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Guardians of the Rose Dev-Talk: RPG Influences, Decisions & Pixel Art

News

4b9a4970593c86d25aaac1624c584fa0_originalJack Davison and Mike Blundell of the Network affiliated Potshotpete and Mike’s Pad YouTube/Twitch channels respectively, took to the former’s Twitch abode in a live tête-à-tête with Broc Copeland yesterday, the 13th of June at 8 P.M. BST. Under the moniker of Pixel x Pixel Games, Copeland is at the helm of Guardians of the Rose; a retrospective, high fantasy themed arcade adventure that is currently at the final week of what has been a fairly well-performing Kickstarter campaign so far.

Set many years after a fictitious Great War — one against the clutches of Witchcraft upon an old Kingdom — Guardians of the Rose narrates a young adolescent’s quest to quell prevailing corruption of the Royal Guard by remnants of the Great Witches and their subsequent rise to power. To this end, players must make use of their power of choice, medieval gear, witchcraft, NPC interactions and recruitment itself to build themselves as the Guild Master of a Secret Society whose ultimate goal, regardless of alignment with good or evil, is world peace.

Yes, the game’s biggest emphasis lies in decision making and exploration — where the NPC’s they recruit to their side, the quests they complete and choices they make during that course, affect not only the Kingdom’s reaction and behaviour towards players but also influences the type of ending their journeys attain. Further featuring a fleshed out lore and equally creative quests in its Open-Ended design, customizable stats and a skills system, Guardians of the Rose promises to leave very little out of player control — as they choose to incite revolution from the shadows or wage all out war.

9e81983232f0cec4b7ba25d0e4fc317a_originalThis is all of course set to be conveyed by Copeland’s affinity for pixel art, chip-tune and directorial sensibilities; a stay at home dad whose foray into game development began with Flash and eventually translated into his working on Guardians for over a year now, Copeland has been fostering a Kickstarter campaign for the sole purpose of sustaining his full-time toil since the 24th of May this year. His sights remain set on a PC, Mac, Linux and an eventual PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release for 2017, the foundations of which have already laid by the game’s Green-lighting on Steam earlier this month.

In conversation with the duo of Davison-Blundell, the once game designer and web developer explored the game’s inherent influences of RPG classics such as that of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Legend of Zelda, before going on to reflect upon the game’s current pre-alpha status.

I read a lot of High Fantasy books and have always liked Legend of Zelda — and I guess it was just random day in bed when I decided to put the together and said, “Let’s do it”‘, he states during the course of the podcast.‘The biggest RPG influence though would be — The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind — when I played that game, it changed my life really. It’s world was open unlike any other I’d played before.’

d0f70db72f6d6cffd811a4e14db41798_originalSpeaking of the true role and function of decision-making and NPC interaction with respect to game-play, the developer also revealed that the game will run for a meaty tenure of 12-15 hours, will be sold at a price of $15 on Steam next May and will also descend into a Beta period in August, this year. ‘There’s going to be a lot of stuff going on in-game that those playing for the first time won’t even realise they’re making decisions — unless they begin to think early on if they do want go good or bad’, explained Copeland.

‘Most of the quests in the game won’t even have an obvious outcome — it sort of plays as if the choice that you made was the only choice offered  by the game.’As for DLC and related future expansion of the game’s lore, he expressed that while he does have things in mind, their coming to fruition would solely be dependent on how the game does upon release.

The trio then dabbled in discussing each one’s gaming preferences, E3 reveals and perceptions towards Alpha/Beta releases — before letting viewers pitch their own array of questions. ‘It’s all skill-tree based; There’s NPC’s you can learn skills from, bosses you can pick skills from by killing them — you’ll then have a limited number of skill points to invest into the skill-tree’,  divulged the developer in response to one such question that enquired about the roles players will be able to play in-game.

a1214c55a0636fde275ec7afe7d32703_originalHe then continued in context by stating that a Game Plus mode was something he hoped he could get in in due time — one where players’ skills carried over to a new play-through of the game that featured subsequently harder quests, enemies and more. A final question moved him to reveal that while 60% of the game’s plot was now fleshed out, he was still contemplating how to convey certain multiple endings.

‘There’s no voice acting, only cut-scenes. I’m animating all cut-scenes by hand so I’m hoping I’ll be able to do all of the ones I want to do,’ he went on. The reason all of this is based in pixel art of course, stems from both his love for the art form and the fact that it happens to be the the default style in which he draws.

