GAME



Map Shiftling Sprocketpunk

The isolated island-continent of Mere is home to many peoples. The winds that brought its inhabitants seem equally intent on keeping them there. As such, the land is often called Windswept by these different cultures in their respective languages.

Goddess Shiftling Sprocketpunk

But this land has another secret; it is home to the Kith, mythical beings capable of shapeshifting. They exist on the periphery, manipulating and guiding the course of human history.

Jesselton Cutscene Sprocketpunk

The Alessiäns, who have introduced steam technology to Mere, are the most recent arrivals to this realm. Having come at a time of great turmoil and upheaval, they were thrust into the middle of a vicious conflict and eventually secured their place as one of the great powers of Mere.

Nadine Shiftling Sprocketpunk

A young Alessiän woman named Nadine Tagal finds herself stricken by an Esper’s curse and must embark on a fateful journey to find a cure in the shadowy world of the Kith before it consumes her.

Reynard Shiftling Sprocketpunk

She encounters a Kithian warrior who introduces himself by the Alessiän name “Reynard.” He claims that he has been sent to guide her to a place known as Numina. Though his true motivations remain unclear, it appears that following him is now her only option.

Shiftling Sprocketpunk

Shiftling is a cinematic-platforming fantasy adventure spanning 26 chapters and focused on atmospheric story-telling, character building, and the expanded mythology of the realm of Mere.


CAST

Huminodun

This mythical Vesperi princess was a beacon of hope for humanity in the ancient Sundering War with the Melai Shiftlings. After revealing herself to be an Esper, she ushers an end to the tragic conflict with dire consequences. Her voice echoes through time and awakens Nadine’s latent powers.

Bancroft

Once a decorated war hero and considered the greatest airship pilot in Mere, Bancroft now captains the rogue ship Sumazau and is ruthlessly hunted by the Alessiän Sky Force and Tagal Heavy Industries. Fortunately, this has not dampened his cavalier spirit, in part thanks to his favorite drink, Soma.

Reynard

A Shiftling who claims he has been sent to guide Nadine to a place known as Numina. Though his true motivations are unknown, he is the only one who can help her navigate the perilous journey that she has been thrust into. He wields the Esper-killing blade, Neverin.

Nadine

The Tagal family has a mysterious past — at least, the details have eluded Nadine. Raised by her father, Alcott, in the seclusion of Brightwood where he personally saw to her education, she is a prodigy of her time. She possesses an adventurous spirit and dearly wants to travel the world and see airships. Despite this, Alcott is adamant that she is not ready. This all changes when a mysterious mark manifests on her hand – one which she learns is slowly killing her.

Beryl

Malachite’s sister is an enigmatic con artist and skilled assassin. She’s also a deranged sadist with a penchant for fine art. As an accomplished painter, she has taken her obsession to extremes with her attempts to replicate the ingenuity of her human contemporaries. Despite her best efforts, Malachite often finds Beryl thrashing her own work and lamenting aloud, “Why can’t I see what they see?!” She uses the power of the Opal Star to track down Reynard with whom she has an unknown connection.

Malachite

This Melai Shiftling is considered one of Mere’s most notorious thieves. Aided by his twin sister Beryl, Malachite uses Glamour, shape-shifting, and his natural talent of inflicting pain to procure valuable Kithian relics. He springs into action when Beryl’s ring, The Opal Star, reveals the location of the legendary sword, Neverin.

Hunter

The kingdom of Askaroth lies isolated and stagnant in the frozen North. Its proud people consider their once powerful empire a victim to Alessiä’s steam technology and encroachment in Mere. After the mark appears on her hand, Nadine finds herself pursued by this Askari agent.

BLOG



5.3.14  Some Shiftling-inspired work from a Malaysian artist

The inside of a rustic cottage set in Shiftling

A few months back, the Minister was faced by the vast amount of art assets that needed to be created for Shiftling to be completed, and we started exploring the option of bringing other artists on board. While most of the slack has been picked up by the arrival of Pedro and Sharlyn focusing exclusively on art for the foreseeable future, thanks to the blog post we were introduced to a lot of awesome people, including our newest Sprocketeer, Raphael. In addition to Raph, we got into contact with a number of talented artists from Kota Kinabalu and West Malaysia, either in response to the post or through Tristan, Leon or Minho’s own outreach.

A scene of a cottage interior from Shiftlin'gs brightwood.

