INCURSION UPDATE!

Been quite some time since I did any sort of update about work on Incursion!

This isn’t because nothing is happening, but simply since we have reached a current point of keeping things under wraps.

What I can say.. is that Level 2 development is now completed!

If anyone is interested..? anyone?

Well, level 2 has to do with… a mysterious island.. and… yep!
…no there wont be any pirates on this island.. but this image does have to do with another secret on a monkey island..

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Composer: Nick Borrego

 

Artist: Brian Callahan

Programmer/Creative Director: Peter Moorhead

Music…

Posted: April 11, 2012 in Art, Indie Game Development Stuff

Here is some of my “new” music.. when i say “new” i mean a couple years old.. My music equipment now gets more use by my cat… since he enjoys stepping all over it..

Incursion: Teaser Art

Posted: March 29, 2012 in Art, Incursion Game Dev.

I am the artist for the game Incursion (& yes shameless plug here: http://www.incursion-game.com)

I am happy to say that reception over all for the Incursion beta demo has been pretty great… & I just want to blog a bit about my inspiration & reasons for making the art.. the way it is… nostalgic..

History:
It was my sister’s birthday & I must have been about 5 years old. The thing my sister wanted for her birthday more than anything else was an NES. Back in those days my dad was still in medical school supporting a family with two kids.. how he did it.. i don’t know…. especially with a car that would only start if you hit the engine with a hammer (literally)

My parents were strapped for cash, but I knew how much my sister wanted an NES for her birthday. My grandparents have always been the type that hand out cash to you every time you see them & as a young kid you tend to hold onto whatever money they give you because what are you going to spend it on? I had probably about fifty dollars (could have been less, but that is what my memory tells me) & so I convinced my parents to allow me to help pay for the NES so that we could afford to buy the system for her birthday since I knew how much she wanted one.. Heck, I wanted an NES too.. but I was younger than my sister & just knew that the way she talked about the nintendo that it was something awesome.

It took some convincing, but I remember standing in the store saying “Steph wants a nintendo for her birthday!” my parents were hesitant but they decided to buy the console.. i remember being so excited and thinking “Steph didn’t think they would get her an NES, but I helped get her one!… whether or not I actually gave them money towards it or not… I can’t really remember, but I could swear that I did. After that… well lets just say a lot of mario was played since it came with the system & for a long while we didnt have any other games because my parents were broke.

My sister and I used to rent the original Zelda religiously since my parents didn’t have the money to purchase it until later on… My sister played more than I did since I was a bit too young to grasp what was going on.. to be honest I think she was too, but she still managed to get pretty far. I was there watching her play for moral support & keeping track of where she had been already in the game world etc… I didn’t care that I wasn’t playing just watching was enough for me.

There was something so magical about all of those nes games.. & I still remember asking santa for dragon warrior & sitting on one of my grandparents friends lap who was dressed as santa at a family party & thinking it really was santa.. & then! There it was! Dragon Warrior!!! I couldn’t have been more excited & it gets me still to this day very emotional thinking about it. I ran to my sister “LOOK, LOOK! DRAGON WARRIOR!!!!”

If you haven’t figured out the point of these two stories out of the many many many stories of my fond memories of playing games as a kid.. well.. let me explain it to you…

Playing video games with my sister when we were kids was so exciting.. wonderful, full of imagination etc… & probably some of the best times I had as a kid.. I hated school.. in fact i still do.. but not nearly as much as I did when I was younger.. Video games filled me with all the great experiences life has to offer a kid.. the sense of wonder, the beauty, the new & exciting world.. the innocence.. Looking back playing games as a child captured the experiences of being a child in one awesome experience.

Then I was in middle school:

When I was 15 I met this weird new kid in school who dressed like he was a character from the movie hackers.. We ended up talking in a computer class & we both saw that we were making funny art & animations instead of doing the work we were supposed to. This weird “hacker” kid ended up being really into computers.. I remember going to his locker when we first became friends and he opened it up and a pile of programming books filled the entire locker so much so he had to carry his bag with him to each class & he could barely shut the locker..