Guardians of the Rose’s Kickstarter campaign ends on the 23rd of June — and is only $1,700 short of its $7,500 goal at the time of this article. Be sure to visit the same for a complete breakdown of Backer Achievements, Updates and Copeland’s overall goal.

Pixel x Pixel Games was automatically put in touch with one time Higher Eclectic Ground members Jack Davison and Mike Blundell under the Network’s terms on the developer’s reaching out at the time. As of 18th June, 2016, they are no longer affiliated to or endorsed by the Network.

Eclectic MoSport’s Independent Gaming Sponsorship Slots Now Vacant

BSRTC PRO Series, News, Press Releases

12527706_1686760411579581_1950651682_n (1)Along with the conclusion of the iRacing British Sim Racers Touring Car PRO Series’ sixth race night at the Nurburgring Nordschleife on Thursday the 21st of April last week, the tenures of the Potshotpete Twitch Channel and Game Developers Strange Fire as sponsors of reigning Amateur Division Champion John Roberts and Pro Driver Ben Hackeson respectively, also drew to an end.

Although both sponsors had signed up to back the aforementioned vehicles for a period of four weeks ranging from the 27th of March to the 14th of this month, the cancellation of the 14th April race’s live-stream owing to the broadcasters, Apex Racing TV’s prior commitments with the 2016 World Endurance Championship led to their sponsorship being extended by a week.

Pop UpOver the course of these four weeks regardless, both sponsors were seen advertising their respective brand’s gaming ventures through each of the races — the Potshotpete Channel promoted its regular streaming of Video Game content, while developers Strange Fire opted to have their indie RPG Shoppe Keep advertised.

This was done by flying the Channel’s and Shoppe Keep’s flags on the vehicles of Roberts and Hackeson respectively, while the live streams played their corresponding trailers during the 10 minute breaks between the races’ four rounds. Pop-up ads centred on the two will also be seen during the MotorsTV International TV broadcasts of the races over next month.

Since neither will be extending their sponsorships going forward however, the KIA Optima’s of John Roberts and Ben Hackeson, along with that of the team’s Amateur Division driver Andrew Whitehead, are now open to those looking to advertise their independent gaming projects via the event for a period of four weeks. As always, those interested in applying can do so via the Independent Gaming Sponsorship Application page.

 

13047810_1216748415021355_2065370031019469734_oFollowing the rather uneventful race at Donington Park on the 14th of April that was marked only by the two top ten finishes of reserve Pro Driver George Simmons in 6th place during round one and a 9th place finish of full-time, Shoppe Keep sponsored Pro Driver Ben Hackeson during round two respectively, Eclectic Motorsport performed to be the second highest scoring team of the night on its outing at the three rounds of the Nurburgring last week.

Having been victim to a spate of incidents since the start of the Season, the team’s Amateur Division driver Andrew Whitehead enjoyed not only his first night of successful finishes, but also came close to achieving his first top ten finish by placing in 11th place during the second race at the ‘Ring. ‘My first 100% finish rate, so I’m hoping this is a change in fortunes for me personally; Yes, it could have been so much better, but 3 finishes with so few incident points is very encouraging’, he stated in expression of his relief after the final round. With a cumulative of 212 points, Whitehead stood to be the 3rd highest scoring AM Driver of the night.

13047862_1216748411688022_4899291646089295810_oFellow Potshotpete sponsored AM driver John Roberts meanwhile suffered an unfortunate finish in 33rd place on the first round of  the night, after issues with his PC caused him to start an entire four minutes behind the rest of the pack.

Regardless, he’d go on to course through the enormity of accidents that had rippled through the second round to finish in 16th place from his 33rd place start, before finishing the final round  in 10th place to be the highest placed Amateur Division during its course and the 4th highest scoring AM Driver of the entire night behind Whitehead.

Following the dissolution of the Euro Chip Digital team last week, the team’s Reserve Driver Stuart Atkinson joined and competed as Eclectic Motorsport’s Reserve AM Driver to bring forth a trio of mid-rear pack wins at the German track; on account of his ‘Reserve’ status though, any or all points scored by him do not contribute to the team’s overall. Reserve AM Driver James Leggett on the other hand departed the team due to managerial commitments with the iRacing KIA Club Series.

