What are videogames? Are they an incredibly addicting medium that many have sunken countless hours into playing? Are they an incredible breakthrough in art and tech? Or are they one of the most compelling mediums to share new perspectives and tell awe-inspiring stories?
Could they be all of the above?
The Monochrome RPG is a 1920s animation-style comedy game set in the “showy” city of Vaudeville. The kind of place where the biggest personalities dominate society, and smaller ones are crushed under their weight. In Vaudeville, if you don’t fit into the crowd you’d best be leading it; otherwise, there isn’t a place for you.
One such character who doesn’t fit in, Otto, had been outcast from Vaudevillian society. Otto’s humor never really quite hit, and as such he was exiled. But only from the outside could Otto see the evil veil, being slowly draped over the city.
Thankfully, Otto met others who had been pushed to the fringe of society. Though heavily outmatched, Otto and friends formed the rag-tag bunch that would eventually overcome any odds in their quest to bring Vaudeville back from the brink.
Hello, my name’s Nick! I’m the Art Director for the Monochrome RPG (the game) and Monochrome Workshop (the game’s community). As part of the development team, it’s my job to take everyone’s gorgeous creations and put them into the wonderfully wacky world of Vaudeville!
Whether that involves helping members match the artistic style of other assets, formatting work for implementation, designing levels, or geeking over the latest concept in the forums. As Art Director, it is my goal to help you emulate the style of 1920s 2D animation, and make a funny and compelling RPG in the process.
Art Shmart! Who are you to tell me what is and isn’t?
What is art?
Never a more contested question has been uttered through our history. Some have argued that art is only produced countless hours honing one’s command of a paintbrush; others argue something as simple as a well-lit urinal or a series of Campbell’s canned soups will suffice. I’m not here to tell you that art is subjective, but I am here to tell you that art is very personal to each of us.
We all have our likes and dislikes, and we all have unique ways of expressing ourselves. Whether that be doodling on a napkin or 3D modeling a science-fiction city. In this day and age, there are countless ways we can all express ourselves, so why not take that opportunity to try something new? That question is at the core of Otto’s story, touching on a style of art that is so rarely explored in this day and age (save a few exceptions).
But why is art so crucial to this project? Well, for one, art is one of the most important aspects of a game. Games are a visual medium; they may be powered by technology and honed through design, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to what a player sees. And with an old school animation style, there’s a lot of work that goes into emulating it.
It’s the biggest reason why all of the artists in this community are so important. Without the Monochrome Workshop, this project would be a collage of various-colored cubes.
Monochrome Workshop? I thought the game was called Monochrome RPG?
Yes, you are 100% correct. The Monochrome RPG is a 1920s-animation-style comedy RPG, featuring the lovably awkward hero, Otto!
On the other hand, the Monochrome Workshop is a working community built around the development of the RPG. When I first joined this community, I was amazed at the level of detail and uniqueness of the story that Gabe and EB had created. It was a vibrant world full of unheard underdogs and oppressive regimes. A world with a pretty facade and a dark underbelly.
Once it was decided to take a new approach to develop the game, I was incredibly excited. In the world of the game industry, information is securely held and rarely shared. While there is a vast supply of resources to learn the process of making a game, there rarely is an entry point.
New approach? What would that be? 🎮🖉🖌
The Monochrome-Workshop-method of development places a diverse and inclusive game community at the pillar of the development process; it’s a whole new kind of endeavor, one that teaches people of all skill levels how to contribute to the production of a game.
Game production is a rather complicated endeavor. It’s a unique balance of design, functionality, artistic style, and sound. With so many elements at play, it can be hard to bring a successful game to fruition. Fortunately, there is an all-in-one solution to this tricky task. It’s the secret sauce of game development.
To focus our efforts on this crucial aspect of developing the project, we’ve built a website to serve as the backbone for all art production of the Monochrome RPG. This website is meant to be the base of operations for the Monochrome Workshop. It’s a platform to receive, review, and revise all of the assets that go into the game. A place where people can share ideas, ask for feedback, and get experience developing a game!
Hopefully, along the way, we can teach you a ton about bringing a game to life!