Game Demo Link I started this project about 18 months ago, and I'm a lot less happy with it than I was at the beginning. I envisioned it as a minimalistic, meandering thing where you wandered in and out of multiple stories and didn't have much of a say in those, and all the while, your story happened and culminated and was small and personal. Sort of the antithesis of player-driven stories where they were the centre of every event, story, character and narrative in-game. I think, for the most part, I've pulled that off. Except, as I've moved on I don't like the concept as much as I did and whilst I think I executed it alright, I'm struggling looking at this and thinking "this is the best I could do!". I'm going to finish it, there's a demo out and it's playable as a full walk-around map, and the full release is about 6 weeks away I'd say. This doesn't sound like a sell, and it isn't really, I'm more celebrating the small progress I did make on this project, in other areas aside from purely narrative. And, even though I'm overall dissatisfied with this project, I'm already in the process of conceptualising and designing other projects that are much more intensive on the design, gameplay and narrative front that I'm a lot more confident and excited to get stuck into. But I'd be daft to move on, or not finish this game, without thinking and looking over the progress I have made. Coding is the big thing, especially because GML is a new language for me and whilst there are coding fundamentals it still doesn't carry over entirely and, it has never been my strong suit. My biggest progress has been in the art design, animation, and music. This is sort of what I'm celebrating here! Less the game - which I am less proud of, but, I am looking forward - and more the other things I've improved in. So enough chit-chat. Here's some proof, I guess! I'm very happy with how the art has progressed, especially in terms of colour themes for specific areas, and so on. 3 years ago my only artistic designs were sprite sheets in 4x4 walk animations, and that's a good place to start, and I'm not at all dissing that style of game, but I personally wanted to progress from that stage. And, I have! When I first started this project, the style was a lot blockier, and a lot uglier. About halfway through I scrapped the entire thing and restarted with this design style and I'm a lot more satisfied with it overall. The aesthetic, I'm very content with. I wanted locations and objects to tell a story in-game that the player would put together, rather than explicitly being told; sort of like Dark Souls or Shadow of the Colossus. As I've said, I'm a lot less happy with the execution of that than I was, and there's definitely work to be done here, but I'm a lot happier with the idea of how I've learned and begun to communicate visual and narrative design. I'm still looking forward and hopeful for more progress. In terms of design, I took a lot of influence from Eric Chahi and 90s adventure games, but also more modern pixel-art like Hyper Light Drifter, but I think I've managed to make it my own. I think there's still a lot of work to make the style more cohesive, and I have had a bit of a problem with tilesets (more how I've put them together than anything). Here's a bit more non-environmental art: I took a lot of inspiration from world mythologies, as well as Ghibli, for the designs of animals and characters in-game. I feel like the way characters and animals are put together is the biggest step-forward for me so far. One of the first things I put together for this game was the soundtrack. I was inspired primarily by Mutato Muzika, who did the soundtrack for Jak and Daxter; in Jak II, the grand, sweeping chimes and gongs for the mountain and forest area was a huge inspiration on me. It's a bit shoddy, but I'm also happy with the feeling it communicates. You can listen to it/download it (both for free!) here: https://eclectiagames.bandcamp.com/ https://eclectia.itch.io/the-ancient-land-soundtrack And, as I'm here, there's blogs with more detailed devlogs, pictures, and design processing here: https://eclectia.tumblr.com And finally, you can pick up my shoddy little demo for the project I don't really like that much any more, here (again, free!): https://eclectia.itch.io/the-ancient-land-demo There's many more links, and pictures of the game and development process on my blog as well as links to a few more places you can find me and view things. I'm, of course, open to feedback. Something I've noticed is, I'm not very good at communicating depth; I need to get better at making shadows. And, finally, if you read this far, thank you!