We’ve been working on the visual elements of The Mighty Claw project since March 2023. For this action game by Finnish indie developer, Manic Nova Games, our collaboration has been multifaceted, ranging from drawing grass and bushes to helping with grant applications.
When they came to us, the client was dissatisfied with the appearance of the environments in the game but lacked a clear vision of what look they wanted. After getting acquainted, we worked with them to find a solution and began creating the perfect tiles for their world—the platforms on which the player character would move.
Once we’d created game terrain that met the client’s standards, we began drawing the forest for the Forest Hill level. Our artists crafted a dense forest and open spaces, creating a diverse landscape for the game’s hero to travel through. We filled the landscape with trees, bushes, flowers, and even painted mountains in the background. To add an extra layer of challenge for the player, we introduced obstacles: slimes, fallen trees, and spikes emerging from the ground. And there you have it: the perfect game landscape!
In this project, our client isn’t an artist, so embarking on this journey through the dark forest together was no simple walk in the park. On the one hand, we had a lot of freedom in finding solutions. On the other hand, we faced an increased number of iterations, sometimes based on feedback from the developer’s Facebook page, and these iterations can be challenging. Fortunately, our art lead has a powerful flashlight that usually helps us find the right path.
We’re currently working on developing new levels for the game. In one example, the protagonist must travel through a metallic fortress, in which our team has created flying platforms, conveyor belts, and generators sparking with hazardous electricity. The level is challenging, both for the artists and the players.
In a first for our team, we’ve had to dive deep into working with the Unity engine. We’ve had to adhere to specific technical parameters when drawing the “bricks” of the tileset from which the ground was constructed. We had to draw elements that seamlessly fit together; otherwise, the engine wouldn’t assemble them into a single map. Additionally, we’ve had to familiarize ourselves with Unity Sprite Shape, the software the client uses for development. This required spending quite a few hours watching tutorial videos, but we must express our thanks to the client who provided us with all the necessary materials!
While our team for the project is small—a manager, two artists, and a very active art lead—we selected artists based on their skills and experience, ensuring they already had projects with a similar stylistic approach in their portfolios. In the end, it was a perfect match! The stunning visuals align perfectly with the client’s expectations.
As part of our process, we maintain constant communication with the client. Despite being a distributed team, communication flows smoothly. The manager regularly messages the client and arranges calls with the art lead and artists.
However, the most interesting aspect of collaborating with Manic Nova Games was not the artistic work or delving into the intricacies of Unity, but rather assisting Manic Nova Games in obtaining a grant. We prepared a complete package of documents about our activities for the client and created an extensive cost estimate, which were needed for the application. And voilà! The developer received €6,000, which they used to create new in-game locations.
- We assisted the client in obtaining a grant.
- Redesigned existing graphics.
- Created entirely new levels.
- Enjoyed a high degree of creative freedom.
- Created new tilesets—pieces used to construct the game map, background assets, and props.
- Delved deep into working with Unity (before it became such a hot topic, if you catch our drift).
- Held frequent meetings within the team and with the client.
Allcorrect Team:Account Manager: Danil Belousov
Project Manager: Veronica Lyzhina
Art Lead: Ekaterina Mareeva
Artists: Marina Makarevich, Daroslava Yefremova, Inessa Isakhanyan
Manic Nova Games Team:Tommi Uusi-Illikainen