Welcome!

This is a blog for my fledgling, one-man game studio, Tangent Y Productions. The first game on the table is an Android Steampunk Adventure called Sere. It focuses on the adventures of an engineer trying to restore power to an underground city on the tidally-locked planet of Sere. I will be posting artwork to begin with and will add development updates as I get more comfortable with the Android SDK and actually start the hard part of coding everything. I love games and am hoping to produce something worth playing. I won’t even hazard a release date at the moment as I don’t want to release the game before it is ready.

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Game mechanics and why I haven’t updated in forever

Sere has taken a bit of a back seat to my research and classwork as I just started back to school for my M.S., but I have been thinking off and on about the plot and mechanics of the game. I also just finished playing Skyward Sword, but I won’t apologize for playing the best Zelda yet!

At this point, I think I’ll be going more toward the plot/gameplay balance of the original Legend of Zelda, and leave the plot pretty minimal in order to focus on gameplay and mechanics. As far as those mechanics go, you will have just a handful of items that stay with you throughout the game. Most items will be dropped by defeated enemies. You can choose to pick them up or hold onto the one you have on hand. Items dropped by enemies can only be held one at a time, meaning there will be a bit of strategy to the items you decide to purloin from defeated foes. In this respect, it will be a little like Kirby’s copy ability. (In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a bit of a Nintendo fan.)

The tentative list of permanent items are a pocketknife, an axe, and a welding torch. There will be various upgrades to these items, but I felt that since the main character is an engineer, he or she should have tools of the trade as their primary items. The axe is a bit of a stretch, but there’s an old story about the control rods for the first fissionable pile being watched over by a guy with an axe, and axes are just cool. You will also be able to collect chemicals in containers (4 for fluids and 4 for solids) to make compounds to get you out of tricky situations or provide new fuels for your torch. As you progress in the game, the amount of gas you can fit in the fluid containers will change due to compressor upgrades, but I’m not sure if I’ll be adding larger containers for the solids and liquids.

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Steamcoach

Steamcoach sketch

This is an early sketch of the Steamcoach...

Steamcoaches are the rapid transit system in Sere. One can bike or walk about the streets for short distances, but for quickly crossing the city, nothing beats a Steamcoach.

As the caption states, this is an early sketch of the Steamcoach I drew in ArtRage. I originally drew it in my idea book, but decided to redraw it digitally instead of scanning the original. There are minor tweaks here and there, but the Steamcoach should serve as a rudimentary warp system for later parts in the game. This follows the Zelda tradition of not wanting to have to walk everywhere once you’ve explored an environment the first few times.

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Not dead yet!

I realize it’s been a bit quiet around here as of late. Things have been a bit crazy with my job and I haven’t had much time to devote to Sere. I did find a really awesome game engine though that I am considering as the backbone of Sere. This should save me a considerable amount of time once I get into coding the game. If you’re interested, AndEngine is an open source game engine specifically built for developing games on the Android platform. They have a pretty cool stable of games already built on the engine, my personal favorite being Constant C. If you want to develop games for Android, you should definitely check this out! I’m hoping to have some actual game updates in November. Happy Halloween!

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Logo!

This is just a quick update to say that I have completed a preliminary logo for Sere. If you click on the image you’ll get the big (1600×1200) version.

Also, in case you were wondering, it’s pronounced “sear,” and not “ser-re.” I was pronouncing it incorrectly at first which is the hazard of picking words from text and not from hearing someone use them, I suppose. Catch you later!

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New Inspiration – Updated

Beasts Factual and FantasticI just received Beasts Factual and Fantastic (Medieval Imagination) in the mail. It is a book by the Met Museum about the bestiaries produced during the Middle Ages, and I am going to use it as inspiration for creatures and my drawing style for the game. I will update this post with more info once I get a chance to go through it all, but I am pretty excited about it and wanted to post right away!

Update: I just finished looking through the book. It has a lot of great illustrations from Medieval Bestiaries and other literature from the time. I think I will be integrating a Bestiary into the game as a guide on the creatures to supplement the Engineer’s Handbook which I will detail later.

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Preliminary Female Protagonist Sketch

SERE's female protagonist

This is the female variant for SERE's protagonist.

The main protagonist for Sere will assume the player’s chosen name and gender. After a many iterations based on input from my significant other, I have finished a preliminary sketch of the female version of the protagonist.

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Preliminary Protagonist Sketch

Sere's Male Protagonist

This is the male version of the protagonist in Sere.

The main protagonist for Sere will assume the player’s chosen name and gender. This is a preliminary sketch for the male variant of the protagonist. More sketches will follow as I flesh out details.

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Art Direction

While I haven’t yet started on any of my artwork, I thought I would discuss the general direction I am hoping to take with the design of Sere. So far the plan is to use a pen and parchment look like medieval drawings. A smattering of this style is available at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC) from their Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages exhibit. Another example is the Voynich Manuscript, which is considered by some to be the most mysterious book in the world. I hope to have a little bit cleaner style as I have somewhat better tools available than those at the time, but black ink on parchment with the occasional splash of color really strikes me as a cool art style. I’m hoping to get some concept art up in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

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