Did I tell you I’m making a game?

Well, not just me of course.
But we’re just finalizing the art style right now, which still leaves us behind schedule. We’ll need to get down to producing a list of static assets required in the game and start ploughing through it.
But one of the final things needing finalized for art style was how textures were going to work in the game. It’d be way easier to just take one seamless texture and just use it over the whole screen, but we weren’t sure how that’d look. It’d speed up production of static assets a whole lot though! I’ve been working all day on testing out this method of texturing, and here’s some snapshots of the result.

Basically I made an insanely wide picture depicting some of the landscape within the game and then tweened it in Flash, to get a sense of how the texture would work under movement. It looks pretty good overall, so hopefully the rest of the artists and the team in general will agree!
You can also see a basic tree and shrub design there, but that isn’t my task for this week, that was allocated to a different artist, so that’s likely to change, though I’m actually pretty pleased with their design.
This test was also to check out how colour schemes might work. Again, once the characters go in it’s subject to change, but it works nicely so far.

The 10 of ’11
1: Take Care, Take Care, Take Care by Explosions in the Sky

If any post-rock band can be accused of being derivative it’s Explosions in the Sky. They’ve been the stereotype of the genre for over a decade now, which should inspire more apathy whenever I hear their name. But there’s something undeniably enchanting and genuine about Explosions in the Sky. If anything, as the years have gone by and the genre become more tired this Texan quartet have felt increasingly emotive.
It’s been a long wait since their last album, “All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone”, and the build-up has left countless fans disappointed with this release. But despite providing nothing new or groundbreaking, despite it pushing no boundaries and regardless of it being some sort of cliché of ‘cinematic’ instrumental rock, it’s still a beautiful record.
It’s the grandest EITS record to date, in part due to superb production from John Congleton (who makes the top ten yet again), all wrapped in stunning artwork from returning collaborator Esteban Ray, making the vinyl version of the album particularly worth investing in. The entire vinyl sleeve unfolds and can be propped up to create a small house, meticulously illustrated, and it’s this which perhaps reflects what elevates Explosions above their contemporaries, and that earns them such adoration by critics and the public alike.
In 2005 the band recorded “The Rescue”, an 8-track album on which each song was written within the space of 24-hours. The experiment produced surprisingly good results, but ultimately the band was dissatisfied with the end result, claiming every song to feel half-baked at best. This explains then why Take Care took so long to produce. The blood, sweat and tears seap their way into every note and every carefully placed melody to make the entire record feel meticulously put together and well thought-through. Despite focusing on the six songs for almost as many years the band hasn’t lost it’s perspective with them, making Take Care something of an achievment.
It proves that good albums can come without experimentation and artistic pomposity, but real expression, real catharcism and real effort. And that’s exactly what this record feels. Real.

Thanks to anyone who’s kept up with the top 10. Here’s a list to recap:

10: Gloss Drop by Battles
9: Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam by Ghostpoet
8: The Hunter by Mastodon
7: Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will by Mogwai
6: Smother by Wild Beasts
5: The Quickening by RememberRemember
4: Helioscope by Vessels
3: Days by Real Estate
2: Bon Iver by Bon Iver
1: Take Care, Take Care, Take Care by Explosions in the Sky

Honorary mentions go to:
What A Pleasure by Beach Fossils
Cloud Nothings by Cloud Nothings
Yuck by Yuck
Gangs by And So I Watch You From Afar
Major/Minor by Thrice

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