Man Or Monster Developer Blog #1: Building a world

UPDATE: Man or Monster has been unleashed! PLAY NOW!

Last week we unveiled the massive Man Or Monster, a huge retro-style action game that we’re developing at the moment. In the first of our new series of developer blogs, we spoke to two of the brains behind the game, Adam Campbell and Diederik Groesbeek, about Man Or Monster’s visuals.

One of the earlier designs of Man Or Monster

One of the earlier concept designs for Man Or Monster.

Building a world, one block at a time

“Man Or Monster uses a retro voxel graphical style. We’ve been big fans of the style for a long time, so we thought: why not try and build our own voxel world? We spent a lot of time looking at some other games that use voxels, like Minecraft, Cube World and 3D Dot Game Heroes, but we knew that we didn’t want to just copy the look. So we investigated how we could make it more our own thing.

“We thought it’d be cool to stomp on landmarks like Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower.”

We grew up on 8 and 16 bit games, so a big goal for us was to try and create something that evoked those days – only in 3D. Similarly, the thing we love most about Minecraft is that ability to create and destroy game elements: that’s how the idea of a big monster destroying a city came about! So we decided to keep to a cubic style, but add a bright, colourful retro-feel to our game.

We also decided that we wanted to add some real-time strategy elements to the action, so  opened up the scope of the art style to include military units and other cool features while playing as the Man (if you’re the Monster, you can have fun trashing these units instead!). We also worked on a ton of customization options for your Monster, as well as planning out some of the ones you’ll go up against if you’re the Man.

I think probably one of our biggest influences here was Midway Games’ Rampage series. If you’re not familiar with it, check it out on YouTube – it’s super-awesome.”

Landmark design

“Once we’d decided on how we wanted the game to look, it was time to start building! We soon decided that we wanted multiple monster and multiple units for the man to build. We imagined that it would be so cool to stomp on famous landmarks like Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower. So we thought we’d need at least a couple of cities to bring some variation in size and difficulty. Of course we went a bit overboard so we ended up with ten completely different ones, each with their own layout, buildings and landmarks!”

“One of the biggest problems with the creation of the cube-style assets (besides that it was totally new to us!) was the scale differences between Man, Monster and the city background objects. You cannot give everything the same amount of detail. Not only is this technically not feasible, but it’s also a lot of work for the artist. In the game, you can see that the cubes used for the Monster are quite a bit bigger than the ones used for Man. We think it still looks good, though – we hope you agree!”

Protect or destroy famous landmarks. You decide.

Protect or destroy famous landmarks. You decide.

Watch out for next week’s developer blog, when we’ll be taking a look at one half of Man Or Monster – the jetpack-equipped Man. In the meantime, don’t forget to follow this blog to get all the latest Man Or Monster news delivered straight to your inbox.

Read the Man Or Monster launch blog post right here.

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