Over the years I’ve worked as an illustrator, animator, teacher,  programmer, and designer (amongst many other related roles)

One thing that has been a constant for me since childhood has been my passion for drawing and creating my own graphics on computers.

From deluxe paint and real 3d on my old Amiga 500 to Corel draw, Macromedia director and flash on my first pc, I’ve always spent time, effort and energy on developing original graphics.

My childhood voyage of graphical discovery

So why change the habit of a lifetime now? I hear literally none of you cry!

Well, perversely it comes down to experience. Specifically the experience of hand-drawing backgrounds, characters animations and inventory items for my previous attempts at adventure games.

Whilst incredibly enjoyable and rewarding, it becomes the most time consuming part of the process and limits the amount of time remaining for everything else.

I’ve already written on the blog about the importance of setting realistic goals and an achievable scope so this time around I decided to leave the bulk of the graphics assets to someone else.

This was a really difficult decision for me, but after weeks of searching for a solution I found the great asset packs from Synty Studios and realised I could adapt and stylise them further to suit my aims. I was hooked!

Stamping your own ‘feel’ on a scene

It’s like having the best lego set in the world, with all the little pieces you need to be creative and build the scenes and locations of your dreams, in a fraction of the time!

More than anything else it lets me focus on the other graphics tasks in the game like scene design, cinematics, lighting and post production effects to give the feel I want, without having to model every single asset from scratch.

There’s a lot of things to 3D model, even in a cupboard

The downside is of course that these assets are not unique and have been used before by other indie Devs in the past and are likely to appear again in someone else’s project in the future.

With the old adage “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” ringing in my stubborn ears, I made my decision and set out to make polycity stories.

I’ve still got a huge graphics task at hand building every scene, furnishing it, adding items and objects out of the building blocks, wall segments and components I’ve invested in, with the added creative challenge of putting my personal stamp on the final look and feel too.

Ultimately this approach should make it much more likely I’ll actually achieve my goal of creating a finished game.

Only time will tell, hopefully a lot less time than my other attempts ,😀