Thursday, April 22, 2010

Production & Co

I just found a slew of photos we took during the early months of production. If memory serves, most of these images are from early 2009. Erik had just secured some funds for a proof-of-concept game/movie mix project and I had just resigned from my job. That's basically how it all started.

Since we already had an adventure game engine up and running, we figured why settle for a proof-of-concept demo? Why not just take the money and launch full scale production straight away?

Since we knew we wanted to build the game by hand to a large extent, we set up shop at Erik's former business partner, Mikael Lindblom, in his stop motion studio at Dockhus Animation.

This is Mikael working hard on one of the games basement locations. This precise location has changed quite a lot since then, so don't worry, we're not spoiling anything for you.

This is basically how we set up most of our locations: three walls and a floor. No point in putting in a ceiling since it would not be seen by the player – and would also make lighting the set very difficult.

Setting up shop at an existing stop motion studio had the advantage of most of the equipment already being in place. Having to buy lights/rigs/dimmers/cameras/etc. would quickly have eaten up the entire budget. (Film grade lights are worth their weight in gold.)

I spent most of the early days writing the design document for Chapters 1 & 2. This was made extra nerve-wracking since Erik and Mikael where already hard at work building sets – usually faster than I could write the scenes. Any drastic changes and the whole set would have to be re-worked after the fact.

To a large extent we circumvented a lot of potential problems by setting the game in an apartment building. This way, Erik and Mikael could start building rooms by the functions they where supposed to have (a kitchen, a toilet etc.) and start working in the details once I knew specifically what the room needed to contain for gameplay purposes.

This turned out surprisingly well, even though we had to retrace our steps on some of the sets.

The characters also started out in a similarly vague fashion. In our early discussions they where basically ciphers, reduced to one or two characteristics: "shady old man", "disabled black guy" etc. Then we started fleshing them out once the process demanded it.

The handsome young fella behind the clay figurine is Erik by the way.

This is one of my favorite sets in the entire game: The dead tree.

This photo was taken over a year ago. Yeah, we have been working on this project for more than a year now. What started out as a proof-of-concept demo evolved into... something else.

In less than a month we'll be releasing the first Chapter for you to try out. We're getting ready to send our baby out into the real world.

And we're dying to hear what you think...


 - a


  1. Sjukt ballt inlägg pågar.
    Ska man skriva på engelska här?
    I alla fall. Tack för ett sjukt roligt Nordic Game get together.
    Hörs av snart igen.

  2. There's something I've been a bit confused about for a while now, though maybe I'm just overthinking things. Are you guys making any money off of this game? Is this going to be another free web game like Gateway or are you selling it?

  3. Simon: Tack själv! Sjukt roligt att ses och hänga med dig och din sköna crew. Vi älskar er!

    Anonymous: We plan on releasing the first chapter for free and if you like it and want to play the rest, you can buy them for a small sum (we haven't decided on exactly how much they'll cost yet).

  4. Underbart att se hur det går till när ni bygger sånt här. Man får både komplex och ångest för att det man själv gör känns så rotlöst och flyktigt i jämförelse :) Ser fram emot den första releasen! Lycka till!

  5. Dream Machine Crew: Dang it, I don't have a credit card!