The Art and Music of Mathoria

Hello, everyone!

First of all, we would like to thank everyone who made it possible for us to be Greenlit on Steam. Many of our supporters never wavered, and we’ve even gotten new ones. Of course, as with all happy news, they can be dusted with negativity sometimes. At this point, we would just like to briefly address many comments about the art and music being RPGMaker assets. Here’s a quote from the longer version of one of our announcements in Steam:

Except for chests and probably a couple of tiles, the answer is no. Most of the art are courtesy of Jeremy Plana, who painstakingly drew and animated the tilesets you will find here…When Mathoria was first conceived, the team was composed of four programmers who were used to working with Unity as their game engine. After a month of building the game in Unity, the team decided to switch to RPGMaker (RM), seeing that we seem to be using a too-powerful tool to create a supposedly simple game that we wanted children to enjoy. It felt like we were killing a roach with a jackhammer, when slippers would have sufficed. After the pre-alpha build was created, the team was joined by Jeremy Plana, the person responsible for majority of the tilesets you will find in Mathoria. (A small minority were from another talented artist known as Celianna.)

The shift in engine was actually a blessing for Jeremy, though we weren’t too fond of the square-ish kind of art constraints that seem to characterize most RM games. What we wanted for Mathoria was not so simple: pixel art with very soft edges, and with definitely softer/lighter shade of coloring than the stock tilesets that RPGMaker provided.

In short: we actually don’t like the square-ish art of the RPGMaker defaults, hence we made our own art. As you can see from our comparison here:

jeremyvsrmcomparison1

Other things you might have noticed: our flowers and waters are animated. We also wanted colors that are much softer compared to RPGMaker assets because we wanted shiny art that would be attractive to elementary school aged kids. We described the other elements in the following image:

jeremytilesets1

Jeremy spent the best parts of 2014 obsessing over tileset creation, to the point that we can’t even walk through parks without him pointing out that the ground looks like a perfectly made tile. He saw tiles in trees. In buildings. In park statues. He started seeing tilesets in nearly everything. That was how dedicated he was.

As for the music, which our composer Nhyne Junio spent sleepless nights on, here’s the playlist. You can also find these tracks on the composer’s SoundCloud portfolio himself. We are posting this here so anyone wishing to compare it with RPGMaker music can do so.

We would like to consider it flattering that the art and music must have seemed polished enough to be mistaken for RPGMaker defaults. But let’s review the comparisons and give credit where credit is due, shall we? 🙂 Both Jeremy Plana and Nhyne Junio worked hard on these and consider this work a labor of love. 🙂

DocB

Doc B is a crazy cat lady who happens to be an indie game producer and has been a web author since 1997. She started her career in the video game industry in 2004, as a writer and gameplay specialist for Level Up, Inc. (Ragnarok Online). Her last dev studio, before building Senshi.Labs, was Anino Games, Inc. (Grave Mania). Her vocation is teaching, so she is a part-time Full Professor at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde and at Asia Pacific College. Her portfolio can be found at http://docb.me.

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