Original building blocks

When I first started talking with Cartoon Network about potentially creating an Adventure Time game, I had just released my endless runner parody Indiana Stone. We had a good workflow for creating voxel-style art (we called it “9-bit,” as in “8-bit to the next dimension.” I thought it was clever.) Naturally, we started off by exploring the possibilities of creating an Adventure Time game in the same style.

Nine bits are better than a measly eight.

Nine bits are better than a measly eight.

So I sat down with my pal Nick Todd, who helped out with a bunch of the art in IStone to see whether we could get this to work. I thought Finn himself looked pretty cool! We were on our way to making some kind of Finnfinate Runner.

9bitfinn

Finn’s more edgy side.

The problem came the moment we tried piecing some environments together. Blocky environments have a lot of charm in some cases, but we decided that it’s definitely not the same kind of charm as The Land of Ooo. The decisive moment was when we compared the best fan-made Minecraft Adventure Time scenes with its source material. Never has it been more clear that Adventure Time needs its curves!

One of these is not like the other.

One of these is not like the other.

First, we spent some time considering a derivative Adventure Time world similar to the Guardians of Sunshine episode from the cartoon. We couldn’t get any traction with this direction though; the game I wanted to make had to have the same type of energy as the most action-packed moments of the cartoon and this wouldn’t feel right if its art style were too far removed from the source.

Fortunately, this is when I bumped into local 3D artist, fellow Adventure Time fan, and all-around good guy Winston Powell. His style was just what this game needed and before long we had a working prototype up and running!

Next time I’ll write about early development and fill in some more details on how our game ended up looking the way that it does.

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I’m Tim Winsky; designing wacky & unique games is how I roll. Game development is always a lot of work, but it’s worth it as long as you can have fun during the process.