Moon Hunters Art Process

Xin’s been painting for a live audience every Friday afternoon from 3-5 EST, and for those of you who can’t make it, we thought we’d share the steps in his process!

First, he gets some kind of direction. For the example below, we knew we needed more art direction for our landscape development. The previous landscape he concepted was quite bright, and themed along bone and blood, in a relatively clear hilly area.

In the dark Moon Hunters universe, bone and blood are aligned with the Moon-worshipping player characters. So, the other end of the scale would be a densely wooded area where the villainous Sun cultists might have set up a lair.

With the overall idea in mind (dark, dense, Sun), he looks through our mood board, surfs some Google references, and thumbnails in monochrome to get the overall composition, doing this 4 to 6 times before picking the one he’ll go forward with. This takes about fifteen minutes to half an hour in total. He doesn’t need to explain to anyone else what the vision is — this is just for his own reference.

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This is where the live-stream started. He dropped the opacity down and draws on top. He took roughly an hour to “ink” it (since the Moon Hunters styling is heavy inked lines), and another hour to splash in some basic colors.

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After the livestream ended, he took another four hours or so to clean it up, polish it, and layer in more details and color. As you can see, in this one he took a bit of extra time to re-work the central architecture, keeping the ‘sunburst’ motif but making the construction more elegant.

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The next step? Translating this into a scene in the game… join us Friday for another glimpse into the Moon Hunters universe!

Shattered Planet: Launch Week Sales & Press

Well, we’re plenty pleased with the sales of Shattered Planet so far on Steam, Humble, and Desura. We won’t be retiring as millionaires anytime soon, but the PC version was definitely worth the time investment! And since I believe in transparency, here’s our actual numbers per-day:

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And it’s no doubt in part due to the lovely press from these folks, among others:

  • “Shattered Planet is out today, and it’s pretty great” – Mike Rose at Indiegames.com
  • (In Swedish) “Whether or not you’re a roguelike fan, Shattered Planet is worth a look” (7.7 out of 10) – David Markkanan at IGN.se
  • “Shattered Planet is an incredibly fun and addictive game, made only better by its sense of humor.” – Gameramble
  • “Ultimately, Shattered Planet is a fantastic roguelike.” – Anthony Chodor at IAmThink
  • “the perfect combination of space opera and silliness.” – Jillian Werner at Gamezebo
  • “Fans of the roguelike and RPG genres may be interested in Shattered Planet” – Scott Mundy at Lusipurr
  • “a solid PC entry for those completionists who aren’t afraid to die for their efforts” (7 out of 10) – GameSkinny
  • (In Portuguese) “If you’re looking for a roguelike, this can be a great place to spend time” – The Nerd Maldito
  • (In Russian) “The game is excellent in all respects, from the beautiful graphics, great soundtrack, interesting gameplay” (9 out of 10) – Soulcry
  • “If you’re in to the comic-book style and want a more laid-back experience, I’d check this one out.” – Manapool
  • “Exploration is at the heart of the title. […] perilous yet lovely” – Calmdowntom
  • “Shattered Planet seems like a good fun waste of time” – Stephen Wilds of BlankMan Inc
  • Let’s Play by Quill18– 23,000 views and counting!
  • Let’s Play by SplatterCatGaming– 8,000 views and counting!
  • Lots and lots of Let’s Plays!

Plus, for fun, Tanya had an interview with IndieGraph!

We’ve sold over 2,500 copies across all platforms so far, so thank you to all of our fans for a great launch week! We’re looking forward to continuing to improve Shattered Planet with this great community to help us out. We probably can’t afford to commit to any huge additions at this point, but we have a few improvements in mind, such as keyboard controls.

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We’ll also be ramping up development of Moon Hunters, so keep an eye out on our weekly livestream on Friday afternoons (Eastern time) and watch the transition from concept art to our prototype development!

Join Us Today: Concept Art Live!

Today Xin will be live-streaming painting a watercolor concept for Moon Hunters, from sketch to semi-finished, from 3pm to 5pm EST today (Friday June 27th).

