Hello! We're inkle - we made 80 Days, Heaven's Vault and Pendragon. Now we're making an as-yet untitled new game set in the Scottish Highlands. We're planning to be more open with the development process than we ever have in the past. Follow along with our progress right here!

Calling hand-drawn animators!

— Joe

At the end of last year we experimented with using Spine to animate our main protagonist. Our animator friend and colleague Martin (who's been working on his own incredibly-named Schrodinger's Cat Burglar) gave us a helping hand, and started producing idle and run cycle animations to help us prototype the concept with our latest character design.

But as we experimented with Spine and 2d rigged animation, we increasingly realised it was perhaps the wrong direction to be pushing in. Although 2d rigged animation can give you very smooth results, it's also quite limited - for example you can't easily turn your sideways-facing character to look forwards at the camera. The advantages are that once you have a rigged character, it's relatively straightforward to create animations since it's equivalent to manipulating a shadow puppet.

By comparison, hand-drawn animation requires you to... well, hand-draw every single animation from scratch. But in return, the results can look incredible - have a play of Spiritfarer (character art below) if you don't believe me! Hand-drawn animation can add a huge amount of charm and character.

Spiritfarer characters concept art

They also seem like the perfect fit for our environment art, which has a painterly aeshetic - we think they will sit together wonderfully.

We have one big problem though - we don't know any traditional hand drawn animators! Annie is our in-house artist and illustrator, and produces beautiful work, but we could do with some help producing pencil test frames that she could do the finishing work on.

Work with us!

UPDATE: We have now found our animator, thanks to everyone who applied!

So, here's the plan: if you're a freelancer and you think you'd like to work on our highland game (or know someone who'd be a good fit), please get in contact. Here's how we'd like to run it:

  • We strongly encourage women, BAME and other minority background candidates to apply.
  • A timezone closer to the UK is preferable. The work will always be remote.
  • Send an email to [email protected] with "Highland Animation" in the subject line, and a link to a portfolio or sample animation work.
  • If you seem like a good fit for the project, we'll ask you for a fully paid art test (we're likely to ask for a few of these from different people, assuming we get enough responses).
  • We make a beautiful game together.

Happy New Year everyone; may this one be better than the last!

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