This weird hacker kid would become my best friend Pete Jensen who still is my best and now my only “real” friend besides my girlfriend, brother & my siblings. Next thing I knew I was getting into pc video games like doom & quake & Pete introduced me to level editing… Since I had a knack for art Pete decided we should try to make games together.. and that’s how I got my start.. making pixel art for a game engine pete wrote from scratch at 16 years old using ansi c.. and when i say from scratch.. I mean from SCRATCH! I had found something that I really enjoyed & even wrote in my freshman year letter to myself that I would read when I graduated: to summarize “I want to make games when I graduate & if I have to… go to school for art or graphic design” Ten years later and way too many failed game projects to count.. well! Doing art for Incursion is a dream come true & happy to say I am almost done with my graphic design degree.

Incursion Art:

The art of Incursion comes from my true true true true true love for old games & my childhood both playing games and not. It’s meant to be kinda lofi & kinda crappy (well at least in some peoples opinions…)  I have been doing the nostalgic art thing since way before it was cool.. I have been doing indie game development as well since before it was popular since when I was 15 doing pixel art with my friend Pete it was definitely not a cool thing to be doing.. in fact all I wanted was a more modern engine so I wasn’t so restricted by pixel art/8-bit graphics/256 colors. How things change.. =).. I still love vector art & hope that maybe the next game I work on will be vector art based.

I absolutely love the indie game scene since its what I have wanted to be a part of since before it really took off like it has now. Was I a pioneer? I dunno… but in some ways what Pete & I were doing was a head of its time for being behind its time.. as in doing nostalgic artwork and gameplay which is now more of a popular thing… since I was 15 over 10 years ago… i am an old man who is about to turn 27.

The artwork of Incursion is not nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake.. it is not a marketing strategy.

The art comes from a deep emotional place that stems from my life & history of playing games. I hope to include with my art and characters in Incursion at least a decent amount of mythology, jungian concepts that goes at least a bit beyond what most games have and hope that Incursion will have a deeper meaning to it.. about the human experience.. about growing up and discovering who you are… a message of some sort to be found within the gameplay and art. I am a contemplative individual that wants to make a game that leaves you with some sort of impression.. that has always been my goal with working on a game.

I haven’t had many video game dreams.. in fact I have only had a few.. sure when I was kid I would occasionally toss and turn all night playing games in my dreams.. but games that I had played all day long.. like dr. mario… and I would uncomfortably be playing the puzzles in my sleep… or dreaming about playing mutant league hockey on the sega genesis which i used to rent from the video store as a kid and play the entire weekend long…

I did have a dream about this weird video game character S.E.F about a year ago &  S.E.F is a game I continue to try to work on.. off and on… since I would love to play it in reality..

Well, last night I had another video game dream.. I was at my grandparents vacation condo which my entire family would share when I was a kid..my uncles, aunts, cousins etc.. would all stay there for their vacations.. including my family too. Kinda like a time share where each family gets a few weekends/weeks to stay there..

So, in the dream I end up finding that no one has been inside the condo for about 15 years and upon walking in with my Mom & Dad I notice that the condo is completely unchanged… it was like I was transported to 15 years ago & at that time in my real life my grandparents hadn’t redone the condo so it was all 1970’s/80’s furniture and electronics.. it took my grandparents until the mid/late 1990’s to change the style of the condo…. and they had this insane shag rug that was the brightest/ugliest color blue/green imaginable.. and there was a different color in each room too.. I remember a bright orange rug in one of the bed rooms as well..

So in the dream I walk into a back room and discover a giant collection of old video games laying on the floor in front of an old tv.. the games have all recognizable characters & i seem to know them all very well but.. these were all games that my imagination had come up with…..since it wasn’t mario or sonic it was these other really bizarre weird game characters & games which I unfortunately can’t really remember now..  but in the dream I was really really excited since I came to the conclusion that my cousins had left this huge collection of old games and consoles years and years earlier.. discarded relics of a forgotten age… outdated.. forgotten.. & left to collect dust..

the games were all classics… but then again the games were all made up by my own imagination.. I think there was a game where you play as a vampire/bat.. which I remember picking up and saying out loud “I can’t believe it! I love this game!” which i continued to do over and over for a bunch of different games some of which were for different consoles.. I felt my heart pound with excitement.. the excitement I used to get about playing video games as a kid… I felt pure contentment to return to that period of my life.. and suddenly everything seemed to make sense to me … a kind of reassurance and comforting feeling.

