Never been that difficult

by Philipp Kasper

„Hello“ and a friendly „Please don’t be mad“ to all blog readers who feel that we are not providing them with enough information recently. My name is „Flip“, like always, and in the last couple of weeks I’ve had a lot on my mind – professionally as well as dealing with personal (mini) catastrophies.
The end is edging coming closer and closer and with every inch the pressure on our shoulders increases. I can of course only speak for myself, but my days at Zeppelin Studio are definitely very limited, due to my upcoming term of social service.
After my dear colleagues Michael and Philipp returned from Paris, they dumped a huge package of work on my desk: The complete graphical redesign of all levels. Each level needs to „feel“ differently, and that’s what I’m gnawing at right now.

These are my new concepts :)
Concepts

A different subject about which I would like to talk is concentration. I am one of those people who gets distracted by absolutely everything. It may be the neighbors with their typical outbursts of rage, or the sudden urge to check if my ukulele is still tuned. I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with my self for the last 20 years. In such a long time you get to know yourself quite well. So I have begun to find some little tricks, with which I can cause a kind of tunnel vision and ignore all those small things that so desperately try to get my attention.

  1. NO INTERNET!!!
    That’s sooooo so so important. „NO, you don’t need to just really quickly go on Facebook.” „No, not Youtube either. And definitely not 9gag!“
  2. Music
    And by that I DON’T mean Youtube. There are great alternatives like Grooveshark, Soundcloud or Spotify. (I can recommend the latter with good conscience.)
  3. An upright posture and adequate sitting height.
  4. Enjoy the small things“
    Take multiple breaks of 5–10 minutes each 1.5 to 2 hours.
    Have a drink, grab a carrot and enjoy the calm, if you can.
  5. COFFEE (optional)
    One or two in the morning and then keep going like that. ^^

These are my tricks. I wish you all a good week and stay tuned.

Concentration

Making Menus With Brushes

by Philip Kasper

Hello dear readers of the Schein–Blog.
The project progresses and with long strides we are proudly marching towards Beta. In the last weeks my tasks included redesigning the graphical user interface (GUI), drawing a world map and texturing some “obstacles” which you will encounter throughout the game.

In this picture you can see some sketches for the GUI concept.
GUI
The plan is to change the appearance of the menu depending on the active light.
GUI

The world map in particular was a lot of fun to make, since I could move quite freely. My first idea was a map in the style of “The Lord of the Rings” and “World of Warcraft” and this was readily accepted by my colleagues.
GUI

Of course there’s still more parts to the map, but we didn’t want to spoil you all just yet.

A short Hello

by Philip Kasper

Dear blog-reader, my name is “Flip” (Philip Kasper) and I am the new „Artist“ at Zeppelin Studio. It´s my task to write my first blog post today. I would like to show you some of the sketches i did in the concept-phase.

Mask

What you can see here is a sketch and then the beginning of a rendered painting. It’s a wooden sculpture.
I’ve recorded a video of when I painted it – check it out!


These are a few sketches of a sword that you can find in the Game. You can´t use it though because it´s already broken when you find it.
Sword

If you would like to see more of my stuff you can find me on Facebook and Youtube.

Vacation

by Philipp Schürz

We’re on vacation this week! YAY!

Vacation

Sleepless Nights

by Philipp Schürz

Another week, another blog post. These are the weeks leading up to our presentation at the Microsoft Imagine Cup Finals in St. Petersburg — Russia. Needless to say we’re extremely excited by this opportunity and a little bit nervous too.

The remaining time will be spent with sleepless nights, working tirelessly on improving our game.
Unfortunately for me, this is also exactly the time of all my exams. So my nights will be even sleepless…-er…

Looking For Something

Anyway, we are trying to improve nearly every aspect of the game to have it at its best for the presentation in July. So keep an eye out for upcoming blog posts and don’t miss the Awards Ceremony on July 11th! (It will be streamed live from St. Petersburg on imaginecup.com.)

Win a FREE copy of Schein!

by Tiare Feuchtner

Have you noticed our Schein Fan Art collection? We’ve received some really beautiful creations!

Just recently Ydriss shared this video with us, where she is drawing another mystical scene in the swamp.

If Schein inspires you too, grab a pencil and paper, tablet, modelling tool or any other creative tool to express your views of the swamp. No matter if it’s an epic composition or just a quick doodle of an amazing idea. Let your imagination run free and send us your work!

We will add it to our gallery, and upon release (Summer 2013) the best artwork will be selected. The winner will be rewarded with a FREE copy of Schein!

Email your work to fanart@scheingame.com.

