Very delayed update as I’ve been quite busy with some other projects. Sadly I’ve hit a brick wall with writing for The Man Outside so I’ve decided to get some help with that.  I’ve also been recommended a musician that might interested in helping so yay.  Hopefully I will update much more frequently now.  In the meantime, have a little screenshot :)

Screenshot Saturday!  This will hopefully be one of the sneaking sections of the game.

So when I was drawing some backgrounds for The Man Outside, I had trouble coming up with certain designs for rooms.  Therefore, I have shamefully reused some art I had done before as I quite liked the layout.  So I present a museum (complete with stegosaurus fossil) that has been converted into a large bank.  Maybe they are technically the same place but many decades apart ;)

It’s saturday and that can only mean one thing.  SCREENSHOTS. It’s saturday and that can only mean one thing.  SCREENSHOTS.

It’s saturday and that can only mean one thing.  SCREENSHOTS.

I suppose I should explain why I am making a traditional graphic adventure as opposed to something more innovative…

My earliest gaming memory was playing Chucky Egg on the BBC Micro.  I must have been about 4 or 5 years old.  It left no lasting impression on me at all.  My gaming career was over.

At least it was until my father bought a copy of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis home on shiny floppy disk.  We played it together, it was great.  Over that day(or days) I came to love the experience of puzzle solving combined with an immersive story.  It was the start of my love affair with the genre.  I couldn’t get enough of them.  A bit of Monkey Island here and a bit of King’s Quest there.  It was all amazing to me.  I never thought computer gaming could make me so happy.

Fast forward 10 or so years to around 2001.  I had sort of lost touch with the genre, although by then it was already in decline after the 90’s boom. My school friend (and to this day of my very dear friend Gary)  introduced me to an internet community based around Adventure Game Studio, a tool to allow anyone to create their own graphic adventure.  We decided to, with mixed results, to create our own game called The Zero Hero.  I would do the ‘graphics’ and he would script.

Now, I was not an artist back then.  I didn’t really know how to draw.  Nevertheless, I tried my hardest and came up with stuff like this.  It was passable at best but the process of drawing  and working with people to create something was amazing fun so I decided I would try and get better at the whole drawing thing.

The Zero Hero was never released and, due to school and university etc etc, I almost ended up losing touch with the community.  However, in 2009 I came back and decided to create my own game.  I ended up coding and drawing a lot of the game (with help from my good friend Ken) myself and managed to release a decent game in 3 months.  Ever since then,  I have been striving to improve my artistic and coding skills to a point where I now feel I have the skills to design something good myself.  

This is a rather condensed version of my experiences with graphic adventures, but I suppose it summarises why I came to love the genre and why I want to create my own one.

My next blog should hopefully cover what my inspirations for the game were.  Before then I will probably be posting some progress screenshots or animations.

Hope you enjoyed reading this.  I am not very good at expressing myself so hopefully it is vaguely coherent :)

One of the early screenshots of the street outside the main character’s office.  I had to make a design choice early regarding the character colouring.  Originally, they were completely desaturated causing them to get very lost in the backgrounds.  Now, with the slight saturation, I think they are much more visible.  I’ve been thinking about adding dynamic shadows too but currently I am not sure how I might achieve this…

I think it is time I start a development blog for my graphic adventure, The Man Outside.  I’ve had a few people ask me more about it and I have been reluctant to say much but now I feel like it is time that I become more proactive about the project.  Over the next few weeks I will be posting some existing content interspersed with my thoughts about the game making process.

So please follow me if you feel you might be interested!

Watch this space!

© Matt Frith 2013