STORE COMMUNITY ABOUT SUPPORT
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August 1, 2014 - mike
Things have been very busy here at Pencil Test Studios.We've had a few working visits from some amazing people who are working on the game and doing some pretty incredible things that we think you'll enjoy.
We've got some great news regarding the music of Armikrog! Over the last couple of weeks we've had the extreme pleasure having the incomparable, incredibly talented Terry Taylor and his equally talented writing partner Rob Watson visiting the studio. We had a great time going through the game with them. They have been in studio recording the music for Armikrog and came in for some inspiration. They love getting their hands dirty in the clay and talking through the story beats in order to pour all that into the music for the game.
And here is a very special little treat--a couple snippets from two very early "idea" tracks that Terry and Rob did for Armikrog! Keep in mind that these are just some preliminary ideas that they are playing with, but we here at Pencil Test we absolutely LOVE them! We wanted to share the excitement with you all!
In other amazing news we're super excited to announce that our friend Tim Reckart has come in to contribute his stop motion talents on Armikrog! We're very happy and fortunate to have him as a guest animator here. Tim is an academy award nominated animator/director for his short "Head over Heels". He has won countless awards for his work including an Annie Award for best student film. Needless to say his work for Armikrog is already looking amazing!
That's it for now--we hope you're as excited about this music and animation news as we are!
As we continue to work toward the game's release later this year, know that we really appreciate all of you support!
May 27, 2014 - mike
April was crazy-busy and we missed sending out an update, but wait no more -- here's the latest Armikrog news!
The biggest bit of news is that we've decided to push Armikrog's release date back a few months, closer to the end of 2014. Yes, I know...not the news that everyone wants to hear, but our goal is to bring you the best possible game experience, and adding some time to the schedule will be really good for the project.
Over the course of creating the game, we've added puzzles, levels and story to help expand the Armikrog universe and make for a better game overall. But as we've been getting closer to the release date, we found ourselves trying to figure out what we could cut in order to make the July deadline. This just didn't seem right. So, by extending the schedule, we'll be able to include the additional material and create a richer experience.
Does this mean we'll need more money? Nope, we'll be stretching our current budget to cover the extra production time. Does this mean the rewards will be shipped later too? Yes. The game is our top priority so the extended schedule will push rewards back as well.
So the game will be released before the end of 2014. We really appreciate your patience on this, as we know you're excited to play the game. Once we have an exact date, we'll post it here in an announcement.
We're continuing the process of replacing our pencil animations with the final stop-motion animation. We've also started building sets for the game's cinematics -- the funny little movies that you see as you play though the game. These cinematic sets are built much larger than the smaller sets used for the levels. We build these sets bigger so we use full sized puppets and show more detail!
In other production news, we've destroyed a perfectly good accordion and used it's pieces to build one of the levels. Probably a first in the history of games.
Next month we'll be heading to E3! Last year we brought along Tommynaut to meet and greet Armikrog fans, so this year Beak Beak will be coming along for the ride! If you're going to be at the show, follow us on twitter @Armikrog and we'll be tweeting times and places to meet up with Beak Beak. He's always up for making new friends!
Thanks for your continued support!
March 19, 2014 - mike
As we continue to move along with production, here's a quick update on what's been going on here at Pencil Test Studios...because we all love the updates, right?
There's been lots of sawing, hammering, clay-melting and hot-gluing going on here. You know...typical game production stuff. :) As mentioned in our last announcement, we're deep into the process of replacing all of the hand-drawn elements (used for prototyping) with the hand-crafted clay and puppet elements. This will continue for the next couple of months as we move toward beta.
Also, for you Terry S. Taylor fans out there, Terry has started writing the soundtrack for the game. Over the past few weeks, we've been talking about Armikrog themes and musical influences -- and not surprisingly, Terry has taken all of the ideas and imagery and begun to wrap them up into some amazing tunes!
