All The Peoples (and an interview)

Regarding my note in the Putting People Together post from last month, Joseph’s been busy painting up a variety of skin tones for Clockwork Empires people.

Heads for all! You, and you, and not you, and you!

We feel it’s important to have people of all colours in the game, basically. I’m not going to get into the exceedingly grim history of 19th century colonialism here, but I assure you we’ve had a lot of internal discussions about how we can possibly approach making a game vaguely based on the Victorian era without being ridiculously offensive.¬†Happily, we’re not making a historical game. (Hi Paradox folk! The Aztec Invasion of Europe DLC is brilliant.)

From an artistic perspective, you can’t just shift the tone of a skin texture one way or the other and have it look at all correct. The highlights, midtones, and shadows of cool dark brown vs medium warm brown skin are very different, so to do this justice Joseph has been using shifted textures as a base layer then doing a hand-painting pass to get things looking right. We’re happy with how it’s coming along.

Soldiers & metalworkers.

In Other News, An Interview

I stumbled into the office clutching my coffee as though it were my only connection to a sane and sensible world one morning to discover that we’d lined up an interview with Mr. Christopher Floyd over at — well, Daniel did and I kinda crashed it. We proceeded to have a lovely time talking with Christopher about all sorts of things relating to indie game development, from Dungeons of Dredmor to Clockwork Empires. Go have a look.

Sunday Sidebar: Meet Daniel Jacobsen and David Baumgart from Gaslamp Games.

Neither of those characters is wearing historical accurate dress appropriate for adventures in the lands of the 15th century Holy Roman Empire.

In other news, the Evening Of Indie Game Development Anecdotes And Smooth Jazz Jam Session With Nicholas Vining has been indefinitely delayed due to a series of rapidly escalating misunderstandings surrounding the use of ghost pirates.

Posted in Clockwork Empires, Interviews | Tagged , , , , ,

17 Responses to “All The Peoples (and an interview)”

  1. Kawa says:

    As someone who is not white (or male or straight, but that’s another post), THANK YOU for doing this, and THANK YOU for not just having multiple color options – but also for having multiple facial shape/structure options. It seems like such a small detail, but it adds so much to the game. You folks make awesome things, and I hope you continue making such awesome things.

    PS: any chance of similar options in a future patch of Dungeons of Dredmor, and/or has a modder already covered such a thing?

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    • Althea says:

      I’m not a GLG person, but I think I can answer it.

      Short answer: No.

      Long answer: Dredmor’s really, really not GLG’s focus right now. It’s still being patched and so on, but nothing major will be happening for a while, it seems. Adding race/customisation options to Dredmor would be a huge amount of work, especially for the artists (who are currently doing a lot for CE, I believe). They would have to rework many sprites, for example, and code in some facility for these changes to be represented in-game. We don’t even have two sets of skill tree icons for the two genders represented (it’s currently mixed), and it has been stated that expanding that would be nice but isn’t on their list of priorities.

      In other words, don’t hold your breath for it. GLG are still a small studio, and Dredmor isn’t getting their focus right now.

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      • Kawa says:

        Fair enough! Do you happen to know the answer to the second half of my question?

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        • Althea says:

          I’ve not paid too much attention to the modding community, but I believe the answer is “no”. It really is *that* much work, and I’m not sure if mods would even be able to add such a facility.

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          • AdminDavid Baumgart says:

            Modding in a recoloured hero sprite would not be that difficult – just script an adjustment of the colour palette for the entire folder of animation frames.

            This would not be supported by the official mod structure via Steam or via our modding system, it’d require altering the core files.

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            • Althea says:

              Oh. I sit corrected.

              So it’s possible, theoretically, but realistically it likely won’t happen?

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              • tentacled-godqueen says:

                I think you could just straight up replace the core character sprites? Which would require redrawing them all, but then it’d just be a matter of switching out the old ones and in the new ones. You wouldn’t be able to pick your hero’s race in the game, you’d have to do that by swapping out the files, but otherwise I think it would work fine?

                So really the challenge is just finding an artist who can do the necessary drawing. (I would but I have next to no drawing skills.)

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  2. Xyvik says:

    So, is it just my imagination or do I hear Captain James Hook, via Dustin Hoffman, saying the lines of the first picture’s caption? I swear I do!

    Anyway, great interview and nice to have more options. Question: I’m assuming that your colonists will show up in different “shades” randomly and automatically, but what about Yourself, the Overseer? Are there customization options there or just some sort of cool Picture off on the side somewhere?

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  3. Ruigi says:

    Oh my god! you guys played darklands?!

    hnnngh! (this is the sound of my orgasmic contractions)

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  4. Sunday says:

    Gotta say that I was surprised to see that you worked on Starfarer.

    Awesome game. I’ve really been enjoying it.

    Did you work on ship art? Or something else?

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    • AdminDavid Baumgart says:

      Ah- I did all the art!

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      • Sunday says:

        Wow! I was surprised because (IMO) the game design, UI, art, and sound in that game all fit together so perfectly, and are all so polished, that I figured the game must have been created by a team that had been working together for a really long time.

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  5. I’m someone who loves diversity in games. Nothing worse than having to play a story-less toon who doesn’t represent you.

    (I’d happily play characters that don’t represent me if their stories are told awesomely.)

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