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  • Writer's pictureDrew

Current Project: Braincase

Ah, the blog. The one thing every independent designer and freelancer needs to get hits for their site. The one thing that gets completely forgotten by designers because they're, well, designing. In a day and age where people read less, having a blog seems a bit counter-intuitive. Still, it's an important tool for getting seen - and goodness knows, I want to get seen.

So I'm going to talk about my latest passion project for right now, my personal ship in a bottle. I'm currently building a point-and-click adventure game called Braincase, based off the skills I learned while building Redworld. Redworld was my Master's Thesis project, and was a completely functional point-and-click adventure game programmed and coded in the LucasArts style (and can be downloaded for free by following this handy link: ). My thesis objective was to prove that video games are, in fact, a form of digital media every bit worthy of analysis and discussion as video, print media, and other forms. If I'm being honest, though, I just wanted to build a video game.

Now, I want to build another one.

The apartment of Cole Burns, protagonist of Braincase. In the background, the dome of Arcology 75 looms.

Hence, Braincase. It's a dystopian tale that's probably familiar to you, but it's one that I've had in my head ever since I first watched Blade Runner with my father all those years ago. There are androids, cyborgs, private detectives, constantly storming skies, decaying cities, crime lords, femme fatales, government agents, and discussions on what it is to be alive and considered sapient.

The story follows Cole Burns, a contract-driven detective for the Silver Shield private security corporation. He's down on his luck and needs to get back in good graces with his bosses, otherwise he can look forward to a pink slip for Christmas. Someone in the corporation hands him what should be an easy job - finding a missing android, a prototype for a new service model that presumably wandered away from the maintenance lab. Find the android, return it for a paycheck, and all is right with his reputation. Of course, if you know anything about this kind of story, things aren't going to be anywhere near that easy for Cole.

Cyberpunk slums
The Outer City Slums, beyond the safety of the Dome.

I recently started building the boards for the first section of the game. Everything is done in pixel art - hardly a new aesthetic in this retro-clogged video game market, but it's easy to produce and time-efficient, plus it plucks my nostalgic heartstrings. Once they're all done, I plan on stepping up to character animations, then coding the game in Adventure Game Studio (or Unity 3D, if I have the time to learn it), and finally release the first section on Patreon and Kickstarter.

Character art
A few of the main NPCs in Braincase

The long-term goal right now is to release the full game sometime before 2020; it'll span three 'days' or chapters of gameplay, taking place in the three days before Christmas. I'm not sure how many hours that'll be, but the scope of this game has already dwarfed Redworld. But for now, I'd be happy just to get the first chapter working - both to get the kinks out and to dig my fingers back into coding again.

cyberpunk club
The Treble Club. A wretched hive of scum and villainy.

For now, feel free to look at the new boards I've created for the game. More will be added in future posts and added to the Braincase entry in my portfolio as time permits. As soon as the game is playable, I'll upload a link here. In the meantime, thanks for reading! Leave your comments below!

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All good things have to start somewhere. Greetings, fellow programs. I'm Drew, and this is my blog about design, illustration, web stuff, and general media fanboyism. I've long been a believer that a


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