Oct
11
2011

Entering the 3rd Dimension with Dark Incursion

When I was asked to sit and write a blog post about myself and Dark Incursion(a game that BBB will be releasing in the app store very soon), I thought… what can be said about me?  The first thing that came to my mind is that video games have been a huge part of my entire life.  I’m sure others have said that exact same thing, but they’re full of crap.  All the way back as far as I can remember, games have been the driving force in just about everything I do.  I can remember little Randy sitting in his living room back in Belleville, Ontario playing any kind of game I could get my hands on.  Electronic, wind-up, or board games, I loved them all.  My collection included 80’s classics like Super Cobra Copter, Challenge Cubes, and the Flipsiders series that my Mom or Dad would sometimes pick up for me from time to time (all of which I still own).  This was before I landed my first major console, the NES, way back in grade 6.  Later, I got a GameBoy and made my first real dive into portable gaming.  After that, it was all over.  Video games became my passion and have been to this day.

 

The artist side of me took a while to catch up though, and I didn’t link my love of art and games until my years in college.  My Mother is an artist and my Father is a carpenter by trade, making reproduction primitive furniture.  So art and working with my hands is something I’ve always been able to do with ease.  Like games, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing.  During my schooling though I was unknowingly building a strong base for my future video games career and I didn’t even know it.  In high school I took several years of drafting and architecture which taught me precision and perfection in my art.  I later took film studies and learned correct timing, framing and emotion though camera work.  I also mixed in a year of drama too, which came in handy later.  Then off to college I went!  After a quick stint at Sheridan College where I dipped my toes into photography, commercial illustration and sculpting, I was off to Algonquin College in Ottawa where I took Classical Animation so I could prepare for a career in TV and feature film.  There I was loaded down with more life drawing than should be healthy, plus design, timing, and even more drama and acting.  But wait… what happened to video games?  Well, after college a buddy of mine (a fellow animator and avid gamer) said I should join him at a small game studio in Ottawa.  I did and never looked back.  I cut my teeth in the game industry there, before my wife and I moved on over to Montreal.  Gameloft became my new home for almost 5 years where I learned to become the pixel pushing machine I am today.  It was there that I was asked to speak at the Montreal International Game Summit in 2005 on the topic of, what else, pixels.

 After some time, we moved back to Ontario and settled in London where I now use my skills at Big Blue Bubble.  I’ve been given many great opportunities here including, being the lead artist on Fighting Fantasy for DS, Garters & Ghouls for iPhone, and Retro Pinball also for iPhone.  All that is great… but something was missing.  I learned at Gameloft that big chunky pixels are what I love.  I missed the feeling of those kinds of games, the kinds that I played when I was a kid and I know that others miss it too.  I decided then to take my own advice.  Back when I spoke at the Montreal Game Summit, I said that making games that look like they did on the SNES is now a design choice.  It fills the nostalgic gap and makes people smile because we all remember when all games looked like that.  People get excited when they see retro style games with great art and fantastic animation.  They remember the days when they were young and want to live those moments again.  What’s great about Big Blue Bubble is that they give you the opportunity to pitch games with a serious possibility that they’ll get made.  So I did.  I pitched a side scrolling action game similar to Super Metriod and Castlevania.  I was so happy when I was given the green light to proceed with the project.

 

That project is called Dark Incursion and it’s the jewel of my game career thus far.  But what makes me excited about this title isn’t the pixel work itself –  although I’m very pleased about how everything has turned out so far.  I’m mostly excited that it’s a 3D, 2D game.  I love that we’ve taken the classic 2D platformer that we’ve all grown up with and are going to show it in a way that hasn’t been seen before (at least, not to my knowledge).  I’d like to thank Big Blue Bubble for giving me the opportunity to be the lead artist and designer on this project.  It’s truly an opportunity that I will never forget.  My goal with Dark Incursion is to show everyone that BBB is a studio that makes quality pixel style games.  I want people to get that excited feeling of playing a pixel game, just like they did when they were younger.  Because it makes me just as happy to make them as it did to play them all those years ago.  I really am living the dream.

About the Author: Randy V

2 Comments + Add Comment

  • Can we expect a PC version of Dark Incursions at some point? Looks great, but I don’t own an iAnything :(

    • We are going to submit Dark Incursion to Steam, but whether it is approved… we’ll see. Hopefully that will happen though.

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