the "look" were well-defined into the creators mind, but the hard part of the job was to give to the project a distinct and unique character to create something never seen before.
As I've already said I suppose I've been contacted because of the fact that I was completely ignorant about gamedev world. Although I have a lot of experience as illustrator and painter, about design specifically related to games I knew very little.
In the end it seemed sensible to me, pander to the delusions of almightiness of our CEO, even though it has been difficult at first, decipher his scribbles. You don't believe me? Here, look at the first idea of ​​our little Johnny, pulled out of the primordial soup in his head...

I know dear Alessandro, I'm a sadistic but, what can I say if not: "I'm sorry! I'm not bad I just draw that way"!

The hard thing was, to "think" in 3D and draw in 2d elements and landscapes (and therefore give the impression of depth), using the point of view of a gamer. I failed to get it for quite some time! I am hard on the uptake apparently...
(Oh goodness this is prehistory!) You have the privilege to behold the first draft of one of the game screens at the suggestion of Alessandro on the top of this image (what a bad girl I am!).


You will notice that I was still very far away from the general idea!
But RollingLegend's spirit lives in what surrounds me, I always have been good in drawing and capturing the reality, but a disaster in pure invention so, many things which come to life along with little Johnny, are something I've already seen or "caught" during a walk (see the palm trees? They are typical of the place where I live). But I was too attached to reality, I wouldn't ever reached a good cartoon style this way.
Then It came to help me the most important phrase popped out from dozens of brainstorming (I think I will adopt it as sacred motto of the game developer):
"If it makes you laugh, it works!"… and I began to enjoy myself!
I approached the idea of a new style with simple shapes, almost elementary so as to leave more room to the colours and especially their relationships, because that's what I care about above all: the relationship between colours. Because eye-catching shapes and special effects, are not the only trump card to create your own (cartoon) style. I was thinking about a cropped paper fashion in the first place, but it was even too flat than the one I had in my mind, with those shapes too sharp and anyway, not suitable.


Rolling Legend Mark 0
The search of our own style is continued for a bit and at last we reached what we were looking for.

Rolling Legend Mark 1


Rolling Legend Mark 2
Someone advised me to soften colours and contrast for a less aggressive result, to make it more attractive for a children audience, but I think we made a good job so far, especially with colours... and, after all, the "excesses" in Rolling Legend are like the cream on ice cream: a sort of "compendium"! So, we choose appropriate colours and light effects to create ambience for the backgrounds (as you can see below), then strong colours and outlines similar to those used in the comics for the props and the characters.


Night Landscape


By the way, I really enjoyed drawing Johnny's friends. Each character is a stereotype which unites positive characteristics and foibles of each of us, described with irony, of course... But if you have followed us during the past months, you sure know everything about them by now, so let's move on!

Characters sketches


A special place must be dedicated to the monsters… I love them! I enjoyed myself so much in drawing those funny and sometimes grotesque creatures animated frame by frame, by simple movements (well yes I'm improvising as cartoon animator).
They seem cute and harmless but don't underestimate them, they will give you hard times! 





I love them so much that, I was thinking about making a Rolling-Monster-Manual, the ©Rollinomicon, a crazy idea maybe, but below you can see a taste of a little bunch of monsters which includes the Big Guy of whom I can't speak about, for the moment ^_^

Rolling Legend Bestiary

A bunch of monsters

Now, it's time to focus on the assets and the props.In order to give uniformity and harmony to the project, we decided to create every element and all the textures for the assets and the props drawn by hand, with our peculiar style! Consider that each game world is constituted by ten levels, each level has dozens of original elements and objects: you can easily imagine how much time it takes for this job... the level designers are very busy trying to be as bad as possible, to make the things very difficult for the players! :D

Work in progress - background colour test, with Johnny























Work in progress - background colour test, with Johnny



Work in progress - background colour test, with Johnny






















 We also designed brand new, all the icons and buttons you'll use... but more about that in the next chapter of this DevDiary

Study for button
You've seen that we took care of every detail with love and dedication! we hope you will find the graphics of Rolling Legend original and attractive as well, we are doing our best to create something funny, enjoyable and unique on its genre!
So, It is time to say see you soon! But another word about the main hero of Rolling Legend our beloved Johnny Marble a quiet guy who doesn't care about appearances who addresses every situation with a smile and chutzpah, the good guy generous, and loyal, who can be in trouble sometimes, but eventually always does the right thing!
Who'd dare to deny that Johnny is a cute and adorable cheeky guy?





Thanks for watching!