The Journey of Algiz

Algiz, the Architect of Life, formed by the force of the Creator of Universe, as one of the seven powerful Architects. Just like the rest of his brothers, he was send into the depths of a lifeless Universe. His mission was clear. Make a planet overflow with life, energy and beauty…but that is enough for now. No more spoilers. This blog post won’t be about his backstory. This blog post will be about the visual evolution of our main hero Algiz.

Every story based game needs an amazing main character. But it is not that easy to make one. Especially in a newly formed team full of absolute beginners and without an art director. And that is exactly, how it all started. Every artist determined to be the best one, created their own interpretations of Algiz. These are just a couple of them, clearly showing the diversity of styles in each artist.  

After literally dozens of concepts from every artist, we finally decided who should be the lead character artist. But this was just the first step forward. The more he drew, more and more questions appeared regarding Algiz’s personality and his overall feeling. Do we want him to be cute? Or majestic and powerful? What colors should he have? What silhouette? And so on….

After another wave of concepts and some feedback later, we finally knew what is our biggest problem with all the concepts (at least we thought so). To sum up it up, Dano, the lead character artist, had a new guide to follow. SIMPLIFY and SIMPLIFY. Well, that is easier said than done.



Luckily, Dano managed to do so, and kept drawing and refining (and drawing and refining…).

At last, after another giant series of designs later, we finally had it. The final design was ready to be transferred from 2D to 3D and bring him to life.

This was the journey about the evolution of Algiz, the Architect of Life and the main hero of Echoed World.

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How the story of Echoed World continues… (so far)

As you may already know, it all started in November 2016 during the Skill Drill program. Month after month we’ve been spending our Sundays in the work space of Pixel Federation, learning, working hard, presenting, getting feedback from amazing mentors and professionals, who led us forward and beyond. However, Skill Drill ended in June during a 2 day hackathon, where we managed to make a great playable prototype. But what now? Echoed World was far, far, far (really far, far, far) from a state of a fully playable demo (or from something that could be called a demo… no, seriously.. It looked completely different than now).

 

Luckily, another great opportunity appeared. The Summer Game Dev 2017, organised by Edufactory by Pixel Federation, Slovak Design Center and by the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics of the Comenius University in Bratislava. Apart from our team continuing, the other two teams from Skill Drill decided to continue as well.

 

And so the 1st July came, and we all met again in the coworking space of Impact HUB, ready to grab our chance and work hard for the next 5 weeks. The goal was clear, make at least 10 min of gameplay and a vertical slice of the game, with everything a good game is supposed to have. Every day we’ve met, worked hard, iterated, reported during daily stand ups, worked more and more and listened to the feedback from our amazing mentors from Bohemia Interactive. Every week we had to present our progress during progress reports, all leading to the final day, the closing ceremony.

 

After countless hours of work, hundreds of new assets drawn, thousands of codes written and dozens (and dozens..) of bugs fixed we were ready for the final presentation and public playtesting. The final hour has come. 6PM, August the 5th 2017, presentation ready, final demo, consisting of a cinematic intro and 4 levels of gameplay, installed on a couple of PCs and Impact HUB started to fill with people, all ready to play our games and decide, which of the three games is the best.

 

Well, unfortunately, it wasn’t Echoed World.. (i know….unbelievable, right?) But you know what? This didn’t make us lose the motivation, it did the exact opposite. We listened to the people, listened to their feedback, positive ones and negative too and it made us even more motivated than before. We know what to do now, to make Echoed World an amazing game and a student project we will be proud of.  We will keep working hard, so that we create something people will enjoy and love, just like we do.

Don’t miss any news. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and prepare yourself for the final reveal 🙂

How the story began? The forming of our team!

Let’s say, that you would like to make your first videogame. Where would you start? Maybe a great idea? Interesting art piece? Engaging story? It would probably not be by sending an application (thinking harder… it probably would… damn!). That is, however, how most of us started on the project. Every individual applied to a programme called Skill Drill, which was run by a local game dev studio Pixel Federation. Everyone sent their resume and hoped for the best.

A long while passed, and the chosen ones received an invitation. Invitation for the first big gathering. Nobody knew what exactly to expect. Sitting in a hall around a huge round table, stirring with anticipation. Everyone had a while, to introduce themselves and their work up to that point. Graphic designers, programmers, sound composers, marketers, allrounders, every position that was necessary to make a game was represented in this mass of people. Some with experience, some still students. Some from near and some from far (but considering the size of our country, calling it „far“ may be a stretch). Two dozens of people, one simple goal. Make a game!

There were too many people to be assigned to a single project, and so three teams were formed. How? Randomly of course! Well, not entirely. Teams were pre-made, to contain at least one person from each required field of work. However, people did not know each other beforehand. They were thrown into their respective teams. Getting to know each other may have been harder for some, but at the end, most of us made it safe and sound.  We are one of them.

We are Team DOTS!

The rest of the people formed Grass Club and ZZZ… CROSS PROMOTION! YAY!

While other teams were mostly loosing members, we were expanding! Team DOTS recruited almost half of its current staff during the creative process, me included. It’s nice to have friends in the right places 😉

And the right place to stay in touch with us is right on our Facebook and Twitter! We are open to feedback, suggestions, or just a friendly chat! Hit us up, and if we won’t be splatting bugs in Unity, we will get back to you ASAP!