Arcube Games and Animations: Empty promises, Cherished Beginning
When we were outsourced
You walk the ancient land of Andhere Terrae in all its glory. A glory that Hiristians, the dark side, are well aware of and desire. Their desire is not to rule over a beautiful continent but to cause menace with the power that they can pull out of the abundance of its resources.
You play the roles of heroes on a quest to defend this land from enemy invasion. You fight as Warriors of adept capabilities who draw power from the elements of the very land they swore to defend. So you embark on a compelling journey where you scale through this epic continent wreaking havoc on Hiristian leaders and smallfries all the same.
‘Dimiria-The Agrarian falls’, an Action-packed RPG game where the co-founders of Arcube Games and Animations were responsible for most of its development phase such as character and assets development, rigging and animation, level design and game-play and, AI was one of their first projects completed in 2013.
Starting with Empty Promises
“We have always loved video games but we never thought we’d grow up to build them. But here we are.” Rabin, Rabishan and Raj Kumar, the three co-founders of Arcube Games and Animations built their foundation on empty promises.
A Nigerian investor wanted to invest in them if they were to be a company. His idea was to develop games in Nepal for the Nigerian Market. Arcube was bootstrapped into operation but the investment never came so the co-founders raised the stakes on their own.
On the Run
Arcube became official in 2015. Since then, they have been finalists of the Ncell App Camp held in the same year and mBillionth award 2016 held in New Delhi.
They have also developed an endless runner game called polyTricks, a 4.4 rated game available in the play store. The game carries theme based on the social, cultural, natural and political aspect of Nepal. The main character of the game is a politician. Users can let the character run after votes to upgrade his political status from low-level politician to becoming president of Nepal within the game or can let the character run after coins, which improves his skills and unlocks various challenges inside the game. ‘Worth the while’ as many of its reviews quote.
“We usually have three to four projects at a time in our pipeline. The simplest games could undergo the most complicated production procedure.” reflects Rabin Shilpakar. “Modeling and designing are Raj Kumar’s part, I do the rigging and animation and Rabishan is responsible for programming the assets into a game”.
Behind the scenes
Before the three stages mentioned are carried out, a concept is developed as the first stage. The concept for game developers is not just about the type of game the project will turn out to become, its about the detailed information on what it features. It includes the storyline, genre, the difficulty level, number of characters, their quantified strength and weaknesses, the time period they are based on and how their engagement will play out as a whole.
The concept is given a desired dimensional shape in the second stage. This stage involves modeling and designing. In this stage, the characters and the environment are modeled and designed to give it a 3D or 2D programmable form with textures and proper definition.
The assets go through rigging and animation in the next phase. The skeletons are incorporated into the characters for convenient animation. Triggers are put into the bones so that the characters move in a certain way when pulled via a controller. Animation from controllers is baked into skeleton making it independent of controllers. So when you see the characters in video games making life-like expressions, it is because the developers spent substantial effort in baking them for programming.
The baked animation data is exported to the game engine, which is then programmed by the programmer to interact as per the user’s control. A game engine is a software framework designed to create and develop video games. In a game engine, the assets can be manipulated to do certain things upon the stroke of certain keys. This phase is also referred to as output rendering.
The game is released when everything comes together and plays out the way it should. Arcube has five more games in the pipeline for android and iOS in collaboration with Karuwa Apps. The team of developers believes they can exploit the graphic intensive gaming market if they were to get their hands on some high-end equipment.
Speaking of the high-end equipments, Microsoft will have released good and affordable VR headsets by the end of 2017 which will make them as feasible as good smartphones. Founders of Arcube now want their in-house animations on VR platform to be both entertaining and educational. They are currently collecting content for interactive and engaging education that would give students a better shot at knowing the world they live in. They believe this is their attempt to make a meaningful contribution towards society doing what they do best. And this is their way forward.
Originally published at startupsnepal.com.