13055068_1216748408354689_2443007276385607074_oAs for the Pro division, while not contributing to the team’s overall standings himself, George Simmons added to his growing list of top 10 finishes this Season by finishing the second round in 5th place overall. Despite one expecting team mate Ben Hackeson to lie within his immediate vicinity as is usual however, a bout of ill-health caused the full-time PRO driver to lag behind his usual form and finish rounds two and three in 24th and 21st place — after being enveloped by an on-track incident that ended his first round early. 

Nevertheless, the sum total of points earned that placed it just under the top of the Teams’ table for the night has only served to reinstate the team’s confidence ahead of their next scheduled race at Barber Motorsports Park on the 28th of this week, after the disappointment of the previous race at Donington had nearly sent them into a near team restructuring and strategy re-evaluation mode. As Simmons states — ‘If we’d have had another race we’d have been top; we did mega at the Nurburgring, it certainly is a turning point for us.’

The iRacing BSRTC PRO Series Touring Car PRO Series is an internationally broadcast, simulation racing championship that is currently witnessing 50 talented iRacing users compete for a $10,000 prize fund over the course of its Tenth Season. Besides being streamed to nearly 2,000 viewers every week on Apex Racing TV every Thursday at 8.15 P.M GMT, the races are also broadcast on MotorsTV International with up to three repeats.

By branding the former ProAm XLDesigns team of Andrew Whitehead, John Roberts, Ben Hackeson, George Simmons and now Stuart Atkinson to Eclectic Motorsport, Higher Eclectic Ground has been offering independent game talent from both within and outside its community the opportunity to advertise their games, YouTube channels, brands and other gaming projects via the event by sponsoring one of the team’s full-time drivers for an inexpensive fee on a monthly basis. Both Potshotpete and Shoppe Keep were the first gaming entities to sign up for the same.

 


iRacing BSRTC PRO Series Broadcast | Nordschleife

Watch the Nurburgring broadcast on Apex Racing TV’s official YT Channel and be sure to catch the Potshotpete & Shoppe Keep advertisements during the inter-round breaks.

Eclectic Motorsport Clinches First BSRTC PRO Series Race Win

BSRTC PRO Series, News, Press Releases

The fourth race night of the iRacing BSRTC PRO Series that transpired on the 7th of March at the oval circuit of Phoenix International Raceway, concluded with Higher Eclectic Ground’s contending ProAm team sweeping its first win of the Series’ ongoing tenth season. After starting the race’s fourth and final round from third position on the starting grid courtesy of a customary pre-round grid reversal, Eclectic Motorsport’s reserve Shoppe Keep sponsored PRO driver George Simmons was quick to take the lead by turn three of his first lap of the circuit.

12916816_1204065576289639_9069497271501902042_oA blisteringly consistent drive therefrom would see him hold off Alfalltech’s Steliyan Chepilevsky with only a tenth of a second gap between the duo for the majority of the race. While this race win in no way influences Eclectic Motorsport’s cumulative Team Standings owing to Simmons’ Reserve status, it does serve to move the driver up five positions to 9th place of the overall Drivers’ standings as team mate and fellow Shoppe Keep sponsored, full-time PRO driver Ben Hackeson stands in 10th.

Although Simmons’ performance was largely powerful throughout the night — moving up from position 18th to 9th in the race’s first round and 9th to 5th  in its second — a side-panel collision with Chepilevsky in 5th place on lap 20 of round three, after the Alfalltech driver attempted to rejoin the track post being shunned aside by an incidental, high-speed contact with Ben Hackeson ahead of him, left Simmons hurtling through the air and into the pits for a premature end to the round.

12946847_1362107153806774_31216938_oFortunately, the Shoppe Keep sponsored vehicle of Ben Hackeson would make up for the team’s woes by finishing the same round in fourth place. Unlike a large portion of the full-time PRO Driver’s track record this Season however, this third round marked his only top-ten finish of the night; being swept away by an out of control Alfalltech car terminated his first round early by lap 9 of 31, while rounds two and four had him finish in places 15th and 19th respectively.

Within the team’s AM(ateur Division) side of the field meanwhile, reigning Potshotpete sponsored AM Drivers’ Champion John Roberts set performance records of his own. Despite a mediocre qualification leaving him slightly disappointed — he had after all qualified third on his last outing on the track during the BSRTC’s Winter Series earlier this year — the driver would ascend to 18th from his 24th place grid start to be the highest placed AM driver within the round.

