The Fully Illustrated Blog

Wulverblade Trailer 2 Weeks On

January 7, 2013

Hey Guys,

Even though I launched the teaser so close to Christmas/New Year, it appears to have been pretty popular so far, so thanks for all the tweets, emails, DM’s etc! The trailer has been watched about 1400 times over the past 2 weeks, which isn’t too bad considering most people were off enjoying the holidays.

Here it is in case you missed it…

 

A very kind chap named Sanku over on the Touch Arcade Forums posted about the trailer too which was great, and around 1000 folks have checked that out!  Take a read if you fancy and please feel welcome to say hello!

I’ve not done any formal press for the teaser, so I was surprised to see that it had been picked up by a few sites all on its own!

So, thanks again for all the interest so far, I cant wait to show you all more! There is SOOOOOOO much to show over the coming months, I cant wait!

Mike.

 

 

Wulverblade front page feature!

January 5, 2013

Looks like the guys over at iFanzine have picked up Wulverblade and featured it on the homepage. Awesome!

Check it out! – ifanzine.com

Thanks for the feature guys!

Mike.

 

Wulverblade Reveal

December 21, 2012

wulverblade-teaser-trailer-blog

 

Well, you’ve all been waiting very patiently over these past few months while listening to me harp on about ‘THE GAME’ and now, after quite some time, I’m revealing it…albeit in the form of a teaser.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, may I present to you, Wulverblade! (Select 1080p HD!)

So, you’ve been asking for the name, you now have it. You’ve been asking about the art style, you can now see it (EVERY element of that trailer is made with in game assets) and you’ve been asking about the genre…which if you’ve been following me on twitter, chances are, you’ve guessed it…a classic side scrolling hack’n’slasher!

But this will be no ordinary side scroller, oooooh no, Wulverblade is going to be truly cinematic in every respect.  The game is being illustrated, animated and built in glorious 1080p HD! It will be adorned with breathtaking cinematic cut-scenes presented in tandem with a truly epic soundtrack and full voice acting throughout.  I aim to level up on everything I’ve ever created with Wulverblade.

The core underpinning of what will make Wulverblade special will be its attention to detail on EVERY level. The story is so deeply routed in British history and folklore that it draws on historical fact, historical theory and truly breathtaking classical folk stories.

Its coming to PC (and if the gods are with me, Steam), iOS GameDock, iPhone and iPad, and last but not least, Mac.  Prep yourself for everything I have ever dreamt of making!

And just in case you need any links…

Last but not least, a quick thanks to the amazing chaps at Verbal Vigilante for scoring the trailer (and the rest of the game) and to Noni Lewis for her superb voice acting!

Keep watching for more info soon!

Mike.

 

THE GAME Update 4 – Research Road Trip

November 16, 2012

Hello!

If you follow me on twitter you’ll know all about this story as I posted a step by step photo guide yesterday, but for those who don’t, this post is about my research road trip that I finished yesterday evening.

In the intent of getting truly inspired for this game, I decided to take 2 days out and take on an expansive research/location road trip to visit some of the most ancient sites in Britain. This trip has been little short of epic…and I don’t use that term lightly. I covered a whopping 700 miles to visit 6 amazing locations connected to the story of my game. This journey took me through valleys, over treacherous mountain trails and to the edge of the known world! All will become clear as you read on.

Day 1:

Its 9:00am and I’m packed and ready to roll. I’ve got more kit with me than a film crew! Ok so that’s over exaggerating, but I had a lot ;) I hit the road with a full belly and goal to reach what the Roman’s called ‘the edge of the known world’ or to modern day man, the incredible one of a kind, Hadrian’s Wall. This was the only wall of its kind in the entire Roman Empire, and spanned the entire 80 mile width of Britain. It was touted as a showing of Rome’s power, but was inevitably seen as a showing of fear as it was the only part of Europe that Rome just could not conquer. After roughly 100 years of continual fighting with the northern tribes, the Roman’s accepted defeated (something they’d never done before) and drew a line in the sand…a 12ft high, 8ft thick and 1500 soldier manned line! These guys were certainly scared of what lay beyond!

After 4hrs I arrived at my first location along the wall, the amazing Roman Army Museum, which had recently commissioned a superb short film (with very high production values I must say) to re-create life on the wall in 120AD. This film and museum gave me a spectacular insight into the world back then and really got me in the mood.

After a short walk it was then onto site two, the Vindolanda Fort ruins and attached museum. This place was awe inspiring to say the least!

Vindolanda Fort

Vindolanda was the most expansive Roman outpost to the north and was home to what equated to not only a full garrison but also an entire village. It was gigantic! I actually recorded some video here, but the howling wind and driving rain made it all but inaudible. Doh! What this site brought home to me was how much the Roman’s meant business. They set up shop here and weren’t budging…or so they thought. I can’t imagine how desolate it must have felt living up here during winter as these people would have been weeks’ worth of a trek away from the nearest town. No wonder the fort walls were immense. They even had specialised turrets to hold catapults! So that goes to show how much they lived in fear.

