About a week ago I was hanging out with my friend Mike Jasoni (pictured above, working hard at the luxurious desk we set him up with) who said he couldn’t wait to start working on Solipsius with me. I had asked him before if he was interested in doing the art for the game and he said yes, but nothing ever came of it so I figured he was no longer interested and I started the game on my own. Well, turns out he was still interested, which inspired me to get back into working on the project again after two months of not doing much with it.
Mike is an animation student who graduated from my school earlier this year. He knows his way around Maya and has the skill to push the graphics for Solipsius a lot further than I could. He’s taking my currently modeled scenes and revising them by tweaking the models and focusing on the texturing and lighting; both areas that I was struggling with. Once Mike’s revisions are complete, they’ll simply be dropped into the game to replace the current ones. We are brainstorming different approaches to really make the game pop visually with lighting and animation effects like tufts of grass that move subtly in the wind.
The game itself has been coming along, too. It now features a time mechanic that will allow time to pass in the game, changing between day and night, with the option of sleeping in your bed to jump to a specific hour. One of the mini-games has already been implemented into the game, and another is ready to be. As far as scenes go, I’m about 35% finished with the environment; Mike just needs to revise what I’ve done and what remains. I’ve also been spending more time focused on the sound engineering aspect of the game by featuring ambient loops and I’m even exploring the idea of using infrasound; extremely low frequency sounds that are inaudible but have psychological effects on the listener. If implemented, this will be the first known game to feature such a mechanic.
At the rate this project is going, we should be able to finish it in approximately two months, but nothing is set in stone. At the very least, we’d like to have it finished by the end of October for a Halloween release/IGF 2011 submission :) In the meantime, I look forward to posting updates of Mike’s scene revisions.
More info on Mike as well as his demo reel can be found on his website.