Fast, Cheap and Flashy: An Indie Art Direction Adventure
Adam DeGrandis (Chickadee Games LLC)
'Tooth & Tail', Pocketwatch Games' follow-up to 'Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine', had been in development for nearly two years, but the art was in trouble. It was inconsistent, hard to read, and a little dull. The style needed to be redesigned and ushered through production but there was a catch: it needed to ship in ten months and it couldn't cost a lot. Lateral thinking, semi-unconventional pipelines, educated-risk taking, and old-fashioned art fundamentals came to the rescue, and helped reshape the game's style into something that won awards before the game was even released. But what's the cost of succeeding early, and what happens when a team that worked so long with a big, stressful long term goal suddenly doesn't have one? The examples are pixelated, but the lessons are universal.