Blog posted by Ste Pickford on Thu, 29 Jul 2010
Subject: Magnetic Billiards: Seriously Casual
As we close in (increasingly slowly) on the completion of Magnetic Billiards, we've been determined to get more non-functional graphics and data in the game. We tend to work on the essentials of game mechanics and balance, at least initially, rather than on back-story and cosmetic stuff, but we've been determined to strike a better balance with this game and give it a unique look and feel and atmosphere in addition to the solid game mechanics we've had from the beginning.
We've also been determined to get more hand-drawn graphics in the game, and I've done quite a lot of drawing for the game in recent weeks. This doorway is one example.
Unusually we came up with a interesting back-story for Magnetic Billiards quite early on in the project, but we hadn't found a way to insert it into the game directly. We decided that a neat little intro sequence - a kind of slide show with a small amount of text accompanying a series of images - would be the best way to tell this story and introduce the game to new players.
The story has a family connection, so we thought it would be funny to set the game in Stockport, the town where John and I both grew up. By an amazing stroke of luck I stumbled across this doorway a few weeks ago, attached to a modern, plain brick wall down a side street next to a shop in Stockport town centre. I presume it was from an old pub, knocked down to make way for shops, but too-nice a doorway to be demolished itself.
I'm grateful that somebody decided to keep it in place, as it was absolutely perfect for the game intro I was planning.
I took a few photos of the doorway then produced this pen drawing from them, intending to use it as an actual in-game graphic.
I was too lazy / clever to draw the whole thing, and hoped I could just get away with drawing half and flipping a copy of the scanned drawing for the other half. I didn't manage to get the drawing lined up straight on the scanner though, but it was high-res enough to survive a bit of rotation in Photoshop.
I'll post the finished drawing in the next part of this blog tomorrow.