12983968_1204065582956305_3612382278403768386_oThe absence of any incidents that brought Roberts bonus points through the course of the same round further added to the icing. Not being within the grid positions eligible for a grid reversal had him start the second round from 18th yet again, however this time he was put out of the running by a massive collision involving drivers Kip Stephens of Team Sim Racer Magazine and Paul Smith of CQR Academy on lap two.

Regardless, he’d put on exhibit his usual, disciplined drive by finishing round three in 16th place from 40th to be the third highest placed AM driver that round, before being involved in yet another crash in the fourth — this time from having his front panel come in contact with the rear of Alfalltech’s Yulian Genovski which  resulted in the immediate conclusion of the rounds of both Genovski & Roberts, Euro Chip Digital driver Rob Fagg and Team Automek’s competing AM driver Craig Evans who also happens to be a member of the Higher Eclectic Ground gaming community.

12959310_1362107150473441_705866858_oI’m disappointed that I was clumsily taken out twice by other people’s mistakes. I had the race pace for probably a Top 10 in either race 3 or 4,’  recounted Roberts by the end of the night. The team’s manager & AM contender Andrew Whitehead concurrently ended his night with finishes in 23rd, 21st and 23rd place again over the course of the final three rounds — post incurring a DNF (Did Not Finish) on the opening round of the night from being unable to avoid the ripple caused by a mid-rear pack crash on lap 13.

All in all, as Roberts now moves to 8th place and Whitehead to 12th of the AM Standings, after previously occupying positions 9th and 14th respectively, the team now stands in 8th place of the Team Standings with a deficit of 895 points under Season leaders Alfalltech.

Through it all, indie game developers Strange Fire and their RPG Shoppe Keep made their third appearance this season alongside the Potshotpete channel, both of whom have been sponsoring Ben Hackeson and George Simmons for four weeks since the 27th of March this year. Since Simmons is a reserve driver partaking in only those races that allow for more than three drivers per team on a grid, his car flies the Shoppe Keep banner nevertheless.

Similarly since Whitehead’s sponsoship slot lies vacant, the AM driver is seen flying the Potshotpete colors. Besides their logos & banners being made visible on each of the aforementioned drivers’ cars, both sponsors’ ads also made a return during each of the three inter-round breaks; They will now be seen for the final time during next week’s race at Donington National on the 14th of April this week, unless either decide to renew their sponsorships for another month.

 

12987994_10153887671441117_1982413518_nThe iRacing BSRTC PRO Series Touring Car PRO Series is an internationally broadcast, simulation racing championship that is currently witnessing 50 talented iRacing users compete for a $10,000 prize fund over the course of its Tenth Season. Besides being streamed to nearly 2,000 viewers every week on Apex Racing TV every Thursday at 8.15 P.M GMT, the races are also broadcast on MotorsTV International with up to three repeats.

By branding the former ProAm XLDesigns team of Andrew Whitehead, John Roberts, Ben Hackeson, George Simmons and James Leggett to Eclectic Motorsport, Higher Eclectic Ground has been offering independent game talent from both within and outside its community the opportunity to advertise their games, YouTube channels, brands and other gaming projects via the event by sponsoring one of the team’s full-time drivers for an inexpensive fee on a monthly basis.

While John Roberts is sponsored by Community member Jack Davison of the Potshopete Channel and Ben Hackeson by indie RPG Shoppe Keep developers Strange Fire until the 14th of April this year, those interested in joining them by sponsoring full-time driver Andrew Whitehead of Eclectic Motorsport or even pre-booking sponsorship spots on Hackeson and Roberts —  creatively advertising their gaming projects amid the Series’ widely broadcast races over the course of four weeks in the process — can do so by visiting, learning more and applying for the same via the Independent Gaming Sponsorship Application page.

Watch the Phoenix Oval broadcast on Apex Racing TV’s official YT Channel and be sure to catch the Potshotpete & Shoppe Keep advertisements during the inter-round breaks.

New To The Community: Textures, Models, Character Art & Weekly Twitch

News

The past week and a half since February’s demise has seen up to four independent Video Game artists, each with their own varied set of skills on show and offer, step onto Higher Eclectic Ground. From 2D & 3D art to weekly Twitch streaming, the following is a quick overview of the Community’s latest additions and what each hope to be bringing to the table shortly.

