What do anime, Mario's moustache and Astro Boy have in common?

Updated: Mar 12, 2020

Art Director, John Little, the creative force behind Super Code Strike (SCS) branding and character development talks about his creative inspiration for the game and the benefits of using voxel art.

What inspired the design style of SCS? John: Anime. Well, manga to be exact, I haven't watched anime in years but I do read a lot of manga. But medium aside, I was inspired by aspects of Inuyashiki and Astro Boy, worlds where fleshy people and robots co-mingle.

Why choose voxel art for the game? John: I've seen lots of terrific voxel art on social media for a long time, and I wanted to learn that process but didn't have a project on the go where I would get a chance. Our lead programmer, Jason is also a voxel artist so when we started the early gameplay mockups for SCS, he showed me some of the programs he was using to develop voxel art. It was a no brainer. We began collaborating and the current look emerged from that experience.

Are there any benefits to using it?

John: Speed, incredible speed. It's easy to have characters designed and game ready in a fraction of the time that it takes traditional modeling and texturing pipelines. It's been a real boon as well conceiving of character concepts in a format so akin to pixel art. You need to simplify everything. It waxes the imagination... Also we're a small studio and need to be efficient with our time. I'm the only artist after all.

Can you tell us a bit about the user interface (UI)? John: To really make the most out of their robot army in SCS the player needs to master a bit of block based coding. So it's always been important to me that the UI felt accessible and easy to use for everyone; limiting any other learning curves and keeping the focus on game play and coding. So hopefully, when the game is done it will reflect that.

What have you liked most about developing SCS? John: We've taken a very bottom-up approach to developing this game. Which is how it used to be done in the good old days, for example... Miyamoto choosing to give Mario a moustache because he needed to define Mario's face from his pants. It's a very mechanics based approach to design. And creatively speaking it's very exciting to not have the kind of constraints you get from having a big concept looming over you.

Interested in becoming a beta tester for Super Code Strike? Sign up to participate here: SCS Beta Testing

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