State of the Hunt, week 22/2020: Dreaming of Islands

Hey everyone, seeing how the blog has been quiet for longer than usual, I thought it would be a good idea to give you a bit of an update on what´s been happening over on my end:

I am still alive and kicking, obviously. The truth is simply that I have recently been dropping pretty much all of my hobby time (as well as quite a bit of my non-hobby time, alarmingly enough) into a completely different creative endeavour. You could call it a lifelong dream, really.

Because, deep down, I have always wanted to be…a LUMBERJACK!

Nah, but seriously: As some of you may remember, video games have always been another big hobby of mine (why choose one nerdy pasttime when you can have ALL of them, eh?) And one thing I have always wanted to do was to make a real video game myself. But while there are many tools available for doing that today (ranging from the stupendously easy to grasp text adventure tool Twine to game-engine behemoth Unity), the scope of what I was able to create had previously always been limited by my inability (and/or unwillingness) to properly get into programming. So it looked like my dream would have to remain just that. And then „Dreams“ happened.

I have already talked about Media Molecule‘s mind-boggling game engine/machinima Studio/3D modeling software cornucopia in my previous post about creating a character bust of Gregor Eisenhorn, but that didn‘t really seem to elicit that much of a response. For today, suffice it to say that Dreams, with its very intuitive interface, has enabled me to create something I would have considered impossible before.

So, TL;DR: This blog has been quiet because I have been spending all of my recent hobby time on creating a video game.

If you come here mainly for the modeling, painting and 40k content, which I suspect goes for pretty much all of you, then rest assured that this isn‘t a permanent state of affairs: I will definitely be back to cutting up little plastic men (and women. And everything in between and beyond) sooner rather than later — not least of all because my buddy Augustus b‘Raass sent me an amazing little supply drop recently — anyway, don‘t fret: I‘ll be back in a bit!

Now, if anyone‘s still reading, or if some of you are maybe interested in finding out more about that game I was talking about, I would be happy to share a few details:

The game is called „Islands“, and it‘s an exploration-centered third person adventure/platformer with a slightly cinematic bent. You are playing as a mysterious wanderer on their quest to travel the eponymous islands. My main inspirations were thatgamecompany‘s Journey, Team Ico‘s/Fumito Ueda‘s games (Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian) and Us Two Games‘ Momument Valley series (from a visual design standpoint). And while Islands is very obviously not nearly as good or polished as any of those titles, if you like any or all of the aforementioned games, well, my little project may just be for you… Just be advised that it has absolutely NOTHING whatsoever to do with the grimdark world of the 41st millennium 😉

So anyway, sorry for rambling away. But while I don‘t want to sound overly dramatic, it‘s no hyperbole to say that this feels like one of the most thrilling creative endeavours I have tackled yet. Sure, the game is pretty dodgy in a hundred places, and probably quite derivative to boot — but it‘s my baby, for what it‘s worth… 😉

So if, by any chance, you should find yourself in the possession of both a PlayStation 4 and a copy of Dreams (because both things are needed to get to access my project, unfortunately), then I cordially invite you to check out Islands — in fact, that would make me very happy indeed! Its title in the Dreamiverse is „Islands Prototype“, and here‘s a thumbnail that should help you identify the right game:

Oh, it‘s also listed here..

You could also leave some feedback, of course, which would make me even happier still 😉

In closing, I will be leaving you with a few impressions of the game. While Dreams also works as a fantastic repository of already available assets, I have decided to up the ante for this project and create all of my own graphic assets, so as to max out my learning curve. So everything you see in those pictures has been completely „scratchbuilt“, as we would say in tabletop hobbyist parlance 😉

Anyway, on to the pretty pictures:

Update, May 28th: I had to spend an hour in the car, waiting, earlier today, so I threw together a quick trailer for the game as well:

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! And please stay safe and healthy!

18 Responses to “State of the Hunt, week 22/2020: Dreaming of Islands”

  1. Enjoyed this post! 🙂 Ages since I’ve heard the lumberjack song!

  2. It’s looking pretty ace mate! It’s good to have more than one hobby. I’m going to start up drawing again I think 😉

    • Thanks a lot, mate! Yeah, yeah, I gave digital painting a try earlier this year, and while I certainly won’t be winning any awards, it can be truly refreshing to try a different medium every once in a while.

  3. Looks awesome, I have a PS4 so will have to have to look into the program see if I can get it at a decent price to have a look at your work

    • Cheers, mate! Don’t just buy it for the sake of my one puny, game, though 😉 That being said, Dreams as a toolkit (and as an endless collection of games) is very much worth the price of admittance. But don’t feel you have to buy it just to humour me.

      But if you do buy it, check out my game! 😉

  4. Holy shit man! That’s huge!

  5. A fan Says:

    This is amazing! I’m really impressed/ proud that you’ve made a game- as someone who has started several in the past, they’re a huge undertaking. I love Ico and Colossus, both ran on emulator. When PS4 emulation begins, I’ll play this for sure!

    I’m also relieved to hear you will be back to converting/ painting. It’s always the highlight of my week/ month when you upload. Your content just gets better and better.

    • Thanks a lot! I basically gave up on Playstation emulation when I couldn’t get my PS1 games to run smoothly on a PC for years and years, but it’s good to hear that it seems to be an option — whatever opens up these games to a wider audience is great, in my opinion. That being said, I wouldn’t count on Dreams working too well emulated, as it completely relies on the online/server structure behind the game to actually work well.

      Still, thanks for the kind words! 🙂

  6. super cool project, congrats! I don’t have a PS4, nor I think I’ll have one anytime soon, but by just looking at the trailer I can guess this is going to be amazing!

  7. Well, I didn’t realise that you built all of the art assets yourself. That makes the game even more impressive. I’ve played a little more of it (got past that annoying but first time yesterday, without the checkpoint) but as 3d platforming isn’t my forte or genre of choice I haven’t gotten a ton further – slightly past the lift section. I will get back to it again though!

    • Yes, all of the graphical assets were made from scratch. Not to egg you on or anything, but keep going — sounds like you’re pretty close to the finish line 😉

      If the genre doesn’t really appeal to you, though, that makes me appreciate it even more that you’re giving the game a try!

  8. […] A blog about KrautScientist's wargaming exploits « State of the Hunt, week 22/2020: Dreaming of Islands […]

  9. Oliver Kamp Says:

    Hahahaha you had me at the lumberjack line man, I almost spilled my drink!!! Didnt expect hat one comin haha 😀

  10. […] Maybe some of you will still remember my first fledgling steps in designing videogames, using Media Molecule’s design suite Dreams — I briefly posted about it, back in the day. […]

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