After this the light was starting to fade, so I figured I’d best take a quite jaunt down a section of the wall before the light died out entirely. I drove for another 30 mins to a great spot, donned my walking boots, packed up the camera kit and set off…20 mins later I was back in my car, dripping wet, freezing cold and calling it a day. The wind and rain was intense and I was soaked to the core. I did get one reasonable photo though.

Hadrian's Wall

Oh and before you think me a big softy, I’m a northerner, I’m used to our weather and I do a lot of walking/mountain biking, but the weather today was just too much ;)

So, after a very long day I started the long haul back to my hotel. Steak pudding, followed by sticky toffee pudding rounded the day off nicely, warmed the cockles of my wintry heart and sent me off into a solid nights sleep.

Day 2:

EPIC is defined by today’s planned excursion! Its 8:30am, I have belly full of locally farmed eggs and Cumberland sausage and am ready to take on the Hardknott Pass in search of Rome’s most remote outpost, the Hardknott Fort! This pass (unbeknown to me at the time) is widely known as one hell of a mountain trail to take on, on your own. Especially in the pouring rain on a cold, howling winter’s morning! But being set in my ways and warned by the hotel manager that this pass isn’t for the faint hearted, I started up my Land Rover and set forth!

As I draw near to the main pass I am greeted by a sign pre-warning me in layman’s terms, ‘don’t try this if you scare easily’. Well, I carry on regardless. If you look below in the first image, there is a V shape in the far right on the distant mountain…that’s where I’m heading.

Approaching Hardknott Pass

After 20 mins I’m thinking to myself, this aint too hard, in fact, it’s pretty easy…then I see the monumental climb ahead of me and how I am about to climb a 1,289 ft mountain path. Oh mamma, this is looking scary…but exciting! The path gets narrower and narrower reaching points where its 6ft wide at its absolute widest and in places there are sheer drops literally feet away from the edge of my wheels. ‘What the hell am I doing’ I think to myself. I’d got to a point where turning back was no easy option, so onward I went. The road was THAT steep at points (turning in on itself with crazy hairpins that took full lock in 1st gear to only just manage) that I couldn’t even see the road ahead as it was that high up and beyond the view through my windscreen! Scared? Hell yes, but the adrenaline kept me going.

Luckily I’ve done off road training in my 4×4, so I knew what to do to keep on going safely. I can see why so many cars end up crashed on this pass.

Finally, I reach the peak! Good god, the view back was AMAZING! I’d stuck my handbrake on big time and shoved it in 1st before getting out as I was terrified of the car rolling backward under the pressure of the incline. Just look at that view. See the tiiiiiiiiiny line snaking off in the distance, yeah, that’s the path I just took.

The Hardknott pass peak

As I started my descent, I decided that another shot looking forward was now called for. This looks like nothing I know, but what you can’t see here is the fact that the path drops drastically down, via ultra-tight hairpins right the way to the bottom. So much so I was almost stood up in my car trying to see over my bonnet to see where the hell the road was! It was THAT steep.

Hardknott pass descent

So after this incredible drive, disaster struck. I couldn’t bloody find Hardknott fort! The mist, low cloud and horrendous rain made finding the walk-able/climbable path invisible. Damn it! On the upside, I got a real life experience of what it must have been like to be up there, and man, it was horrible. I sure wouldn’t want to live there through a harsh British winter! I pity the poor souls manning this outpost.

At the bottom I took a moment to rest, reflect on that great hour long journey and then head to Castlerigg Stone Circle!

1hr later I arrived at one of my most favourite places in the entire world. This stone circle is awe inspiring in every respect.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Its location just blows your mind as its set overlooking the meeting point of a number of spectacular mountains. The pilgrimage that the ancient Britons must have made to reach such a place would have been overwhelming. This world has little to no true magic or spirituality left in it (as science makes a point of explaining everything away), and this place can still strike a chord deep inside you! Goodness knows how incredible Castlerigg must have been to the Pagan worshipers back then.

I spent a good 40 mins just walking around here as it was so incredibly peaceful. Quite the contrast to Hardknott!

Onward once more back to Harridan’s Wall. While it was still raining and rather dank, I was determined to walk a section and get some shots.

Finally I managed a 45 minute trek up and down a section of the wall before a bad-ass weather front was threatening to make my walk back rather nasty. I got a few shots, stood in the foundations of one of the watchtowers and just spent time taking in the feel of the land. What an amazing experience. Life on this wall, keeping watch over the barbarian hordes of the north must have been a bloody awful job.

