I'm approaching the 'complete' stage on the first section of Old Skies, and it's interesting to see what has changed in the process. In June of this year I spend the entire month just trying to figure out what was necessary to get this game made. I animated some things with far too many frames, with far too few frames, put too much detail into things and also not enough detail into things, and at the end of it all, felt like I had a decent handle on what looked decent, and what did not. I also felt like I had created a better workflow, to be more productive and get my todo lists done without being overwhelmed.
Since then, I've been knee deep in pure production. I also got a new PC, a few new pieces of hardware to make the job easier, and have done a few more bits of experimenting with style to make sure our close-up shots are still cohesive with the rest of the game, but mostly it's just been crossing things off the todo lists. What's interesting about this phase of production is that I feel like my standards shift a bit - I get less ambitious, and realise that I have to cut some corners in order to get everything done on the game in a timely manner. This always happens, but I'd forgotten it, yet again.
Looking at what we have now, though, I think we're going to have a decent looking game. It feels like we're doing what we always did - just now a lot higher resolution. My biggest fear, pre-June, was that the backgrounds and characters just didn't work together, and didn't look that good, individually. Since then this fear has changed, and I have new fears, new things I want to tweak, edit, adjust, redo. I never have enough time to do this, of course, but making something is meant to be a learning process. Of course I'd do it all differently in hindsight.
Overall, though, the response to how Old Skies looks now has been great. My animation still needs some work, my todo lists still feel enormous and there's still a long way to go before I can say I know how to do a game in this exact style, but we're getting a lot closer. Thanks for your support, all! I'll share some more detailed art thoughts soon!