And if you don’t think you possess that kind of skill, visit our crowdfunding campaign and secure yourself early access to our game!

A Bit of Schein

by Philipp Schürz

Exciting times for Schein and for us, the developers. With the game starting on Greenlight and crowd funding not far away, there’s a lot to do. When we started this project, I would never have imagined that creating the game is not necessarily the biggest part of making a game ^^. There is just so much stuff that comes with it. Research, marketing, promotion, financial worries, and that’s without going into detail. But all of this has taught us so much. I know I go on about what a great learning experience this is in pretty much every blog post. But it is the way I feel.

Recently, although I would consider the reception on Greenlight pretty a pretty good one, there were some comments stating that our game doesn’t look as amazing as “Giana Sisters”. Yes, we are not “The Giana Sisters”, we’re not “Bastion”, or any other game. But we started this game with NO experience and NO budget. This is the very first game we ever created and I am very proud of what we have achieved. We are working hard and we are improving and learning and changing every day.

If you are one of the people who look at our video and draw comparisons to other games with more resources behind them, just download our demo. That is why we have one, so you can experience it for yourself. The feel of a game cannot be conveyed through a video. If it could, it would be a movie. So before you make up your mind about what our game is or isn’t, just play it. It’s free and I know we can find a place in your heart for our game. After all, it found one in our hearts too.

Okay, enough preaching, here’s a sequence of how the current promotional illustration happened.
Enjoy!

Illustration Sequence

Process of Renewal

by Philipp Schürz

Finally, the long overdue Character redesign has begun: Our protagonist – the “young man” – is getting a major overhaul. But it’s a long process until the new character is fully integrated in the game. I would like to walk you through some of the steps, from an artist’s perspective.

It all starts with a discussion about what should be changed, why, how and when. This part can take a while and requires a substantial amount of energy.
Then the concept making begins. I put down some really quick sketches, just so there is something visual we can talk about.
Now the second round of discussions starts. Ideally by this time the basic points are settled and I can start modeling. Modeling is one of the stages where I can usually relax a bit. The major design decisions have been made and the rest is just pushing and pulling at edgeloops and shouting at the software, until it does what I want.
After that comes UV-mapping, which is the process of unrolling the 3D surface of the model to a flat 2D texture, so you can paint on it in any old pixel based software like Photoshop. Now I use the UV-Template and paint the texture onto it.
While I’m doing that, I hand over the model to our talented animator/level designer/project manager. And boy, am I glad that he does the animation, because that’s a load of work.

Character Redesign

During most of this process, there are still changes being made. When the model is done, for example, we have another meeting to get consensus on the final model. When I am painting the textures, we have meetings for that, to see if everybody is onboard with the direction I am going.
You see, we are working in a pretty democratic fashion. We don’t have that many meetings for everything we do, but the main character is after all a pretty important part of the game, so every opinion counts.

New Year, new Char

by Philipp Schürz

Happy New Year everyone!
For me it’s exam weeks right now, maybe for you too. So it’s pretty busy, as you can imagine. Still, we’ve decided to give our “young man” a little rework. So I’ve sketched up some …sketches.

The main Idea was, to make him look a little more adult. Yes, he’s a young man, but with emphasis on “man”, not on “young”. Also, he’s got a little bit larger Hands, so he can do more stuff with them. Like grab things.
As you can see, I went a little bit overboard with some of these, but that’s what they’re for, being conceptual sketches and all. The new model is already in the final stages and the new textures will be underway shortly.

In the meantime, enjoy these complimentary drawings ;)

New Char

Recollections from the Art-World

by Philipp Schürz

So this is my first post about the design aspect of the game. Where to begin…
So much has changed since we started this project. I can’t even remember exactly when that was.
In the beginning it felt like I was just trying to stay afloat. I was doing one asset at a time, trying to get “one of each” done just so that we wouldn’t have so many blanks and placeholders. I wasn’t really thinking much about coherence. I just had a loose image in my head, of what the world(s) should look like and tried to make every new asset to kind of fit that.
I don’t know how many times I have completely reworked the platforms already! When we transitioned from a student project to something we actually wanted to publish, it was obvious that this had to change.
I spent quite some time now on conjuring up a couple of images that will serve as a guide for all future asset creation. I can now say with some confidence, that the hard work is done! (not really though ^^) From now on, no second guessing, no major restructuring. All major ideas for the looks of Schein have been committed to paper and were approved. There is a strong red line now that “only” needs be followed. If we started this project today, I would do lots of things differently. But then again, that is one of the most gratifying things about working on this game: looking back and realizing how far we have come and how much we have learned. As individuals and as a team.
Solid World Green World