Hadrian's Wall

So, upon reaching my Land Rover again, cold slightly wet and ready to see my family again, I set back on the long haul home. If I could describe the whole experience, I’d say grim, brutal, harsh and depressing…but all in an incredibly inspiring way. I have a solid vision for the game now and cannot wait to get the artwork in full production!

Stay tuned for the next update!

INSPIRED!!!

 

THE GAME – Update #3

October 11, 2012

Hey Everyone!

So, things aren’t going as quickly as initially anticipated (I’m guessing every Indie in the world is laughing to themselves at this very moment). As I am totally self-funding this from the ground up, I wanted to make sure my coffers were well stocked before starting the game ‘full time’ in November…and that workload has been somewhat intense. So much so I’m working some craaaaazy hours and consuming too much coffee, sugar and red bull.

BUT, the cogs are still moving behind the scenes. Here’s a quick update on where things lie right now…

  • The story – This part is very important to me, and while the genre of the game (I know I’m yet to divulge that but everything will be exposed very soon) doesn’t necessarily need a super deep storyline, I want one. I’ve never written a story before and have found that I’m great at researching, great at outlining, but pretty damn terrible at piecing it all together into a tangible and worthwhile story. So, I’ve hired some help here. Since getting a story writer on board and bouncing ideas around, the story has moved further in 1 week than it has in the past month…and its shaping up great.
  • So why does point 1 hold things up? – Well, getting that story nailed down paves the way for literally everything else. I didn’t want to go with a typical fantasy story of ‘The mighty lord doom has ravaged the landscape and you, the great bullfang must fight to save the day’ kinda thing, I wanted something routed in history and something that had a large degree of reality to it. Basically, if anyone cares about this game when its made, I want them to be able to read up on the routes of the story and piece more of it together. Damn, I’m sounding cryptic, sorry. In simple terms, I want a strong story, that leads to a solid name, and will allow me to take the story into an online comic later on.
  • Audio – I’ve signed up the amazing talents of Verbal Vigilante to handle the sound design on every level. The score, sound effects, everything. These guys are literally epic and have helped score the trailers for the Wrath of the Titans, Dark Knight Rises, MIB3 and Sinister but to name a few. The score is going to be intense!
  • Voice over – After A LOT of hunting, I’ve finally found my core voice artist to act out the intro, trailer and in game voices. I want, where possible, to avoid relying on text in the cut scenes/intro and have full voice overs instead. Bloody expensive, but it’s all adding into the quality finish I want.
  • Concept art – Now here’s the crazy part. I can normally (99% of the time) nail down the creative/illustrative look and feel for any new game that I work on within a couple of days of experimentation. Except this time…grrrr. It’s taken months of sketching to find the style I want for this but I have finally managed it. It’s still being refined right now, but the main character style is close to being final and once it is, I’ll be revealing it. I don’t want to rely on what I normally do here, which may, or may not be a good idea, time will tell. Don’t get me wrong, it’ll obviously look like my work, but it’s taking a technical step forward that is going to push me to my current limits (and beyond with luck). I’m scared of failure here…but I’m hoping that fear will fuel me forward. Let’s face it, breaking into new ground and trying new things are what improve you as a creative.

So, as November draws ever closer, I’m going to be increasingly busy finishing off all the loose ends with my paid contracts.  I’ll be back as soon as I can with more ‘visual’ updates :)

Wish me luck!
Mike.

THE GAME – Update #2 – Location Shots

August 28, 2012

Ok, so update number 2 is here, a little later than expected, with less info than expected, but its here :)

For now, I’m running the dev blog through this blog until a few things are sorted out. Why? Well, the name of the game, and thus the blog is still in a state of flux (the basis of the name is sorted, but I’m toying with how the words are arranged) so I cant launch the blog under the wrong name or I’m setting myself up for a fall from day 1 ;)

So, what’s been happening?

  • Wireframing:  This is currently the focus as I’m nailing down the flow, structure and features of the game. This is lengthy and detailed stuff and most likely wont be complete for another month or so.  But you dont care, as you don’t want to see that stuff ;)
  • Location hunting and research:  Now this part IS exciting, very exciting in fact! As I nail down the specifics of the story and try and to pin it to actual British historical events/timelines, I’m travelling around parts of the UK to experience/photograph places that I want to influence and/or feature in the game.  This stuff is really enriching my soul as being a native here (as far back as 3/4 of my genealogy goes anyway, the other 1/4 is Spanish) and researching my ancient origins on this island is proving wonderful!  I’m lucky enough to live on the fringe of the countryside in a rural area, so I have great photographic reference material all around me.  Below is a handful of some of the scenes I’ve photographed so far:

And a few black and whites for the real drama…

I’ll soon be following this post with the results of my first ‘official’ shoot (these above are more random snaps while out and about) at one of the UK’s lesser known stone circles, Castlerigg.  The results from this shoot are possibly the most inspiring shots I’ve ever taken. I cant wait to show them! More coming soon.

Enjoy!

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