 

1. Paul Evans – Texture Artist

 

alley-scene-1

READ: Evans writes how he created the Alley scene.

 

A 2D asset designer at Evlox Studios, whose third-person, open world RPG Children of Acacia‘s development is actively being showcased on the Community, conversations with Paul Evans began soon after the game’s debut on Higher Eclectic back in February; with a few good years of experience in Texture and Graphic design, the young artist had come in looking for a creative medium to showcase his 2D work.

Picking up on our suggestion of using 3D models to his benefit, the owner of CraftyTextures was soon seen putting together his first 3D scene on social media,’The Alley’, before effectively making use of his created Textures to add color to the same. Deciding then that showcasing his 2D work on 3D models was the best way forward, Evans set foot on the Community on the 28th of February as a member of its circle of 2D artists

Open to Texture design requests and commissions while also offering his services in photo manipulation & texture repair, the weeks since have already seen him put together a second 3D scene showing off more of his work on textures with him currently working on his next. Furthermore, he’s also on the constant lookout for other 3D modelers to share notes with and improve his art form; to get in touch, have a gander at his work or even learn of how his craft has its roots in a lifelong battle with Epilepsy and Dyslexia, be sure to visit his Higher Eclectic Space.

 

2. Indigo Doyle – 3D Modeler

 

With an Honors in Game Design & Animation and several years of experience as a 3D environment and prop artist at independent studios such as Liquid Melon and Pointless Button, Modeler Indigo Doyle debuted on the Community on the 7th of March with a demo reel embodying her recent portfolio of work.

Offering her services as a 3D Modeler by stating availability to commissions and requests from the Community, the Canadian artist is also preparing to showcase forthcoming 3D art projects here — much of which involves her dabbling in personalized, stylized art and eventually, the Allegorithmic Substance/Designer software. With her currently aiming to develop a stylized, fantasy-themed environmental scene this month, feel free to give her Spot a visit to make a request or keep an eye on her progress.

 

3. Jesse Staples – Character/Concept Art among several other things

 

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Visit: Jesterdog23’s Character Design Emporium.

 

Game Designer, musician, writer, Graphic, character and concept artist; multi-faceted Jesse Staples debuted JesterDog23’s Character Design Emporium on the 8th of March; a character design banner under which he aims to showcase all ongoing & future character art on Higher Eclectic Ground.

Furthermore, with extensive experience in Graphic and OHRPGC Game Design, Staples is also offering his talent as a traditional/digital artist for 2D characters, weapons, concept art, environmental art, logos and more in a multitude of themes and styles. This is of course, via a set structure of semi-flexible rates that are currently viewable at his Higher Eclectic Space. 

In description of his forthcoming artwork on the Community, Staples adds, ‘An original character is to be posted soon, as well as a new band logo, a business logo for a photography/film company, and a random commission of a drunk man laying down in a giant bottle of Old Crow.’ As he doles out more of his independent and commissioned work for others to relish on a weekly-monthly basis, Staples also eventually aims to launch a Character Design Tutorial Series based on popular response.

 

4. Jack Davison – The Potshotpete Twitch Channel

 

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Comfortable; the Potshotpete HQ.

Deviating from the usual stream of YouTube gamers, the Community’s collection of Video Artists saw its first, full-blown Twitch streamer join the fray in the form of Jack Davison. Having first streamed via his channel, Potshotpete back in 2014 — Davison was subjected to a long lasting hiatus from his passion after real life commitments to family and work stepped in.

Fast forward to 2016 and Potshotpete is back on its feet with greater vigor than ever before; following a strict schedule, Davison streams thrice a week on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays — keeping his style, unnecessary banter and time wastage at a bare minimum in abidance of his High Quality, no-nonsense streaming rule of thumb. A frequent streaming partner of member writer/YouTuber Mike BlundellDavison has already begun partnering up with other Video Artists from the Community — jumping into a early evening to late night stream of The Division on the 11th of March with Blundell and Craig Evans in tow.

Furthermore, he intends to provide much of his streaming expertise to the benefit of the other Game Developers resident here, offering to cover their games from unbiased yet fun standpoints. To get in touch with him for any particular coverage requests or simply tune in to his streams every week, be sure to hop in to his Space.