A variety of subjects from this week in dev:


Ryan and I have been trying a lot of different looks for the monsters themselves. The tricky thing about them is trying to capture creatures that will function both as giant menaces as well as characters with whom you can identify. They have to fill a three-pronged role as protagonists, villains, and natural disasters.

The monsters are genetically androgynous; each can both reproduce and fertilize (no scenes of such have been planned, oh gee josh no), but I’ve been more interested in the idea that they’d all have a natural mothering instinct. Up until the late 1970’s we named hurricanes and other natural disasters with women’s names, not to mention how we tend to give giant things (ships and rigs and such) women’s names as well. I also keep thinking of Bob Peck in Jurassic Park saying “clever girl…” and screaming “shoooooooot her! shooooooooooot heeeeeeerrrrrr!

So I decided that the humans would generally think of the monsters as female. Gender and gender politics are a subject that interests me, and while the game won’t by any means get preachy, it’s more compelling to me to explore femininity with characters who are unconventionally feminine.

Women in most media are very narrowly portrayed, games moreso than most. I won’t get going on terms like “scopophilic gaze” but women tend to be portrayed one of two ways: virgins and sex objects. Perhaps comics are worse than games on this front; even the women with the most agency are ridiculously proportioned.

So I’m interested in the design for the monsters being versatile and have some hint of femininity, but not the virgin/vamp model. I sent Ryan this movie for an example:

When I first saw this at The Animation Show a few years ago, I looked up the filmmakers, Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis. I can’t find the interview itself anymore (swallowed by the internets I suppose) but one of them said they’d originally intended to have all the characters be human. But the main character, Ruby, they didn’t know how to draw her outside of the usual model. They felt that a pig character could be female without any excess baggage.

Ryan, natch, decided to run briefly in the opposite direction:



Word from Loren is busy-busy-busy as he attend GDC in San Francisco (Monaco won over Star Guard in the Design Award, I’m sorry to report), but he manged to get this first pass of a background off to me before the events began:

Rockridge Shopping Center

This is “freely adapted” from the Rockridge Shopping Center at 51st and Broadway in Oakland, CA, where the first part of the game takes place. The game relishes in specificity, and while not everything will be 100% adapted from reality, anyone who has lived in the Bay Area will recognize its essence. People who’ve never been will still feel the presence of a real place (such is the hope anyway).

other bits

Ryan also drew up an awesome OEM poster,


I made a sunset over San Francisco,

Sunset SF

and we put up the OEM devlog at TIGSource.

Not a bad week I’d say.


1 Response to “Cornucopia”

  1. 1 Ryan 03/12/2010 at 6:14 pm

    Well, you did say to stick “lipstick on them or cleavage”…oh wait, you said NOT to do that…damn… ;)

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