Even the consoles looked weird.. they weren’t sega or nintendo.. but had these other obscure names.. but in my brain I associated them to sega/nes…So, I instantly start hooking up all the old consoles and playing these recognizable games & some i didnt know from my childhood.. the room is darkly lit and I am surrounded by the brown tones that were so prevalent during the 1980’s… I can feel the roughness of the shag rug under me as I sit on the floor playing these old games all of which are completely covered in the thickest dust imaginable.. and I keep thinking to myself.. “How in the world could my cousins have left all these great games here!!!!” The glow from the television fills the room and shines on my face as I continue to play a few minutes of each game & then discover another hidden game gem from my childhood hiding in another part of the room.. and with every game I find.. the same excitement overwhelms me.. like I had just uncovered the holy grail over and over and had been just as excited each time I found it…

My Mom & Dad in the dream walk into the room and tell me its time to go.. & that no one will be back to the apartment ever again and ask me what I possibly could be doing in the dark abandoned room… and I say “Wait, wait! there is a ton of old games here!” & I start thumbing through all the games looking at the artwork & reading the titles each time feeling overwhelmed with excitement and anxiety to grab everything that I can. I even want to take the old crappy brown television, but I can’t carry everything! I tell my parents I am going to take all the games and the old consoles.. that if my cousins wanted them they would have taken them 15 years ago… my parents don’t say anything just simply shrug their shoulders tell me they are leaving the condo & that I need to hurry up.

I continue picking up the games.. while I still keep discovering more and more long lost games from my youth.. wondering to myself how will I ever manage to carry all of these!!!!?

Then…. I woke up….

The dream made me realize no matter how much I try to convince myself to just finish school and get a job in graphic design.. like I have been thinking recently after all that has happened with my Dad.. that there is no way I can possibly leave the idea of making video games behind me.. I still enjoy graphic design and would have no real problem doing graphic design for a job.. & sure part of this dream has to do with the fact that I don’t want to grow up… but its more about growing up and wanting to take my childhood with me as an adult.. I want to be creative, I want to have fun and I want a job that I can be excited about each day… I want to remember the past.. I want to dream..  life is too short.. too unpredictable.. & I think the one thing that would make me happy.. and make my parents content is if they knew I was doing something I loved & managed to succeed in.

This is why working on Incursion is so important to me… & why trying hard to keep up with my portfolio class & doing a decent job at the assignments is too.. Yeah.. I want some success.. & want a better life as far as a home & some security for myself and my girlfriend.. But, really I just want to do what I am passionate about.. i dont have to be rich.. i don’t have to be famous.. I just want a tiny piece of the pie.. just a sliver.. it doesn’t even have to taste that great.. if i could get that at least I could be pretty much at ease… You know.. a house.. a yard.. a washer and dryer? as long as you people in charge keep things running at least pretty smoothly…. but maybe make cars out of thicker materials.. & airplanes too.. like how they used to be in the old days.. stop making cheap stuff… stop spending all the money… stop churning out movies that are garbage.. inject some soul into what you do.. or what you finance or whatever!.. I only get to live once & so don’t you…. as far as I know..  i’d like to see what humans have to offer the world.. well at least in positive ways!  I guess some people were meant to be in a Werner Herzog movie about the death penalty.. but….  sure as heck wish there wasn’t.. for their sakes.. for our sakes.. oh… for heavens sakes..

 

Incursion Beta Now On Desura!

So it would seem that the Incursion beta is now on Desura!

If you haven’t already tried it out… get to it!

The game can also be downloaded here: http://www.incursion-game.com 

*hmm.. i should make a celebration poster similar to the Incursion christmas card I made when I get a chance…

and here is a cat..