Monthly Archives: July 2013

Austin Wintory Live Orchestral Recording, Streaming this Tuesday

As we mentioned in the previous update, we have a gift for all our backers. From the desk of Austin Wintory:

For all those interested, I am happy to share that we will be streaming part of our big, long-in-progress recording session for THE BANNER SAGA! The recording process for this game has already been very elaborate, and next week takes a huge leap forward when I go to Dallas, Texas to collaborate with a truly magnificent ensemble: the Dallas Wind Symphony! This Grammy-nominated ensemble, led by the incredible conductor Jerry Junkin with whom I’ll be tag teaming, will be the subject of a forthcoming in-depth Kickstarter music update. But in the meantime, here are the details for the stream:

Tuesday, July 30th at 4:30pm Central Time.

I have just set up a Twitch account: http://www.twitch.tv/awintory/profile

In theory if you can’t attend live you can see the archive. We’re working very hard to make sure this is a high-quality stream, both visually and aurally. The recordings will be going until 5pm, so you will be tuning in to the last half hour of a full day’s worth. At that point I will send the musicians home, and come to the camera for a live chat. Joining me will be our dear friends from Stoic Studio, Alex Thomas, Arnie Jorgensen and John Watson, along with the DWS’ conductor Jerry Junkin. We’ll have about 20 or so minutes to chat. Remember that during the first half you will be watching a recording session, not a concert, so it might be interesting to see just how different those two can be from each other!

I will also be answering questions about the score to BANNER SAGA in my upcoming Kickstarter update, so feel [...]

By |July 25th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Austin Wintory Live Orchestral Recording, Streaming this Tuesday|

Animation process

Hello backers! As previously mentioned, today’s update will be a closer look into the animation process. We’ll save the usual Q&A section for the our next content update and jump right to the good stuff!
ANIMATION
As most of you know, we went an uncommon route with the character animations for The Banner Saga, deciding not just to do 2D animation, but to use traditional animation techniques to really achieve the old Disney “Sleeping Beauty” effect we were going for with the game’s art style. This decision was based on pure madness in retrospect, but more specifically a deep-seated love of classic animation. We wanted the game to always feel like you’re playing an animated movie.

I would wager the opinion that anyone who has done traditional animation knows that it’s extraordinarily complex and time consuming.

Here’s a very brief background on the difference between traditional and modern animating. I have no doubt that many of you know this, but let’s do a quick refresher:

3D animation
The artist creates a 3D model, an animator attaches a rig to it, also called a skeleton. This skeleton can be positioned the same way you would move around an articulate mannequin, by positioning and rotating joints. Making this movement look natural is the hard part, and requires buckets of skill. The nice thing is that you make a model once, and now it’s quick to rough out and make changes, you can move the camera wherever you want, change the lighting, etc. I’m not sure how many people know this, but 3D animation is now on the verge of being quicker and easier to produce than traditional animation. Proof: Disney channel cartoons are now made in 3D.

Modern 2D animation
This [...]

By |July 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Animation process|

Progress Report!

Hello and greetings again for another monthly update! This time we had planned to give you an in-depth look at the animation process in great detail by the amazing artists at Powerhouse Animations. They have been working ridiculous deadlines of their own and had to delay the update. We didn’t want to keep anyone waiting, so we’ll do a progress report now and a content-filled animation update soon thereafter. I know many people were hoping we’d update more frequently with smaller posts anyway.

First, Q&A as always:

Q: When is the game coming out?
A: Later this year. We used the much larger budget to make a much larger game.

Q: How long total has the game been in development now?
A: 1 year and 2 months

Q: How/where do I upload my guild crest?
A: We’ll be including crest uploads as part of the actual game, so there’s never a deadline. It will only be accessible by backers.

And now, PROGRESS!

This has been an insane month for The Banner Saga. We have a schedule we’re working from, of course, and to meet this month’s deadline we’ve been crunching harder than ever. I don’t tell you this for sympathy, I say it simply because it’s true, and we knew what we were signing up for. So, what did we accomplish with all this crunchery?

GOLD STANDARD
If you’ve followed game development before you might already know what gold standard means. Design usually involves coming up with a solid set of ideas, testing them quickly, creating placeholder systems until everything is working and is fun. After that, you create final content, figure out the way things move, polish the various systems until they’re really done.

I’m very happy to say that every system in our [...]

By |July 4th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Progress Report!|