Maelis, the Outcast Warrior

Maelis is the latest character we’ve unveiled, and we already talked a bit about her once or twice, but not in real details. So we hope you’re ready to discover more about her and how harsh life can be even in Dis, ’cause here we go!

The Story of Maelis

Maelis comes from a family pertaining to the old Shiraz nobility and received the best possible education. As a child, she often founder herself in the company of a boy her age by the name of Orin Aki. Continue reading

Conjuring Feedbacks: Creating Gameplay Special Effects

Hey there! My name’s Andriana and I’m part of the VFX team here at Hanakai. You’ve already learned a little about our job through Pierre’s article a few months back (if you haven’t read it yet, you might want to begin there). But as he mostly talked about skills-related effects, that is to say VFX that appear when a character launch a skill, we thought it’s be interesting for you to discover another aspect of our work : Gameplay VFX!

Gameplay VFX are those you see outside of cutscenes : buffs and debuffs, Mana and condition Squares, affinities…

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Assembling the Team: the Game Design of a Company

Hello, I’m Marc, Lead Game Designer for Prodigy. It’s been a while since I wrote my last article, so I thought I’d do something a bit different this time. Today I’m gonna talk about the way we compose a Company, how I choose the characteristics of each of its members, what role they will play, etc.

To avoid any confusion (and because in the end, few people might know what my job entails), let’s make clear that I am only in charge of the functional aspect of the characters. I don’t work on their visual appearance (that’s for the Art team) or their story (I’m no writer). We all do take into consideration what the other departments need and also regularly take a collective step back so as to get a more global point of view. That’s key if we want to all walk in the same direction, especially on subjects as central as our roster of heroes.

Back to the current topic: elaborating the Companies is something that we began working on before we even started developing each of the protagonists you’ve come to know. Like everything else, things evolve with time, as we sometimes realize that stuff that worked in theory is not as awesome once implemented. The composition of our Companies remains one of the central points of the game design of Prodigy, especially since we have to keep in mind that other Companies will come.

Step One Continue reading

Salath, the Light of Freedom

Hi everyone! It’s been some time since our last travel in Thasys, right? Since we already took you to the capital city of the Sorcerer Kings, we thought you’d like a tour of Salath, its equivalent for the Free People.

Where Dis is an organized fortress city with a bound army corps and a strict hierarchy, Salath is a real mess: built around its fantastic lighthouse, symbol of the Free People, this cosmopolitan city evolved into a sprawling megalopolis that is managed by as many guilds as there are professions. We wanted Salath to be this oriental-themed city that lives for and thanks to trade, where anyone could become anybody.

On the Streets of Salath

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Light, Motor, Action: Shooting the Cinematics

Hello everyone! My name is Marin and some of you might already know me a little from the devblog article I posted a few months ago. In it, I talked about my work on the user interface to give it a calligraphic look (check out Pierre’s article to see what he did with it!). But that’s not my main role at Hanakai, which I’m here to talk about today: I am Hanakai’s Cinematic Director.

This means I’m in charge of the cinematography and the staging of the scenes, a little like a movie director. To put it more simply, I’m gonna choose where to put cameras, at what angle, when to cut a sequence or add small effects, so as to enhance and highlight the work of the other artists.

I hope you’re ready to see the result of our efforts on our favorite witch’s counter-attack!

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Materialising the magic: the Craft of Special Effects

Hi there! My name is Pierre and I am one of the VFX Artists currently working on Prodigy. Basically, my job is to create Visual Effects (VFX) for the game, like some people do in the movie industry, but in real-time. Because we’re using 3D engines to make video games, everything you create must be both pretty looking AND optimized for real-time rendering. So, for every abilities that a character uses, I must create a variety of different assets and combine them to create magic!

To show you some concrete example, I’ll mainly be using the same action that Alban did in his own article, that is to say Siren’s counter attack. But first, let’s talk about what my job encompasses and what tools I use.

No magic wand needed

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Giving life to Prodigy’s characters: the art of animation

Hello, my name is Alban and I’m the Lead Animator at Hanakai Studio. Today I’m opening a series of three articles that will show you how our characters come to life on screen. I’ll be talking about animation, next month Pierre will tell you all about special effects and to finish, Marin will show you the ropes of cinematic direction.

The images I’ll use as examples are all taken from the animation of Siren’s counter attack, which has never been released before. Excited yet? We’ll be using of the same action in our next two articles, so that you can follow our development process from start to finish.

I’m not going to get too much into the technical aspect of things, but we want to show you a bit of how we do things here at Hanakai.

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Humans, the Masters of Manasteel

This article was originally published as a Kickstarter update. Details might have been added or changed to reflect the development of the game.

We’ve talked about the People of the Lanterns, the Gerlins, as well as Witches, Manticores and other fantastic creatures. But shouldn’t we tell you a bit more about the guys who were the breeding-ground for all these magical beings?

The incarnation of free will

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Of Ink and Pixels: How Prodigy’s User Interface is Crafted

Hi everyone ! My name is Marin, and I work on several things here at Hanakai : my main role is cinematic director, meaning that I take care of the staging and the cinematography of the game. As I also am a calligrapher, I was asked to help designing the User Interface (UI) and some of the special effects (FX), which is what I’m here to talk about !

I bet lots of you imagine us working all day on computers and, ok, we do a lot of that. But Prodigy is a game that allies the virtual to the physical, so we thought we’d try to apply that to how we worked sometimes. Did you know that for instance some of the basic principles of our gameplay were devised using a polystyrene board and some of Jean’s figurines ?

All that to say, when it came to design the UI, we decided we’d go off the beaten path and back to a more traditional medium : calligraphy.

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