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A look into World-Building.

clockwork_cityscape512x512-512x512Hello, folks. 

Today, we’re taking a step into world building and how the world of Clockwork came to being. From the creative minds at Gamesoft to the vibrant development of this fictional city.

We’ve mentioned in the past that it came from a few of our team members here, but never delved into it with too much detail. We had originally been bouncing ideas about the setting of the game. This version of Clockwork, which wasn’t even called Clockwork at the time featured a completely different story. Different characters, different environments and no game mechanics really tied to it. We originally were aiming to tell a story before we wanted to turn it into a game.

It wasn’t long after that our lead of programming, Adam Pinto saw his vision for how the game would play. Introducing the base of the game mechanic, and how time behaved in this new world.

Like any good ideas, it started with the simplest concept. That our main character could watch his past self going through motions. From there, as the team grew so did the idea and the world behind it.

But what was this world we claimed to have built?

It’s easy to get carried away with all the details of every story. We’ve crafted this giant world, that we may not get the opportunity to demonstrate. But as the creators we find it imperative that we’re aware of what’s happening and why.

Watchtower is a machine city/state, governed by the rich and populated by the poor. The typification of hierarchal society. The story is set in a world parallel to the French 1600s, through an age of Renaissance and Industrial revolution. Imagine a world where we had stopped developing technology and wandered into paranormal physics.

If after we had developed steam engines, clocks and automatons, we decided we had enough of growing.

The people of Watchtower have lost their drive to continue forward. Like clockwork, they go through the motions of their lives and jobs, not knowing when the day begins and when it truly ends. The mindless denizens grow weary through time, their bodies rusting away as their gears creak and grind into dust.

Their metal bodies were built for their salvation, yet now that the danger has passed and time goes on, humanity has reached a standstill. A standstill on rusty legs. And amidst the workings of this city, a boy looks for screws in need of tightening, nuts and bolts to replace, bodies to fix and above all, his place in this ageing world.

I know there are many questions we have left unanswered about Clockwork, and so ask us any question you’d like answered about the game. 

Let us know what you think, and what kind of article you would like written next as well.

Thanks!

 

Clockwork Progress Update: A word from the team.

Milli_movement-512x512“What is currently happening with Clockwork?”

Howdy. I’m running out of ways to introduce these articles. But fret not, for today we will actually talk about the game a bit more. We’re not quite ready to announce anything major yet, but we’re well on our way there. We’re not ready to start showing screenshots of what we’re working on for Clockwork, but here are some of the changes that have been made from what  you last saw.

A word from the artists:

Since the start of the project, it’s been an arduous journey in achieving what we hope with Clockwork, and in doing so, we’ve developed the game to offer a much better experience for the player.

The first thing you can expect to change from what you saw at GDC is the art. We’ve revamped the art to provide a cleaner, more efficient look from a development perspective. The clockpunk, grungy style that you saw will still be there but you can expect a lot more room for the amazing backdrops of the world.

We haven’t just reworked the environment, but also the characters. Our protagonist, Atto has been revamped to provide a clearer picture of who he is whilst keeping with the artwork you’ve seen. He’s become the image of Clockwork, so we’ve worked to recapture his essence and clean him up significantly. Both from his drawing, to his animating.

The world of Clockwork is a constantly moving, oscillating environment. We’ve designed our environments to turn, spin and lift as you’d expect the innards of a clock to. In our previous build, much of the motion of the environment was missing and we’re hoping that fans will be entranced in the world by these dynamic environments. We had always anticipated making this a part of the game, but now it is one of the many parts we have adding to our world building.

A word from the designers:

From a design perspective, there’s a lot that’s changed that we’re incredibly eager to share with everyone. We’ve mentioned this numerous times before, but now we can finally talk about some of the developments we’ve made since then.

Firstly, we found at GDC that players as well as us preferred to see more of the level on screen. We’ve taken that, and redesigned all of our levels to compensate for a broader view of what’s going on. We’ve been pushing for this since the start, but now that we have the players’ opinion of the idea we’re able to justify its implementation.

Atto is exploring this vast world of which he only had ever scratched the surface of. We’ve amped the ante and introduced many more supporting elements, as well as obstacles he will face. Watchtower has its dangerous side, and we’re really hoping to reflect that when the player progresses. Atto’s home is a haven in a very disrupted world. Players will long for the peace they will experience during the easier times of the game.

