Hello mappers!

I was lurking around for a little while and really liked the atmosphere here. So I decided I may as well post up my request for a serious project a team and I are working on.

We have under planning (and getting our feet into the art/music libraries development now) a very artsy 2D Roleplaying game we plan to put together and sell commercially. Because of the genre of the game, I felt it may be best if I recruited someone who has an actual passion for making maps as we want the universe this game is set in to be just as wondrous, vibrant, and inspiring as the plot and characters and music. We do not currently have anyone who can be dedicated to helping shape the amazing lands of this game and bring them to life.

Rather than someone who will sit down with a list and make maps like a robot churning them out from descriptions I'm looking for someone who will actively collaborate with us to FORM the land from a few loose guidelines and towns/landmarks/dungeons that we have begun planning. I will give a fair warning that this is a massive project (aren't all RPGs?), but the payoff at the end and the experience and fun in working in a friendly team environment is worth it. This team is looking for serious persons only. While making a game is enjoyable we also want to put care into it to make it a very inspiration to 2D RPGs. The game needs to be an art itself.

Game Synopsis

Fragments is a new RPG project in development. Its premise is that it follows four souls in Purgatory that strive for a chance at reincarnation while braving the dangers of the world they are confined in. I think it'd be fitting to give the entire backstory/game synopsis as a "feel", so I'll do that now.

"Death is not the end....

In the world between, a soul's elements of purity and darkness are divided and sent to the eternal resting places by a natural process. The goodness flows into the heavens, becoming the beings one call Angels. The evil portions are cast into the pit where they become the beings widely known as Demons. These Angels and Demons maintain the balance and order of the Human world.

However, things are not always so simple. At times the process of splitting souls malfunctions, causing the new being to retain some of the human properties. These individuals become hollow shells of their former selves and reside in the in-between purgatory world. Angels that retain some human properties transform into creatures called Kourin, and Demons who do the same are labeled as Makka.

Consequently, these spirits cause a severe imbalance in the world in-between, and sometimes influence or interrupt a dead soul's splitting process. When a Kourin or Makka interfere in the division, it is called Fragmenting. The result of Fragmenting are dead humans who's memories and soul shards are shattered and spread about Purgatory. These humans are called Fragments, and live in civilizations within the Purgatory. Fragments are sometimes called "ghosts" by those in the Human world, as Fragments can often influence reality in the realm of the living.

If a Fragment has enough determination, he or she can collect the pieces of themselves that are scattered about and earn another chance at live through Reincarnation. However, most Fragments retain no recollection of their former lives and so eke out their existence in the Purgatory for eternity.

In the game Fragments, you will play as a cast of characters who seek their second chance at a life among the living. Though this is the surface plot, sub-plots will develop as the game progresses, throwing the entire cast into an unforgettable journey that transcends life and death."

Game World Set-Up

There will be FOUR different "overworld" maps, each one a layer of the Purgatory in which the main characters are confined.

Layer 0 (ZERO) - Will be a nice fantasy map with seaside cities, castle towns, pirates, kings, and more.
Layer 1 (???) - Will be reminiscent of feudal Japan. There will be four majour cities with four ruling families fighting for the grace of the Emperor.
Layer 2 (???) - Will work much like a modern day USA. States governed by figures under a united rule. It will contain many modern day elements (cars, etc.)
Layer 3 (???) - The final and deep-most layer will be a huge, dark, seedy metropolis with extravagant futuristic elements. There is no law and mob lords and gangs run the streets. The city will make up the entire overworld map.

Alongside these maps we will discuss collaboratively how the majour dungeon areas shall be put together. All of the artistic forms of the maps will be used (actually SEEN) in-game, and may be interactive if we choose that route (as in a player points to a location on the map to move the characters about within the game).

Expectations/Deadlines/Terms & Conditions
* We expect the person to be able to work in a collaborative team environment. This means that the person should have a clear passion (not necessarily skill) and dedication to world building and the willingness to work alongside the game developers as partners.

* We understand that games take some time to make. Deadlines are very loose. Quality is more important than the quantity of maps in a given time. We want a mapper who knows this as well. This takes work and time. We'd rather have someone willing to stick it out even over rough times than someone who has massive experience but low patience.

* We expect the person to take the creations of maps seriously. If you can't get into the plot of the game or see game-building as a waste of time and just want to make maps to be "known"/make money, this really isn't the project for you. If you have a very deep love for storytelling and understanding of character development and how the environments effect the events and lives of the characters, you will enjoy this.

* We respect the work of the map-maker. You may use/edit/retain some rights to your map (I only say some, because we obviously don't want you to quit and run off with the map claiming our world ideas, town names, etc. to be claimed as yours. I believe that isn't courteous.). We like to share rights with any works being placed in the game, meaning the property owner can sell/share his/her own work even for profit, but so can we provided we pay commission by sale to the work owner. If it appears in the team product, you make a percentage of sales. This is how we share work with all of our designers so that everyone has a fair share.

* Payment is by sales. You will get a percent sales of anything we sell with your map appearing in/on it in any way. If we use the map as an inlay to the OST (which I am thinking of), you get a percent of sales. If the game sells, you get a percent of sales. We split percentages of sales by work produced in a fair manner as discussed and agreed upon by all participants.

* We're not just someone you work for. We're friends/a team. While it isn't required, we love for you to become an integrated part of our life. Bounce ideas off of us for the game as a whole, suggest things, make friendly with the members. The more we know what makes you tick, the easier it is to work with you to make something phenomenal!

* We're not sold on a map style. Mappers, like all artists, have a signature way they love to map that expresses who they are. We want the map artist to fully express themselves in making the maps in the way they believe fits the game, with a little guidance from our developers. Map sizes and details will be discussed as we figure out which direction we will head in with input from the world builder we *hopefully* recruit from here.

Game Sneakpeeks and Member Showcase

Eye candy and ear candy is always a good thing! The more we show off the more interested some of you may become in helping. So I'm using this section to show the sketches and loose ideas and styles we've decided upon for some of the game's inner workings.

Firstly, we have a brilliant composer whose music may inspire in you the urge to make maps without any further description. I'll present Gotchi's music page for your listening pleasure. There are examples but none actually FROM the game. The theme to a short teaser mock-up trailer (which will have some animations and more) is in production now. To listen to Gotchi's music, you can visit soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/gotchi

Ugaki-san is a wonderful new and budding artist just now discovering his colourful style of character design. He is one of the main character artists and animators for the game. He's in the hospital as of now for an unfortunate accident but he will be returning to us soon after his recovery. Here is a character concept for the game itself.

I'm hand drawing the maps that the character walks upon for the game right into photoshop. I did a very quick sketch just to show the "storybook" pre-render feel the game will have. The project leader, Renji, is who draws and animates the sprite characters for the game. Here is a very quick loose sketch I made showing some blobs of a map with the character just testing the style (not necessarily the scale or quality).

I will also be the vocalist for the main themes in the game that will be voiced. Our team has the capability of translating into Japanese and German languages, and many of our projects have both Japanese/German as well as English versions. Fragments is heavily Japanese RPG Themed. The lead song will most likely be in the Japanese language. Here is a sample of my Japanese pop style singing along with Ugaki-san's brilliant Roki concept build up.

Thank you for viewing/listening and I'd be more than happy to answer any/all questions here or to my email: hanzdaemons [AT] live [DOT] com