Anniversary of Teaser
It’s two years since we embarked on our journey, little did we know we’d cause such a stir within the game dev world with our little creation. Having the guys and gals over at Microsoft asking us for our trailer knowing that the deadline had passed for the E3 submissions. They said no promises but can you get it to us like now without the audio… it was all hands to the deck and within a couple of hours they had it. We didn’t know whether we’d made it to their reel. Alas, there we were, in their intro for ID@Xbox.
Before this, we were recipients of the Unreal Dev Grant which couldn’t have been more timely… this injection of funds helped out the team no end. Not only with their financial support but it was a huge boost to the team's morale.
Looking back at the teaser which started all of this, it’s evident that we had huge ambitions for our game. It even featured alongside many other indie titles in the Feb’s 2017 UE4 sizzle reel. Again, this was something like a dream come true. Moreover, the guys over at Unreal featured our game on their social media banners prior to our Kickstarter campaign. It’s this kind of support which we’re ever so grateful for and regardless of the outcome, much more support came from you, the fans. Not to give up, to keep going and this is something that we have held dear to our hearts and we can’t thank you all enough.
So, the teaser…
Both Shruti and Ian made many storyboards, but we soon realised that we were shooting too high with what resources we had at hand at the time, least of all time… animators were dropping like flies, one came to our rescue, Chris, in the 11th hour. From here on in, it was all hands to the deck. But we had to take some very difficult decisions early on. We simply do not have the manpower to pull off the elaborate intro sequence/s we wanted.
Now, this is when we had an epiphany, call it what you will… to maximise the shots, we had to work within the constraints of the scene. Of which, the palace interior was unfinished, namely the ends. So what can we do… It came down to one camera, in a spiraling descending motion with a square frame. This composition was influenced from Wes Anderson’s “symmetry” which made sense especially when you look at ancient indian architecture. But rather than have the light source emphasise this, it was to be angled slightly, in contrast to the symmetry, dare we say, making the scene asymmetrical. But it worked. From start to finish this teaser took the team of six, five weeks to complete because we were working on this in our spare time.
And what better timing to release our teaser on Republic Day - completing two years today.
In the above storyboard, Raji, our protagonist, walks slowly towards the Palace’s entrance. This would have been and over the shoulder, slightly off and further back tracking her. It was going to be one of those EPIC moments where she is forced into a situation with a demonic horde. The calm before the storm if you will.
We had the idea of playing with shadows. Raji, who’s in a somber mood knowing that her brother is somewhere and nowhere… there’s a sense of loss, the unknowing haunts her.
In this storyboard, we wanted to create tension with a demonic presence, albeit, not in a physical state. The contrast of complementary colours, with the warmth of the yellows and oranges as seen in the distant desert would contrast the cold blues of the interior.
The symbolic nature of a piece of orange cloth found floating in the air was that of Golu. This we felt would give Raji closure, knowing that he’s out there somewhere, more importantly, he’s alive.
Soon after a large piece of masonry collapses, this forces the cloth with Raji is clutching to so hard from her hands. This is at the whim of the demon, who’s toying with her, like dangling a carrot, the cloth is just out of reach, forcing Raji to follow the cloth which she’s so desperate to reclaim.
Although it was a decent sequence of events, we simply couldn’t do it justice, hence, it was scrapped. You can watch the WIP video shots of the same over this link.
Taking on from the earlier storyboard, we planned more dynamic cameras and this time the antagonist would be in a VFX form of clouds/sand. Serpent like in its movements, an ever menacing presence which would later reveal itself to be….
Here’s the block out of what we did, it’s certainly a moment after watching this after so long, going down memory lane. It’s great to have all of these drafts, especially of varying quality, if only to see how far we’ve progressed as a team.
For the actual teaser, we placed the emphasis on Raji’s connection be it mentally as well as physically with the engraved mandala. This is something which we felt strongly about, that there should be a connection. Needless to say the Mandala mechanic plays a significant role within our universe, and this is something which we’re very excited to explore.
Here’s our teaser from two years ago, it’s great and humbling to have achieved so much in little time. We thank our families, friends and fans for their never ending support through our struggles, here’s to the years to come!