The Art Hunt

Hey everyone! Elijah/Licoricefish here to talk about what I’ve been up to the past few weeks: art hunting for GalaCollider. So far I’ve had 13 new artists agree to us using their art!

By virtue of being a digital/expandable card game, GalaCollider naturally calls for large numbers of cards, each with an unique and appropriate piece of artwork. Right now on our online deckbuilder, GalaCollider has 83 core set cards and 60 sector cards. These are the current public cards, that anyone can check out and build decks with. However, this initial batch of cards is just the beginning! A multitude more are being conceptualized, developed, and tested!

A couple months ago, Sebastian (in charge of art direction) asked me if I’d like to work as a quasi-art producer for the game, scouting out great portfolios and corresponding with artists. Yes, I said, yes that sounds awesome. Since then, I’ve had a blast finding art for the game, it’s definitely one of my favourite things to do for GC! I’ll settle in with one of my favourite video game soundtracks and browse through amazing art for a couple hours at a time. I love it!

The art hunt has been an interesting challenge though, largely because we’re still working on securing funding for the game. We basically need to ask permission from the artists to use their work in our current prototype, to reach a licensing agreement once we are funded or leading up to a release.

It can be a difficult thing to give out your art for future payment, so HUGE kudos to all the artists who’ve agreed, thank you!! I know I’ll be filled with joy when I start seeing cards in GalaCollider with art that I helped find. And now, I’d love to show you all some of the beautiful work from the some of these recent additions to our family.

↑ From ‘Architecture Sketches’ by Jan Sarbort. Jan is a digital matte painter, concept artist, texture painter & photographer hailing form BC, Canada. He’s had plenty of experience at interactive media studios such as Bohemia Interactive (Czech Republic), Double Negative (UK), & currently, Method Studios (Canada). Even what he calls his ‘sketches’ are fleshed out and incredibly colourful. His fantastic scifi landscapes & starships caught my eye, and I’m so happy to have him involved in our project!

↑ Close Up Desert Planet by Ekaterinya Vladinakova, from a tutorial on her YouTube channel. Ekaterinya is a freelance illustrator hailing from California, USA. Her fantasy & scifi works are imaginative and filled with vivid colours, veering away from the photorealism of a lot of scifi artwork. I love the somewhat surreal quality of her work. If you get a chance, definitely check out her blog! Tons of great stuff on there.

↑ Floating City by Edouard Noisette. Edouard is a concept artist and matte painter, based in Paris. I really dig his artstyle, his pieces all feel very real. He’s had diverse experience working on short movies, clips, video games, set extension for photography, CD covers. He also has a diverse skillset, having worked in a variety of different softwares. His body of work is vast and diverse, with some focus on science fiction and fantasy. 

↑ Jellyfish City by Lasse Perälä. Lasse is a concept artist hailing from Finland. His work is filled with great perspectives and really absorbing textures. He uses some complex ideas but does an awesome job at making them come to life. A very elegant style! The cover image at the top of this post ↑ is also Lasse’s: Sci-fi City.

Once again, thank you so much to the artists who’ve agreed to having their art in the game! And if you’re reading this and are thinking “Hey, I’d like to have my art in GalaCollider,” then shoot me an email with some examples of your work at [email protected] !

Besides the art hunt, I’ve still been hosting our monthly podcast and helping with our Twitter account. I’ve also been gearing up for a few gaming events in Montreal this fall, namely MIGF (Montreal Independent Games Festival) and MIGS (Montreal International Games Summit), which I’m very much looking forward to.

That’s all from me for now. If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, details about our upcoming big open Alpha event will be sent out through there. Now, in the words of the great Razcrux: SPACE OUT.

Starship models, card art, & indie games

Hey everyone, Elijah/Licoricefish here.

The NeoCrux team has been hard at work on our latest Alpha build of GalaCollider! Sebastian redesigned many of the 3D spaceship models for the game, so I thought I would share some of that progress with you all. Check out some of the new models for the Sylith dreadnaught ships:

                          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new distinct colouring on the ships is meant to indicate factions, and to make it clearer in-game who each ship belongs to. Here are some more seen in Unity:

 

The Great Tree and Hellfire models in-game:

 

Keep in mind that these designs won’t necessarily be the final models we use in the game, many will end up being tweaked and/or replaced. Most of these designs began with 3D models from TurboSquid and SolCommand, both of which are great resources!

