Throughout the time of writing this column, I’ve come across tons of developers finding inspiration in more overlooked subjects — and this time, it includes literal trash. This game, Scrap Bringer, goes for a steampunk look but with cartoony character designs that make even the least appealing trash feel like a Nickelodeon cartoon.
We have trash and more in Cool WIP, Polygon’s weekly roundup of eye-catching clips, and screenshots of works in progress. Each week, the Polygon staff scours the internet for the most interesting games still under construction, to give you a sampler of the coolest up-and-coming projects.
This week we have capybaras galore, a good dose of goopy slime, a glowing pink forest, and to end, we have a little peek behind some game development animation curtains.
One mafioso to rule the garbage dump
Scrap Bringer is a twin-stick action game that combines cel-shaded graphics with a steampunk-inspired world from Pseudo Zap. While we haven’t seen a whole lot of what the action will look like, the developers bring a killer sense of taste to the character design — many of which are a stylish composite of abandoned items in a trash heap. A recent clip from the developer showed a slick animation for a van filled with characters who look inspired by a mob movie. There’s no release date but you can follow development on the studio’s Twitter account.
One developer makes capybaras for love
In a fittingly modern and romantic gesture — TikToker Mybadron used their game design degree to make capybara desktop buddies (interactive virtual pets) as a gift for their girlfriend. The developer has been posting updates — one showed them designing the 3D models of the critters and coloring them. And while it’s a sweet story, it’s also a great snapshot of the kind of work that goes into making a tool like it. If you want to learn more about how it was made, you can check out all the updates on the developer’s TikTok account.
Reply to @imjemmm game design degree coming in clutch #capybara♬ I must apologise - PinkPantheress
This goop gives Dragon Quest’s slime a run for its money
Slime is nothing new to games — take for example the beloved Dragon Quest slimes, or the ChuChus from Zelda. But Savior, from developer Starsoft, absolutely nails its take on slime-based monsters. A clip of the slippery pile of goop shows it lurching forward with a comically large gait and taking a look around. According to the developers, Savior follows an intense war that’s divided civilizations for centuries. That sounds all big and grandiose, but to be honest, I just really like this goopy guy. There’s no release date for Savior but you can catch occasional posts on the developer’s Twitter account.
A glowing pink forest
The feed of Twitter user B shows a series of vibe-y and atmospheric digital spaces. One clip posted recently shows a figure walking through a forest filled with pink hues and glowing neon plants. The magical space isn’t for any announced game but appears to be a part of a series of experimental developments where the creator plays with game environments. You can check out all the stunning creations on their Twitter account.
A peek behind the curtains
This isn’t a game, but in the spirit of highlighting cool aspects of game development I wanted to bring this post into the column. Here we have a Twitter post originally published by artist and animator Kinucakes that shows a simple guide to animating character loops. It’s a detail easily lost on players who take character movement for granted. However, behind all constant motions lie a great looped animation. It’s really cool to see this technique laid out plainly, with notes that explain the difference in movement. As a non-developer, it really enhances my appreciation for the games I play.
Our feature artist/reference for today is this SIMPLY BRILLIANT gif on ANIMATING LOOPS by the amazing @kinucakes— EtheringtonBrothers (@EtheringtonBros) November 8, 2021
! The explanation of the differences here using those black line examples is pURE GENIUS! #gamedev #animation #animationdev #anime #manga #conceptart #characterdesign pic.twitter.com/hU1oTjUWSp