Super Monkey Ball Adventure Developer Diary #4
A insightful musing on development of the game's wide range of characters.
Article by TNL Staff (Email)
April 22nd 2006, 04:48AM
Character Development - How different are the characters in this game compared to last, what about the villains or antagonist in this game?
Don't you just love the Marketing-types that come up with funky new terminology that sounds like it's just come straight out of the mouth of David Brent?!
Hyper-realism - that's what we were asked to provide. We kind of panicked as did we not know what was required but having discussed it further with Sega it became fundamentally clearer; 'We want a style that looks realistic yet cartoony and colourful at the same time. Sort of like that Honda advert with the engines flying through the sky!'
Fortunately one of our artists had worked on the Honda advert and understood roughly where Sega was coming from. Whilst the style from this advert suited what we needed to achieve for Jungle Island we struggled to get across the ideas for the rest of the worlds.
We began with sketches of the areas within the game that we knew were likely to go in as this had been described in the game design. Each of the worlds were primarily designed around a number of key aspects such as Main Street in Zootopia, Arrival Park for Moonhaven and the philosophical ying-yang design of Monkitropolis and Kongri-la.
Each bespoke area generated a number of different sketches with notes as to the gameplay and tasks that the area could be used for. Once Sega had signed off on these preliminary ideas we then had to generate the art style for these areas.
Rather than completely rework each of the sketches for different ideas we decided to approach it in a slightly different way. Taking our lead from the house make-over programmes that seem to inundate our screens in the evening (PVR is such a great
development!) we used different references to get the ideas for the levels across.
In this way we could portray the palette we wanted to use along with the varying design influences for each of the areas. Getting all of these down on paper then allowed us to ratify each of the areas to give it one unique feel and style that was coherent, colourful and 'hyper-realistic'!
The cast of Super Monkey Ball Adventure
Looking back on this process and the finished article, wer'e very pleased with what we've achieved. Undoubtedly there are areas that we would like have reworked or approached in a different way but that's all necessary experience that can be put to use the next time round.