Besides playtesting GalaCollider and building some custom decks on our online deckbuilder, I’ve also been helping out with our Twitter page @NeoCruxGaming as well as searching for new card art for the game! Finding artwork has been quite inspiring, getting to go explore some incredible and often jaw-dropping portfolios. There are some fantastic scifi groups on DeviantArt like Space Frontier and Space Club, among many others. So far we’ve had a handful of artists agree to using their art for the game! I’m excited to think that art I helped find could end up on cards in the game. One new artist, Dark-Rayden, will even be joining the team as a creative designer! Here’s one of my favourite pieces of his titled ‘From Above’:

http://dark-rayden.deviantart.com/

Navigating through the Twitterverse, I’ve caught wind of many other upcoming indie games in the 4X and card game genres. A couple that look really great:

Star Crusade (in beta)↓


Starborne – Sovereign Space (in alpha) ↓

There is so much out there! I only wish I had both the hardware and the time to play them all.

As always, I try to catch a game of GalaCollider whenever I can or whenever there’s an available opponent. We’re still looking for playtesters, so if you aren’t already playing GalaCollider, sign up for playtesting and you can master YOUR strategy and of course, conquer the galax(ies).

We’re very excited to be making progress on our Alpha5 build, leading up to an open Alpha/Beta test in the foreseeable future. In the meantime, stay tuned for an upcoming episode of the GalaCast, our monthly GalaCollider podcast, hosted by yours truly. And if you haven’t yet, join our newsletter to stay in the loop!

GalaCast episode 5 & Alpha5 reveal

Elijah aka Licoricefish here.

This month I had the pleasure of being on the fifth episode of our GalaCast podcast along with Sebastian and Connor.

We talked about a handful of things that happened since GalaCast episode 4. We had the Open Alpha Event, which was quite a busy weekend but tons of fun. Connor and Sebastian made it to GDC & ECGC, respectively. From VR to free beer and giant jenga, their experiences have convinced me that I must make it to some game conferences myself! We’ve also been pleased to see the team & playtester group continue to grow this past month.

We are very excited to be revealing the Alpha 5 build of GalaCollider on our weekly Twitch streams with PowerToMario! (Every Thursday at 10pm EDT) There have been many improvements to the UI, bug fixes, and many new star maps! 😀 (I love maps.)

I was able to get on the stream with PowerToMario last Thursday May 12th, and it was a blast! I’ll be starting another GalaCollider stream on Mondays at 5PM EDT. Don’t forget to click that heart ♥ button on our Twitch channel! There’s also been talk of doing different kinds of streams such as a live-coding session or even a live-map-building, which I’m especially excited about.

If you haven’t, sign up for the newsletter on our homepage to stay in the loop!

Licoricefish has entered the game

Hiya!

My name’s Elijah aka Licoricefish, I’m the Community Manager for GalaCollider.

A bit about me:

I’m a musician. I play mostly the acoustic bass (standard, not stand-up) but I also compose using MuseScore (mostly for school). I’m a huge fan of RPGs, scifi & fantasy, tabletop and video games. I’m Canadian and yes I play a lot of hockey.

Here’s me↓

I was brought onboard about a month ago, and I can honestly say I’m thrilled to be a part of this team! There are passionate and talented people working on this game, and I think people will feel that when they play the final product. For me, GalaCollider brings together many elements that I absolutely love in tabletop and video games. To name a few:

  • Ever-changing maps
  • Resource management
  • A wide range of strategies
  • Customizable deck-building (very excited about this one)

I’ve learnt a lot in this past month. I’ve engaged with many online groups trying to spread the word about GalaCollider. Impulsively I wanted to post to as many places as possible, but I quickly learnt that it’s a fine line between self-promotion and genuine engagement with a community. There are so many thriving scifi and indie game communities online, what I need to do is find what excites me about them so I can not only spread the word about GalaCollider, but also encourage reciprocal engagement across these great communities!

So I’ve been pushing myself to find groups that genuinely excite me. Now, I check kickstarter weekly and become giddy when I see a new game that appeals to me. I’ve been playing games with elements similar to GalaCollider (I’m loving Faeria), to get a feel for what is out there right now. I’ve been watching Unity3D tutorials and reading up on both tabletop and video game design. Already I feel like I’ve become a more engaged member of the online gamer community. Not because I have to be, but because I want to be.

I’m currently working on exploring new avenues to find playtesters for GalaCollider. Reddit has been really responsive to our posts, we got a lot of good feedback there after our Alpha Event. Our forum posts about the game have had many views but little responses. I’ve joined a bunch of gamer and game dev Facebook groups, but have found it a bit trickier to make a mark there. As GC continues to develop I hope we can garner more interest and support from those groups. I’m now looking for further places such as GooglePlus in the hopes of finding more playtesters.

If you’re reading this, then I challenge you to a duel! Give us a shout if you’re interested in becoming a playtester! I’ve been having a blast playing the current build and can’t wait for a complete Alpha5 🙂

This is the first game team I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. It’s been a learning experience for me and will continue to be. I believe GalaCollider has incredible potential and I’m looking forward to helping develop and strengthen our community over the next many months.