The last post here ended with plans to hire a professional game artist to work on Concealed Intent’s GUI. Thus freeing up time for some of the more lengthy programming tasks. Well, soon after writing that a GUI specification winged its way to a few local game artists (if that didn’t work the next step was local students, then the Internet). They sent back concept sketches - all inspired by the film Oblivion, is that the current cool design inspiration? I picked the one I liked best and we went to work.
So far I am very happy with the results. See for yourself. Below left is the Concealed Intent GUI before the artist started and on the right is the current state after 2 weeks work - much better.
The design work has the added benefit of someone else’s detailed constructive criticism on how the game works. The downside is I now have a much longer todo list! It makes me wonder why I didn’t do this earlier. Splitting out separate work streams and handing them to people with appropriate skills is definitely the way to go - who would have thought! Actually, the reason I didn’t do this earlier was to keep costs down. Now I have committed to the release of Concealed Intent there is no reason not the spend the money budgeted.
Another benefit of the GUI design work is I can focus on online play - a previously ignored part of the game. The vision has always been that online multiplayer would be very important (for sales at least) with the single-player campaign as a short’ish taster. So it is great that work for online play has finally started. It is moving forward slowly but surely. At the moment players can log in, challenge other players and load the state of a game. I hope to have simple turn updates by the end of the week. Then it will probably be time to go back to that todo list.