As the project grows, we grew with it, and last week we moved into our new office. We are located on Santa Monica Blvd in Century City. The office is about 200 sqf with private entrance, a wood floor and a huge closet.
We are now a team of 5, 3 full time and 2 part time. Gathering different peoples into one space, favors collaboration and creativity which in turn offers bran new perspectives to our project. In just one week, new ideas and many improvement suggestions have already been implemented. I am very excited of our next few months of a team-tastic production.
PS: I doubt our landlord would ever let us do a huge graffiti on our wall. This is a photo montage.
My favorite part of Skyrim was the character creation. It kicks off with a quick story introduction, then hands the reins off to the player to offer a full customization of their hero. From cheek bone thickness to changing the overall appearance to a cat like creature with a tail, the game designers gave all the tools necessary to make each character look unique and appealing. I spend a few hours customizing my character, weighting the different options, some added stats, some were just for fun. At some point, my wife even pitched in the process and added her personal touch to my hero. By adding this feature I had a much deeper connection with my character and I truly cared for his actions during the story.
Diablo 3 had a similar effect. The game play and the story were ok, but god, to see my character swing his recently found axe on the face of the enemy, felt incredibly rewarding. Each item was meticulously designed to match their effects and strength and after purchasing or acquiring a new item, I could enjoy a full view of my hero sporting it in 3D. Playing the game quickly became an excuse to spend more time in the auction house and browse through the various items to make my character better.
In both of these games, customization gave me a sense of ownership over my hero and my involvement was multiplied. This is what Mico studio is striving to achieve in Monstermatic. We are developing tools that offers new creative freedom over the design of your monster. These tools include changing the shape of your character, swapping skins, textures and adding items and full color control. We are also implementing a draw feature that let’s users paint the skin of their monster directly from their mobile device.
I am happy to present you with a few in-game designs. They were all created in Monstermatic using the same mesh and our tools.
I’ve always been a slow modeler because for me modeling was the perfect time to kick back, relax, move some verts and discover new artists on Spotify. But this time, the process was different. I was modeling a monster in Maya and exporting in Unity for mobile gaming and I was not used to this at all. There are numerous technical constraints like the low polygon display limitation, the texture size, the rigging obligations etc… to take in account.
Recently, I listened to Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity on TED talks. He was explaining how his approach on any given problem was to boil it down to it’s core, like in physics, than, once all the questions were answered, to start building around those bases. In a way, we had a similar approach to our problem. A developer friend was kind enough to help me understand the core of Unity by running a bunch of test on our first monster design. Soon enough, I understood the basics of Unity and I was ready to model the final character design for Monstermatic while discovering new artists like Kasabian and The Glitch Mob on Spotify.
Soon we’ll post detailed tutorials about translating from Maya to mobile apps.
Even though the concepts and early gameplay of our mobile app went through many changes, customization options remained its foundation. I wanted to get a monster design that was simple enough to offer the users the freedom of creating their monster, yet it had to be unique.
Monstermatic went through many character variations but it was always a neckless monster. I started drawing similar designs at the age of twelve. Back then, I was a huge fan of Blanka from Street fighter 2 and with a quarter I could beat the whole game at the arcade. I thought Blanka was so cool that I started creating a game concept around this character. It was a an open world rpg like with leveling up. In-game levels were 2D plate-former like in Sonic, the Hedgedog and whenever the hero would encounter an enemy, they would have to fight, Street Fighter style. Just like that, simple, no? 🙂 The game never saw light but I remember the first concepts and combat moves I drew for it. I think this is a great fit for the purpose of this app and below are some of my sketches.
Next post, I ll show you our character fully modeled and textured.
At the beginning it’s just a thought, a wish, something to that you inspire to do or become, then you are quickly obsessed with it and you take it to the next level: You grow a desire to start organizing these ideas into thoughts and formulating them into words and sentences. Then, it’s all clear, these far away early ideas are now at reach and motivation kicks in to move you on to last phase of any creation process: action.
I have a passion that turned into “action”. A passion for art, animation and video games that grew so big, that it had to become true, it had to become real. And recently, it did.
This is why I am starting this blog, I want to share the creation process of this fantastic project called Monstermatic, share my experience and hopefully, get you as interested as I am. Here, you will find updates about our mobile app, detailed tutorials about game creation process and new art work every week.