After releasing Operation Old Spice and learning a lot of valuable lessons about producing and releasing an Indie game, my foray in to Windows Phone 7 development has commenced. The title I've been working on is going to be called Fierce Game Hunting. I spent one of my days this weekend animating a Stag; a tiring experience as I did it all by hand with the help of Paint.Net - I did have a look at some animation software before I started but couldn't really find something that quite meet my needs and had a low learning curve (if your an actual artist and can draw what ever it is that your going to animate, Pencil looks like a promising tool, even through it hasn't had a new release in years.)
Note to self: Need to review the possibility to use Expression Blend to build the Animation, after segmenting the image in to a number of layers and then work outta way to save out each of the frames after they have been positioned in to individual frame images.
I posted a really alpha preview of the animation on You Tube and it got picked up by wmpoweruser.com really quickly. A few things I didn't account for were the distortion of the video after being loaded to You Tube and that the Deer Animation was part of my test for reusing different frames to change the actual animation on the fly - which resulted in a deer looking like it was on steroids while eating - which isn't a very good representation of what will be going on :-)
To give a better feel of what I expect this to look like in terms of quality and approach see the following static images, which are taken in the correct aspect resolution for the game - One of the Deer in the woods, another with the scope on and the final image demonstrates the Panorama images being used for the background, which can be scrolled to find and hunt the prey.
It's still quite early in the development cycle but keen for any (constructive) feedback. I have received some comments about the way it looks and it certainly has got me thinking about how unforgiving using actual photos actually is - if there is something out of place in a photo it's really noticeable, if it's out of place in a drawing then your eye is more forgiving - I was planning on going for a more humours animation style using the photographic imagery but it seems that this approach has been interpreted as being more serious - which is a great insight in and of itself, meaning that some more unrealistic and fun game play elements should be mixed in, to let the game take it's self a little less seriously.