Saturday, 14 February 2009

Raid Galleries. Steal Paintings. Make Millions!

If you’re like me, then you’re an incomprehensible scouse idiot with a penchant for “hilarious” t-shirt slogans and, more importantly, you think the work of Mark Rothko is complete bobbins*, but then art is about emotions (in this case, anger) and, importantly, how much money you can get someone to part with for a piece of work.

In the event I ever found myself turning over some art gallery, I’d be stealing the lead off the roof rather than “Light Red Over Black”, but when you realise one of Rothko’s emperors new clothes pictures went for a jaw-dropping $73m in 2007, even I start to think again about pinching it.

A person without such a sniffy attitude towards art and robbery is the anti-hero of our new game, Ric Rococo: International Art Thief. You control our light fingered friend through a series of art galleries, pinching old masters and more contemporary pieces, all the time having to avoid guards and other surveillance, before handing them to your girlfriend, Nancy, who is suspended outside the window from your trusty RococoCopter.

One of the impressive things about this game’s development is the time it took for all the code, art and design to come together from the initial high concept. Fleshing out of the concept and the visual style was a couple of days and once we had that nailed, the level design, full art, music and coding all came together quickly, followed by a short testing phase. In terms of total man effort, the game took around 20 man-days, but the coming together of the project as a whole to the stage it is at now took around 7 man-days from the initial draft.

Once again, Ricky’s brother does a bang up job with the music, tipping a nod to the works of Ennio Morricone in the process. The excellent artwork is done by another of our art conduits Adam Schofield, and amongst the influences he has used is the fantastically cheesy 60’s film “Danger: Diabolik!” (for which Morricone did the music) about a master thief stealing off the Italian government and living in a palatial apartment surrounded by his ill-gotten gains. Other visual style references include the Pink Panther cartoons and that cartoon style from the 60’s of using simple flat characters and larger physical space.

* Just my opinion, like, not those of Nat and Ricky, who wander off into rambling guff about "brush strokes" and "all about scale".

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