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BEHIND THE SCENES IN KRABBITWORLD

by Teri Thom on 03/28/10 03:40:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutraís community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 
- Summary - History - Evolution - Transition -

We're coming out of an interminable dark tunnel at long last. After 10 full-time years of content development on my part and 5 years full-time (5 years part-time) of tech, programming, animation etc. on Dean's part, over several Krabbit games we are going into hobby dev mode. No longer are we hardcore, full-time, heads down sacrificial, slaves in 24/7 crunch mode. Farewell pasty-faced cave dwelling self! Gym and sunshine, here I come!

Wearing all the hats, we two journeyed through several ambitious projects, learning as we went, and effectively completed a worthy game, though not entirely what was hoped it would become. We had, after all, as my Mom would have said, “chosen the hardest row to hoe” in making the game we wanted to play.

With too much time invested extending hobby engines and the real ones out of reach, we've finally made the leap to build our own. No longer shall we be held hostage by network or performance limitations or inaccessible source code! Thus the birth of iCauldron3D.

Depleted resources and bridled visibility for KWO have forced our hand but it's a good thing. No more isolation, new opportunities and a more healthy balanced life await. Fitness, friends and family will reclaim their proper place! Future Krabbit content will be released at a pace more relaxing for two people in their spare time. In Engrish: we're getting day jobs and all the benefits that come with! Hobby dev mode, here we come! :)



KRABBIT PREVIOUS PROJECTS LIST:

KrabbitWorld
2D multiplayer Krabbit RPG for MacOSX and Windows abandoned in 2000 for 3D, partly ported to Java for web in 2010 now online

KrabbitWorld Labyrinth
3D Peer2Peer multiplayer game for MacOSX, Windows and Linux released in 2006 with incomplete tutorial, now free to download from our web site

Krabbit Fighter
3D high poly Krabbit Fighter Game, content began development in 2007, never released
Krabbits, terrain and multiplay networking deployed to Xbox 360 and PSP

KrabbitOnline
3D online multiplayer Krabbit game partly developed in 2008 for MacOSX and Windows featuring our Attitude System now offline

KrabbitWorld Origins
Single player Action Adventure RPG for MacOSX and Windows featuring streaming content and our own DRM released in 2009 with updates



CONTENT IN DEVELOPMENT (never released)

Karrellica, the Floating Island
Heightmap used to create 3D mesh of the Floating Island. Object done. Texturing in progress. Can be used as a level and for screens and video clips.



Karrellica, the floating Isle above KrabbitWorld



KRABBIT RACETRACK

Heightmap used to create 3D mesh of the Ferret Head mountains and racetrack.
Heightmap in the shape of a ferret's head†† † † † † ††3D mesh made from ferret head heightmap





THE AQUAVIAN (air/land/sea vehicle)

Design doc for gameplay as a level complete. Blueprints done. Initial 3D object complete.
top view of the Aquavianfront view of the Aquavianside view of the Aquavian





MORE KRABBIT CHARACTERS (profiles, attitudes, portraits and concepts developed)

Lord Varmint, Empress Turbo, Fivinus, Maudib, Belladonna, Lord Kindarel, Sarafina



VEHICLES AND FAUNA

Ferret, spiders, hoverboard and jetbike.



KRABBITWORLD ORIGINS STATUS

Multiplay delayed until port to suitable engine. DLC delayed until process in place.


iCauldron3D OPEN SOURCE GAME ENGINE

OpenGL/OpenGLES based engine in C in development for multiple platforms starting with iPhone/iPad and MacOSX


iCauldron3D icon for the iCauldron3D OpenGl/OpenGLES engine†† † † ††iKrabbit icon for the iKrabbit iPhone game in development




iKrabbit - BREAKING OUT THE STORY AND MOVING FORWARD

To showcase our own 3D Game Engine we are using the years of previously developed content and game mechanics to build an iPhone game. iKrabbit is an epic single player adventure RPG iPhone game featuring the 8 Realms and all the characters and story not yet released in previous Krabbit games.


Over the years of developing the Krabbit IP a passionate and dramatic story was written during our 'business meetings by walking around the block' (virtually our only time afk other than eating, sleeping or watching movies). Bits of the story have been released in our videos, demos and ingame Tomes, but only now with 'breaking out the story' in iKrabbit will the true depth be revealed. And that is my task which is well underway.



MINI KRABBIT GAMES FOR iPhone/iPad

Since iKrabbit will take some time to complete we'd like to release free or budget priced mini iPhone/iPad games along the way. They will feature content and gameplay already developed and broken out from the previous more complex Krabbit games and from iKrabbit itself. Compare this list to what's previously been achieved. So much is already done!


1) † iKandi – cute female Krabbit starring in a simple Krabbit dress-up game featuring our own colour engine
2) † Krabbit Sez – simple musical puzzle game featuring the colourful Ka–Ra SpellForge
3) † ayeKrabbit – aerial pirate combat game featuring the Aquavian and floating island Karrellica
4) † iShadow – survival horror Krabbit Game to scare your pants off, featuring the Old Academy
5) † Krabbit Racer – simple Krabbit racing game featuring the Ferret Head Mountain Racetrack, Turbo's Hoverboard and OGRE's Jetbike.



CONCLUSION

Is it the current economic climate that has effected our change? Yes and No.
We have our own particular roadblocks in the way of financial independence and success in video game development for the PC.

• † Neither of us is interested in the business side (we're a programmer and an artist)
• † We lost enough time looking for funding in the early years
• † We do not meet the requirements for Telefilm or the Canada Media Fund
• † As self-taught devs we lack the experience and connections
• † We have no marketing budget to make us visible on the bigger distribution channels
• † Our IP is misunderstood by some channels who view our game as a kid's game
• † Our project is too ambitious for indie love for that special visibility boost
• † Our project needs more polish and content to appeal to the more discriminating gamer
• † Our gameplay is hardcore and much too complex for the casual gamer
• † The search for a good supporting technology failed resulting in compromise



SOLUTION

Our solution is to deploy to a platform that does not present a moving target and to build our own technology. With PC dev one has to allow for multiple configurations, various operating systems and versions, graphics cards etc. The iPhone and iPad have far less complications to deal with. We have a ton of content to reuse and our own new engine. The playing field for visibility on the App Store is more equal for all. We may have a chance in this new direction to compete in hobby mode!†

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