Lu here. It’s been a while since our last update so thank you for being patient. A LOT has been going on here at the studio and we are very pleased to announce that we are really making progress on Armikrog. A few points we will highlight in this update range from moving from “paper” design and into production. That means actually starting the process that makes games like the Neverhood and now Armikrog unique to just about every other game. Physically building the sets out of wood, junk and clay! We also have our final armatures built and we are starting the latex and foam build up process. There are a couple cool aspects to the process for our armatures now as compared to how we did it way back at the Neverhood. And we will also have an Armikrog Crew highlight to share with everyone as well!
First off we’ll start with the game design and production status.
The game design has gone through several revisions and we have finalized the complete game design and “pencil test” playable process. All the levels, character attributes, all puzzles and general game flow and ramping. We also have all the cinematics for the game story boarded and timed in animatic format. Ready to begin shooting on the actual sets with the real armatures!
Speaking of Armatures… Here is a pic of the final ball and socket Tommynaut armature. These are professionally crafted by master armature fabricator John Deall.
An interesting note is that these new armatures are fabricated by hand, as were the armatures from the Neverhood, but these new ones are made of stainless steel as opposed to the brass ones from the Neverhood. That means they are much stronger and should hold up much better to the rigors and stress involved in stop motion animation. There are a few final touches before we begin the process of sculpting them and then finalizing them through the latex foaming process. Here you can see Mikey grinding down a few spots to ensure the dimensions are perfect.
This is how we make video games here at Pencil Test Studios! Fire and brimstone!
The other big news is that now that we have the game design completed and fleshed out and we have finished our “pencil test” playable game flow approach we are starting to physically build the sets! That means getting into the “warehouse” and starting the process of taking wood, wire, glue, paper and whatever other “junk” is needed and start the framework process of building the sets. Once the “frames” are done we go into the “dressing” process and that’s when the clay comes in! That is when the details really come to life. We’ll be posting pics of that in the next update. In the meantime, check out this screen shot of actual gameplay from the “pencil test” version of the game!
We also want to take a second to highlight an Armikrog Crew member. His name is Mark Lorenzen and any hardcore Neverhood fans might recognize that name. He was one of the original Neverhood studios members and was responsible for a lot of the code AND art behind the making of all the games at the Neverhood. He is the Technical Director on Armikrog and as the title implies… the smartest guy in the room. The truth is that he is WAY more than a Technical Director. Mark is an amazing artist and quite an accomplished designer. Many of the best puzzles in the Neverhood are his doing. He is that very rare type of developer that is just as creative and artistic as he is technically sound.
We are so excited about Mark being a pillar of the Armikrog team!
Last but not least, thanks to the amazing Tony Cipriano I can show you how the limited edition Tommynaut and Beak Beak sculpture turned out! These sculptures are one of the rewards included in the upper tiers. Below is a picture of the original sculpt, and we will be casting them in the coming months. For those who don’t know, Tony is an accomplished Disney sculpture artist who actually made some of the original Earth Worm Jim sculptures back in the day as well! As you can see Tony did an incredible job!
Hope you enjoyed and we’re looking forward to the next update where we hope to show a lot of the finished sets and making even some green room animations!