I started working on the character design. My way was paved by countless more or less successful sketches of sheep. It is unbelievable how many sheep-themed franchises there are, e.g. Sheepworld, Shaun the Sheep etc.
Since we were planning our game to be 2D, a comic-like interpretation of actors and landscape seemed appropriate. I had little issues with imagining a start screen since my favourite place for Conner MacSheep was and still is a real castle ruin in the Scottish Highlands. So in no time flat I made:
Great! But these were all just pencil sketches. These can’t just be put into a video game like that. That was the beginning of my adventures in digital painting with a graphics tablet. Drawing on a black board and seeing the matching picture take shape on my monitor took some getting used to.
My hand-eye coordination improved after some scrawly and undimensioned attempts enough that I could start to appreciate the advantages of digital drawing. A ‘back’ button is truly a remarkable invention! I also enjoyed working with multiple layers: if, for example, I wasn’t sure if a detail would fit the image, I could simply put it on a new layer and move, transform and dye it as I pleased… Simply amazing!
Another big learning experience were animations. My part in making our animated sheep was still relatively simple. I just had to draw the animal in various poses whereby the principal parts had to stay in the same place or the animal would jitter or jump unintentionally.
To be continued…