56. Nose to the (Art) Grindstone

So, the gameplay is getting close to something resembling an overall rough draft. Most of the areas that I want to put in are playable in a rough form. This is great, but unfortunately hides the fact that I’m still way behind on the art and the music.

The past month has therefore been focused on trying to “art up” as much of the game as possible. I’ve still been quite busy with the “part-time” contract job I mentioned last month, so I’ve gotten less of that done than I would’ve liked to. But in any case, progress has been made.

Here are some screenshots of areas as they’ve come along so far.

Obviously, everything is still very WIP, and these screenshots should not be considered indicative of the look of the final game. There’s still a lot to be done, but I’m pretty happy with how these areas are coming along and the overall aesthetic.

So, the next question is: “What about the music?”

There are currently only two tracks of real music in the game, which is (needless to say) quite a bit less than I think a complete game should have. However, I have found it somewhat difficult to get a handle on the musical style for the game.

I think there’s two main reasons for this. The first is that it’s just plain hard to come up with themes that are strong, dramatic, and not too grating to listen to for a long time. Essentially the same challenges as any game.

The additional problem that I think Taiji has is that I have to be a bit careful about the types of music that I choose, to not accidentally draw too much attention away from the puzzles, or introduce any red herrings.

I presently find myself quite stymied by the music, but this is not the only time in the history of this project that I’ve found myself stuck on one problem for quite some time. Progress can stall for a while until I get a sudden breakthrough and then things start progressing very fast.

So, I will either end up finding a good way forward soon, or I’ll have to look into hiring a musician. I’m not opposed to seeking more experienced help here. Music, to me, is the heart and soul of a great game, and great music can carry much of the weight of a game’s tone and atmosphere.

But…well…I’m poor.

In any case, don’t submit your resumes just yet. I may perhaps find my way.

See you soon with another post (ideally before the end of the month, as I need to make up for the fact that I’m a month behind!)

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One thought on “56. Nose to the (Art) Grindstone

  1. Hey Matthew,

    the screenshots look good.
    As someone who holds The Witness close to his heart, I’m very interested in playing Taiji.
    Keep up the good work, and good luck!

    Mohammed

    Liked by 1 person

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