Now Hiring: Senior Low-Poly 3d Animator/Artist

Kitfox Games needs help with an unannounced title! Kitfox Games is an award-winning independent studio in Montreal, Canada, and we’re looking for someone to craft beauty in low-poly 3d.

What is “low-poly” to us? We are hoping to find someone excited by the elegant appeal of games like Lara Croft Go or Massive Chalice.

We’d love to hire you if you:

  • Are legally able to work full-time in-house in Montreal, Canada
  • Are experienced in 3d animation
  • Enjoy creating low-poly characters & environments
  • Bonus points for Unity3d experience!
  • Bonus points for an unusual background or add to our team’s diversity
  • Note: Knowledge of Substance Designer and procedural materials is NOT required or expected!

Rate: $51k CAD per year (same as all full-time Kitfoxes). Send your CV and online portfolio to xin@kitfoxgames.com before February 5th 2018 to be considered for the position.

Now Hiring: Boyfriend Dungeon Illustrator (Part-time/Contract)

Boyfriend Dungeon needs an illustrator! Kitfox Games is an award-winning independent studio in Montreal, Canada, and we’re looking for someone with a great 2d portfolio who loves drawing and coloring beautiful backgrounds.

Rate: $25-$40 Canadian dollars per hour, depending on experience, for 15-25 illustrations. We’d love to hire you if you are:

  • Available to work part-time (remote is OK!)
  • Demonstrably experienced with illustrated background creation
  • Providing your own equipment and software
  • Excited to style-match with existing Boyfriend Dungeon assets (see sample backgrounds below)

Send your CV and online portfolio to xin@kitfoxgames.com before February 4th 2018 to be considered for the position.

Bonus points for (don’t worry if you don’t have these! Apply anyway!):

  • An unusual background or add to our team’s diversity!
  • Unity experience
  • Experience creating in-game assets, especially isometric props and environments
  • Canadian permanent residency or citizenship

Sample Boyfriend Dungeon backgrounds:

Buy the Art of Moon Hunters eBook!

Behold! The artists, archaeologists, and sages of our time have collected their knowledge of the world of Issaria and published it into a lovely pdf!

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(Click to get a larger view!)

You can also download a preview of the first few pages!


Stats:

  • Over 90 full-color pages
  • Over 7,000 words of accompanying explanations, from the perspective of a historian after the game’s end
  • Bunches of never-before-seen concepts and lore
  • Strategic constellation-unlocking hints and recipe ideas
  • 100% full of love

We’re selling the book to help support developing more content for the game, so please don’t give the file away or share it! Urge your friends to buy their own copies. We’re trusting you. 🙂

We’re hung up picking a publisher for the physical copy, but we’ll let you know when orders for that are available, and update this page.

Other merchandise available:

Posted in Art

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!

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!

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.

Limited-Time Event: Spring Gekkos!

If you check out Shattered Planet (whether you’re on iOS or Android), you’ll find your space station has a visitor!

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Meet Dinaxi, who trades in Gekko Credits, which are now appearing mysteriously on the planet’s surface. Although Gekko Credits are unrecognised by the Galactic Union, Dinaxi will take them off your hands in exchange for limited-time only consumables, as well as a special armor, weapon, and gun. This event will end May 12th, so log in and start exploring!

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You can buy the Earthshaker Staff, which causes the ground to collapse under your enemies, or the Deer Mask, which makes animals such as the Nest Guardians and Hatchlings take longer to ‘notice’ you, or a variety of extra-delicious chocolate frogs, symbolising fertility and renewal on Gekk Prime. If you collect all five of the chocolate frogs, Dinaxi will reward your loyalty with a rare seedling companion she calls Sakura.

Will you be able to find everything by May 12th?

Moon Hunters Update: the Dustfolk and the High Tribes

If you’ve already subscribed to the newsletter, you’ve probably already seen all of this! But for the rest of you…

Xin and I have been working on defining the different people and cultures of the Moon Hunters world, starting with the mountains, deserts, and forests.

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The Dustfolk

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The desert tribes are some of the friendliest, relying heavily on Blood magics to detect water beneath the surface, digging incredibly deep wells as needed. Even the smallest children of the tribe can usually recite basic Blood prayers, giving the desert folk a reputation for quick healing and practical wisdom.

Desert priestesses speak of an ancient thirst that draws all of humanity down into the cavernous flesh of the earth, safe from the evil sun. However, two storytellers rarely agree on what happens down there, for those that answer the call and indulge their thirst.

Here’s an assortment of villagers drawn from a few different tribes, side-by-side for comparison with the heroes. The differences can be rather subtle, but you can learn the style and customs of each tribe after spending more time with them.

