Tuesday, December 30, 2014

End of the Year Wrap Up with Infographics Galore!

It's that time of year - the time we reflect on what we've accomplished and what we seek to achieve in the year to come. This year, we though we'd go ahead and make a nice post about this year's highlights in development, as well as some sweet graphics showcasing XING: The Land Beyond.

Please help us spread the word by posting these to your favorite sites, in anticipation for our 2015 release! :)

About XING Infographic

First, here's a brush up graphic detailing the features and basic narrative of the game:
High-Res version here


We put together a timeline highlighting our milestones:
High-Res version here


From select posts this year:

No Right Way
“Making a game is a tricky business. A game is art, is function, is commercial, is getting across a message...is being successful at hundreds of different points of design. Even after talking to many industry veterans, we have still found that there is no agreed upon 'right way' to do it.”

Growing in Quality and Depth
“For our company, White Lotus Interactive, we want to make sure that this first game is a reflection of what we are all trying to achieve, and what we are capable of right now in this moment. As we grow, our game grows - not in length, but in quality and depth."

A Game Is A Living Thing
“There are many times we have had stopping points, where we have agreed that something finally works, and is going to be a final piece of the game - but there are also many things that we make every week which will never make it into the final game due to time, our abilities, or the fact that those things no longer belong in the game we are currently creating. The game industry itself is a rapidly changing industry, thanks to new technologies being developed every day - and all of the creative people who evolve along side it. I suppose you could say that the development of a game is like a living thing: It grows and changes, and takes a lot of care and attention.”

The Devil is in the Details
“Even after all the broad strokes are settled, we've found that the details and mechanics are what can truly make or break a game. After working on XING for the past 2 years, we can definitely say that the phrase 'the devil is in the details' is quite applicable. But don't worry - we will continue to persevere and do everything we can to share this passion project with you guys as soon as we can.”

Team Inspirations from May 2014

'When I'm building a level in editor (from broad strokes to minute details), I like to have some inspiration while I work. That usually comes in the form of images from the internet, music, and TV shows/movies - from The Lord of the Rings to Disney Musicals to Japanese Anime.  These past couple weeks of working on the beach lead me to be simultaneously watching Cast Away, as well as re-watching the first 2 seasons of LOST on my extra monitor. I'm a multi-tasker and like to have several things going on at once; just don't be surprised when you find Game/TV Show/ Movie references in XING. And for all of you LOST aficionados, no, there is no Hatch…"

"While Koriel might be able to multitask, I lose my train of thought the moment a fly enters the room. My personal working strategy when it comes to inspiration is to listen to a favorite video game soundtrack that has to do with the environment or theme I am working on. Lately, I've been enjoying Dave Wise's work on the Donkey Kong Country series, as well as his latest tracks on DKC: Tropical Freeze (which has some absolutely stunning rearrangements of some of his previous work). I've always thought one of the strongest elements of Donkey Kong's music was it's ability to sell the nature of the environment or level you are in by the music alone, while still remaining unique and musically interesting. And for all you Donkey Kong lovers, there might be a banana or two in XING…"

"One of my favorite ways to prepare for a run or bike ride is to prepare an inspiring playlist. Similarly, I have an assortment of “XING Inspiration” playlists sitting in my library. Some of my favorite game soundtracks include Golden Sun, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Journey. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the work of composer Joe Hisaishi, a collaborator of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. In the opening of Spirited Away (my favorite Miyazaki film scored by Hisaishi), the music sets the tone for a breezy Japanese suburban interstate - which escalates into adventure as the protagonist’s vehicle veers off into the trees, and approaches the entrance of a mysterious temple. Listening to the music of that scene immediately brings back the visuals and sense of wonder, and all in only three minutes!"

Art Evolution

The graphic demonstrates how we have grown as developers, artists and tech artists.
High-Res version here.

Looking to the Future

We are so excited for release, it feels like it cannot come soon enough; however, it is our duty to make sure that XING will be a premiere gaming experience - especially in conjunction with the Oculus Rift! This means we must continue to spend the majority of our time in development, with our noses to the grindstone. The team still keeps an aggressive schedule, working 5.5-6 days a week, for 11-13 hours a day. That may sound crazy to some of you, but it is what is required of us to continue momentum. Of course, we each take the occasional time off :) After all, we must live with inspiration to create inspiring worlds.  

We have received tons of positive feedback from gamers, non-gamers, and other developers and artists in the games industry this year, and their words and expressions have helped to encourage us in our daily work. We know we have something special here, and will continue to put our all in it!

Our Favorite Screenshots

Last, but certainly not least :)
High-Res version here

Happy Holidays and thank you for following us!

Koriel, John and James - White Lotus Interactive

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Lake in Progress

We are pretty excited about how the lake is turning out! It has taken us a while to really the right feeling for the locations in relation to the story and game play, so we hope you guys like it too!

We will have one more blog post before the end of the year as a wrap up, highlighting the major events of the year, where we are now, and our next steps towards releasing the game - but for now, enjoy these screenshots of our Kick-started Stretch Goal Level: Hyaku Lake! 


John, Koriel and James