A couple of days ago as a test, Xin brought this Marrow Temple sketch:

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up to this:

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And this time, he says the piece will be ‘darker’. Tune in to find out what he means!

Also, note that if you were subscribed to the Moon Hunters newsletter, you would have already received a notice in your inbox about this! Join if you want more timely information. 🙂

What’s Old Blood?

Well, it’s only a week until launch, and I realised this morning that we haven’t talked much about the third mission in Shattered Planet. And I won’t spoil too much! But by this point, you will have (probably) finished The Datalog, chasing a rare species, and The Signal, tracking down a rogue SOS. The third mission, Old Blood, is marked as “Crazy Hard” difficulty in the game, just to emotionally prepare you.

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For this third and final challenge, the Galactic Union tasks you with researching the tribes in the snowy region of the planet, which is quickly interrupted by unprecedented aggression. The cause of this aggression becomes the heart of a new mystery. Why are they less welcoming than in the past? What’s happened?

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As I said, I won’t spoil it. But along the way, you meet all sorts of new critters (final boss not included)!

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You may recognise that cutie on the right from a contest we ran a few months back. It’s called the Chompinstomp, as named by the illustrious Greg Fisher.

Anyhow, as you might expect, you’ll be needing to stock up on ways to combat Cold damage, in addition to all the usual concerns of stabbing, smashing, falling off cliffs, and so on.

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Good luck out there!

Launch Date Announced: July 3rd!

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Shattered Planet is coming to Steam, Desura, and Humble on July 3rd for PC, with Mac following on July 17th! Both will include Steam Achievements and Steam Trading Cards.

Humble and Desura will offer a DRM-free option. If you have any questions or excitements to share, the forums aren’t so far away!

And if you missed the Greenlight trailer, we’ve updated it for easy sharing, though we’re working on an even shinier one for launch, with the new features:

Moon Hunters: Traits and Myths

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Although the combat and exploration and art style of Moon Hunters have gotten a lot of attention and praise, we wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the unique glue that holds it all together: building your own mythology.

We’ve spent some time thinking about the best way to empower players to grow their own mythologies in a procedurally generated ancient world. We’ve been spending about the last eight months thinking about it! And finally, we decided to look at it through the lens of heroism and pantheons.

Read the full article on the Moon Hunters devblog.

From The Vault: First Mockups

Ahoy! I’m Xin, the Kitfox art officer. Today we’ll be digging up some artifacts from the archives, the first mockups created for Shattered Planet in 2013.

May 2: Space travel is cool. Video games need more fish spaceships.

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May 6: Maybe a separate screen for combat?

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May 16: But we wanted to focus on planet exploration!

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These guys are adorbs, but we thought it made our Roguelike look too casual.

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June 7: So we tried out three different aesthetics.

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The last one dates from mid-June 2013. You can see the beginning of the tile-based island formations. We felt a disconnect between the characters and the environment, so we opted for painterly look for everything. Mockups were great for brainstorming the art direction, UI/UX and even game mechanics! Possibly my favorite part of pre-production.

Screenshot Contest: Everyone Gets a Key!

Congratulations to AxL Neo, who submitted the following screenshot to our contest, thus stealing our meme-devouring hearts:

so WoW!

so WoW!

Thank you to all who entered. It was a tough decision. IN FACT…

We’re going to give ALL of the people who entered the contest a free Steam Key!

So, congratulations all around! But, for the record, AxL Neo wins more than all of you, and will receive his Steam key first. By at least 10 minutes probably.

Spring Screenshot Contest: Win a Steam Key!

Calling all photographers! We’re looking for some creative screenshots or photos of Shattered Planet!

You have until midnight EST on May 15th to submit your best screenshot/photo — edited or raw! Share on our Facebook wall, Tweet at @kitfoxgames with it, or send it on over!

The winner(s) will receive a free Steam key for the premium PC version!

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We will judge entries on creativity and appeal. Any captions submitted alongside will be included in judgment.