The bigger design news we’re going to talk about is the player’s exposure to Milli. Milli is one of the many great characters that make up the main story of Clockwork. We’ve been meaning to improve her presence in the game, through both the visuals and the narrative. Players will now be able to take control of Milli during their playthrough of the game. This will let you clip through walls and obstacles, but won’t be able to affect anything physically. It will serve as a method for the player to view what’s coming ahead and plan out their progress through the level.

Visually, she will take physical form as the young girl you may have seen in the artwork. We felt it a waste to keep her contained within the clock, and since we had designed for her to be personified in some manner, we thought may also give the player some more attachment to her. She will prove to be a lifesaver during the more complex puzzles, and just adds to our design solutions.

There is much more we can’t talk about, but as every solution becomes more concrete you can expect more updates like this.

In upcoming news, we’re opening ourselves to answer frequently asked questions. So leave in the comments anything you’d like to know more about the game.

There’ll be a lot of details we can’t give out yet, as usual, but we’d like to engage with you as much as possible. We do take any feedback we see and consider it, so feel free to be open about it!

Thank you,

 The Clockwork Team.

Meet Arianne Elliott: Art Director

ArianneWell hello there! I’m Arianne, and I’m the art director and concept artist over at Gamesoft on the game, Clockwork.

So, the guys have finally coerced me into writing a bit about myself. This week I’ve gone 32 hours without sleep, gone half blind from a migraine, and been so poor I considered a peanut butter sandwich for every meal a balanced diet, and writing this is still the most tedious thing I’ll do all week.

What kind of work do you do?

I draw pretty things, sounds dumb, but that’s usually what i’m doing.

Well, there is more to it than that, I draw assets, characters, concept art, promotional art, and I monitor the look and feel of the game.

And when I’m not working on clockwork I work of whatever freelance gigs I can get my little mits on, Web stuff, illustration, photo editing, anything to make a dime.

What do you love about art?

Now far from resenting these aspects of being a full time digital artist, I actually revel in the struggle. Sure it means you’re the wet blanket who turns down plans since there’s always work to be done. Yes, you may find yourself staring at your computer like a drone when a not so pleasant smell brings you back to consciousness, and then you realise that smell is really you, and you should probably shower.

It’s also definitely not cool to be editing people in your head when you are supposed to be carrying a conversation.

But I still find there is nothing else I would rather be doing, nothing quite like the freedom of having ideas and being able to breath life into them, the elation of giving your imagination a visual form.

Working in games is a bit different, but no less rewarding. Having a project where different people and all their skills come together is great. We’ve found this great chemistry in the team that makes the office a really comfortable place to work.

What are your favorite games?

Bioshock/Infinite, Jak 2, Last Of Us,Tales of Vesperia,Oblivion, Skyrim, AssCreed 4, Age of Empires II, Wolf Among Us, though if i’m honest i’ve mostly just been playing a lot of Guitar Hero.

I look for influence not just from games but also from traditional art, to movies, TV shows and definitely books.

They let me generate my own vision of things, and sparks a lot of my creativity.

Where would you be if you weren’t an artist?

I’d be an angry chef.

I’m halfway there but still working on the chef part.

Thanks for taking the time to read this rant. I know the editor’s going to have a field day with this one. But you wouldn’t know why because it’s already been edited.

Gamesoft: A look into an Australian game studio.

c-1024x576Today, we look at a very different part of our studio. I’m sure you’re all well aware that we are an Australian studio, and if not then welcome to our website! Australia is an awesome place, so we’re glad to be here, and this is why.

What’s it like living in Australia?

Living in Australia is pretty cool. We get the sunny days, and the cool beaches. Every game developer’s dreams. That being said, we don’t get to enjoy most of these at the moment because it’s winter now. Australia has a nice variety, and from my personal travel experience it’s got such a great dynamic weather system that fits perfectly for human gameplay mechanics.

What are some of your challenges as an Australian studio?

The biggest challenge is probably survival. Indie companies may come and go, and so we’re eternally grateful to be doing work that isn’t for a specific client.

Australia is a pricey place, but we’ve managed to balance ourselves well enough to maintain this kind of lifestyle that we live comfortably. That, and we adore what we do, so we’ll most likely never really complain.