Armikrog.com -- The rewards we've been offering at Armikrog.com will end on March 31. These rewards were for those who missed out on the Kickstarter campaign, but still wanted to support the project. Sometime next month we'll begin pre-selling the game, but this is your last chance to get the rewards and the game at a discounted price -- so tell your friends and neighbors!
As always, we appreciate your support!
February 18, 2014 - mike
It’s that time again! Time for another Armikrog update! A lot has gone on since our last update and we’re excited to share with you exactly how far we’ve come since then. In the last update we had completed our “pencil testing” mode and were starting our push into physically building the final assets for the game. Well we're happy to inform you that we are well into this process and it’s looking amazing! It’s really exciting to see the pencil, hand drawn assets get replaced with sets, characters and animations that are all created in our beloved stop motion style.
The final armatures for our main characters, Tommynaut and Beak Beak have been completed. The Tommynaut puppet has been sculpted, foamed, dressed and painted and is being animated as this is being written. Beak Beak has been sculpted and is now getting foamed. He'll be ready for animating by the end of the month! And if you’re wondering how our new stainless steel armatures are holding up to the rigors of stop motion animation you’ll be pleased to know that they are working amazingly well. We’ve already completed a bunch of Tommynaut animations and the ball and sockets move smoothly and accurately.
The pencil tested levels are being replaced by the final hand-crafted environments as well. There's lots of wood-cutting, gluing, sculpting and magic going on around the studio.
We're happy to announce that we've roped-in yet another original Neverhood team member to help us see Armikrog to completion. Some of you fans of our games from the Neverhood may know him as the memorable "Joe-Head-Joe" boss from Skull Monkeys. That’s right… Joe Sanabria of video game folklore is now part of the Armikrog team, helping us with art and sculpture! If you don’t know who Joe-Head-Joe is we suggest you check out the link below. He’s one of the funniest and weirdest video game bosses of all time according to Kotaku!
In addition to Joe we have also added some interns to the project from the Laguna College of Art and Design, otherwise known as LCAD. They have a great art department and these fine upstanding young students are part of the animation and game art curriculum. Greg, Cameron and Andrew have jumped right in and become part of the team!
So as the team continues to grow, were ready to see Armikrog to the finish line. We’re really excited about this last month’s progress and actually seeing parts of the game coming to life in final assets form. Nothing has changed in regards to how we make Armikrog as compared to the Neverhood. The art of stop motion animation is timeless that way and our techniques are the same. But it’s amazing to see how the advancements in technology are making the end product in Armikrog look so great on screen.
For more info and images, follow us on Twitter at @Armikog, or on Facebook at facebook.com/armikrog
As always, we appreciate your support. And we're looking forward to releasing Armikrog on Steam!
January 13, 2014 - mike
It’s been a while since our last update so thank you for being patient. A LOT has been going on here at Pencil Test Studios and we are very pleased to announce that we are really making great progress on Armikrog.
Here's a quick update:
The game design has gone through several revisions and we have finalized the complete design and “pencil test” playable process. This means that all of the levels, character attributes, puzzles and general game flow and ramping exist in a playable form, using hand-drawn elements. We do this so that we can make sure everything is working properly before committing to building specific sets and creating the time-intensive stop motion animation.
Now that this portion of production has been completed, haven now started to physically build the sets! That means getting into the warehouse and taking wood, wire, glue, and paper to start the framework process of building the sets. Once the framework has been built we go into the “dressing” process of adding the details in clay. This is when things really come to life!
We also have all the cinematics for the game story boarded and timed in animatic format. Ready to begin shooting on the actual sets with the real armatures!
Speaking of armatures--our Tommynaut armatures have been professionally crafted by master armature fabricator John Deall. An interesting note is that these hand crafted armatures are made of stainless steel as opposed to the brass ones from the Neverhood. That means they are much stronger and should hold up much better to the rigors and stress involved in stop motion animation.
Armikrog is still tracking for a July 2014 release, so check back for more updates on production.
For more info and images, follow us on Twitter at @Armikog, or on Facebook at facebook.com/armikrog
Thanks for all of your support!