The High Tribes

The people of the wind-chapped mountains are hunters, not farmers, as there’s neither enough fertile soil nor sunlight to sustain most vegetables. Even in mid-summer, the evil Sun is a distant, pearly figure, not so much brighter than the Moon. Of all environments, the peaks may be the most similar in night and day, seemingly trapped in a constant dusk.

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(The beetle in the gif probably isn’t native to that climate, but it sure does look happy about its travels! We’re not sure whether it’s dancing to impress its reflection or it’s just trying to keep warm. Either way, dance, beetle, dance!)

Most tribes prefer to build in wood, mud, or grass, but the High Tribes legends say they moved to a higher elevation to test their strength and self-discipline. They revel in the challenging permanence of stone and metal, with artisans excelling in Bronze magics and careful stonework. As a result, the finest jewelry, metal blades, and architectural advances tend to come from the mountain folk. In addition to hunting for meat and skins, they supplement their supplies with trading.

The High Tribes’ most profitable export is in weaponry. The Spellblade wields weapons forged by High Tribes on the jagged peaks of the Zaragos Mountains, where winds ceaselessly dig ore out of the very stone. After many years of hermetic study, training, and meditation, a Spellblade fuses his or her own will into the very metal, until the blade can anticipate its master’s whims.

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(Note for the detail-oriented: it’s not a scabbard, the wrappings hold together multiple layers of leather.)

Unfortunately, looking down on the world from their elevated viewpoint, the High Tribes tell themselves that they are closest to the Moon and most deserving of Her power. Most of its leadership are arrogant, possessing very little respect for those with more compassion. There are always exceptions, of course, particularly among merchants and rebellious youth, but the High Tribe culture is dominated by a sense of prideful superiority, valuing strength, purity, and loyalty over other, “lesser” virtues.

Crowdfunding?

A few people have asked whether we’ll crowdfund using the Square Enix Collective, but the honest answer is that we don’t know! Maybe! We haven’t decided yet what the best course of action is. For now, we’re keeping our heads down and working on the game.

At this point, we’re hoping to be ready for crowdfunding in July or August. We want to make sure we put our best foot forward and offer as much gameplay footage as possible. In the meantime, we’re glad to have you along for the journey!

What is a Gekkian, Anyway?

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Well, we’ve been putting our heads down and fixing bugs while we launch to iOS and Android (by the way, Android users will have a new update today! Yay!), but we thought we’d take a second to talk about the characters and world of Shattered Planet. More specifically, those adorable amphibians that call themselves the Gekkians.

If you pay attention all the way till the end, you’ll get a preview of our next content update!

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When humans first reached beyond the Sol system, they were able to communicate with a few different intelligent species in our universe. However, the only one close enough, in location and in biology, to befriend (or even really understand) were the Gekkians. They share many human-friendly characteristics, including intellectual interests, expressive features, a sense of humor, and relatively similar digestive tracks. Although humans can’t really enjoy Gekkian sports without scuba gear, they share a love of sushi and sitcoms. Gekkians and humans can even breathe the atmospheres of each others’ home planets, though each says the other’s “smells terrible”.

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In historical terms, humans and Gekkians became fast allies. The crucial divergence between the two species’ cultures, and the cause of more than one skirmish, is the human obsession with ‘ethics’ and ‘morality’. Humans concern themselves with right and wrong very often, and perhaps more worryingly for the Galactic Union, they expect all other species to do the same.

Gekkians find un-measurable phenomena generally less interesting, and very few claim they experience emotions similar to guilt or shame. This includes worrying over whether something or someone is “good” or “bad”, but also concern for clothing or gender, both of which are more fluid among Gekkians.

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Although their personalities range across a broad spectrum, Gekkians are generally neither cruel nor self-sacrificing. Gekkian religions (such as they are) tend towards constant learning and living in the moment, seeking joy from small pleasures, with their cultural heroes often taking the form of either charismatic, serene leaders or brilliant, manic scientists. Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, and Buddha have all found fan followings on Gekk Prime.

For their part, Gekkians say that humans are generally fun at parties, but lacking in [SYMBOL NOT FOUND], which translates roughly to “attention span for details”, or “brain-flexible”, depending on how it’s inflected. Dr. Zek is an accomplished Gekkian scientist and much more reclusive and emotionally detached than most, especially compared to the Gekkian you’ll meet next.

In our next content update, we’ll introduce a second Gekkian, who actually wears clothes for the fun of it. Meet Dinaxi, intergalactic trader extraordinaire.

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But the trader is too impatient to stay in any one place very long, so you’ll have to keep an eye out to catch the visit! We’ll let you know when we have the docking schedule ironed out.