On top of Clockwork, some of us have numerous projects on the side that we’re developing as well.

How did your team come together?

We met because we come from similar backgrounds, and originate from a common place. We’ve encountered the talent we need, amongst our social circles and found to suddenly band this team. From more experienced generations of Gamesoft, to new ones, we’ve all moulded to fit with each other really well. Going to work is a lot of fun for that reason, we all get along and we all have such a varied perspective. Almost like the Breakfast Club only with less angst.

Is there any difference being an Australian studio?

I can’t say there are really any notable differences. We get slow internet speeds, and most games never host an Australian server save for a few. These are all problems beyond our control, and only time will tell before more support is directed towards Australian games.

When it comes to actual development, we don’t do anything backwards contrary to popular belief. Our keyboards aren’t the other way around, and our left click isn’t right click. From a purely employee perspective, there’s little difference. We make art, code or game designs and then they shape together to make a game. Right now our collective effort is simply Clockwork.

What do you think of the Australian game industry?

The Australian game industry is bundle of ambitious developers looking for their big break. That includes us. There’s a long way to go, but it’s very much driven by indie companies like us. We try to do what we can for the industry, but as for any creative design it’s really all about delivering the project you want to do. We have the ability to do that, and for that we’re grateful at the opportunity.

What does the future look like for Gamesoft?

It’s pretty early to say, we’ll have to wait and see how Clockwork does and maybe you’ll see more of us. Either way, there’s no chance we’ll leave this industry anytime soon so together or alone, we’re going to deliver more awesomeness for our comrades in Australia.

 

Image: (courtesywallpapers.com)

Here is Princy Suarez, Technical Artist/Designer

Hey people!

As our progress continues, we’d like to introduce you to another team member that we have the pleasure of working with.

Meet Princy Suarez!

princey

Occupation:
I’m an Artist, although technical artist would be more accurate. I take the art and import it into the game engine and using that art, I create assets that can be used to build levels. I also build  the levels based off of the level and puzzle designs from Boramy. Some of the puzzle designing also falls onto me, which is lots of fun. I’m also the one in charge of keeping the project directory clean and tidy, making sure files are named correctly and placed in the right place. On top of all that I lend a hand in the art department, creating miscellaneous bits of art. I do know how to draw after all.

Likes:
Long walks on the beach, pina coladas, down voting Youtube videos, and Lego. And also video games.

Dislikes:

Bad naming conventions and folder structures. People not following naming conventions or folder structures. Strangers who sit next to me on public transport when there are clearly other empty seats available. Weather that is too cold or too hot. The majority of Adam Sandler films.

 

Favourite Game:
Bad Rats. There is nothing on earth quite like it. Everyone’s steam library should have it. It’s a great Christmas gift. May the legend never die. But in all seriousness my favourite game is probably Final Fantasy 7. It was my first Final Fantasy and one of the first games I ever finished. Looking at the box art I thought it was a game about soccer. Turns out it was a lot more than that. From the music to the systems, to the simple polygon art and the cheesy story, I love Final Fantasy 7. It will always have a space on my shelf.

Favourite Hotkey:
Ctrl + F. Wouldn’t find anything without it. Also the find and replace function is great.

If you weren’t making games, where else would you be right now?

Zookeeper or marine biologist. My favourite spots in the city are the aquarium and the zoo, so I guess working there wouldn’t be so bad. I don’t super love animals but I think they’re okay. Asides from that, the only other place I could see myself in is an office space job, something in a cubicle, preferably in a greyish blue color. Tight, compact, dead end, water cooler to match. I could do that.

 

Miscellaneous:
I collect Lego minifigures. The quality has gone up since I was a kid. Every figure has really nice detail. They make great desk companions. I also have six Lego vehicles; five from the recent Lego speed champions series and the other being the ecto-1 from Ghostbusters. The other cars look really swish but the ecto-1 takes the cake. It is a beautiful reproduction of the car from the movie. Other than that, I do frequently read comics. The Everything Burns story is arc is one I would recommend.

Overall it’s been a fun experience working in games. Everybody here is so much fun to work with. There is literally nothing else in the world I would rather do. Literally nothing.

 

If you have questions you’d like to ask Princy, feel free to comment on facebook, our website or send us tweets!

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