Among them was Randy Robin Galiban, who while working in Kuala Lumpur, was excited enough by the prospect of a game being made in his hometown, that he took the time to work on some Shiftling-themed pieces. Ranbin, or Randize, has been an active artist for a while, as you can see by visiting his deviantART page. He does a lot of matte painting, and we were really stoked to open our inboxes and and see the gift he had made for Sprocketpunk.

Included in the batch were several concept art images based on the Tagal family cottage from Book I of Shiftling, giving Randal’s take on one of the early scenes in the game. Minho always has art on his mind, and he was possibly the most excited to see how other people rendered Shiftling characters and settings.

 

The inside of the Shiftling cottage inspired by Randize.

Also, based on the movie-inspired poster circulating around HobbyCon last year, he produced his own take of the Hunter.

If you like Randy’s work, you should drop by his Facebook page or stalk him on deviantART.

A poster of the Hunter from Shiftling

 

4.3.14  Before they were Sprocketeers: Tristan and John talk a bit about life in Korea, encountering Minho.


Minister, T, John

Before joining forces with Leon and starting up a game studio here in Kota Kinabalu, some of Sprocketpunk’s founding members were kicking it Gangnam style in Korea. Well, sort of. Sprocketeers John and Tristan were a stone’s throw from Gangnam Station in Nonhyeon-dong and a short bus ride from the Seoul city center, where they were instructors for an English institute, since renamed Wall Street English. In Jongno, “Bell Road” if you’re the translating type, they happened upon another Sprocketeer, Minho “The Minister” Kim, who while filling up his deviantART page was busy honing his English at WSE Korea.

Just found this pic of my old Korea gig's KL branch.  @samuel006 should do a site visit. Come for the ESL, stay for the Nando's Chicken nearby.

Venturing around Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur just last month, John happened upon a WSE center there and got a bit nostalgic for the old days in Seoul. Not long after, Sam Wigginton contacted him asking if he and Tristan would be up for doing a short podcast for WSE Korea, talking a bit about their transition from life in Korea to working on Shiftling in Malaysia. Go ahead and give it a listen if you fancy, just remember it was edited with intermediate English learners in mind. Also, it was our first attempt at recording ourselves. That much will probably be obvious. The voice at the beginning is Sam.

We’re going to try  to make the Sprockcast a thing, obviously with a game dev, life in Borneo and gaming slant. If there is anything you’d like us to talk about, or burning Shiftling questions you’d like to to have answered, let us know on Facebook or through the contact form on the site and we’d be glad to talk about them.

 

 

14.2.14  The Brothers Kim Reunited and other CNY Happenings

Newyear

Since the start of Chinese New Year, the Sprocketpunk office, like most of Kota Kinabalu has been a whirlwind of activity. We had a new face join our team in Raphael, who just got back in town from finishing up a year course at Vancouver Film School in game design. We really liked the cut of his jib, and his love affair with Unity, and it’s already hard to imagine how we ever got by without him. There may be some confusion, as his disposition is more Donatello/Leonardo-hybrid than Raphael, for those who might be thinking in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle terms.

Tristan headed off for a week in Melbourne, and has had nothing but good things to say about Josh and Bryan’s old stomping grounds upon returning. We’re really hoping to get back there for PAX Australia this Fall. Or Spring? But then there’s not really seasons here in Borneo. Let’s call it “late October, early November” for the sake of clarity. John was off to Kuala Lumpur to expand his passport and waistline through visits to the US Embassy and Carl’s Jr. respectively.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

We also had a visitor around and about, as Minho’s brother was in town from Korea for the week. The Minister took the opportunity to revisit some cultural attractions, and get reacquainted with some traditional clothing and local ethnic groups, which should pay off when he starts working on more character attire and areas inspired by them soon.

The final day of the Chinese New Year celebration, Chap Go Meh,  happens to fall on Valentine’s Day this year, forcing some of us to make that hard decision between family and significant others. Or for the single foreigners here, the even tougher decision between Tiger and Heineken.

Rey and Titania for Facebook

For those of us familiar with the holiday from Korea, we hadn’t really expected to see Lion Dancers beating well lit drums at local businesses everyday or be invited to countless dinner parties complete with red envelopes laced with money. Tonight Sharlyn will be brining the foreign Sprocketeers to her place for our last shot at ang pow and free booze for a while. It was good while it lasted.

The holiday has been fun, but we’re looking forward to getting back to normal: having no social life and working on Shiftling round the clock. More about that soon. We’re still at the usual haunts, posting and chirping about Shiftling, but we’ve decided to dust off the ol’ Tumblr as well. If you’re interested, check us out at any of those.

10.2.14  Sharlyn’s First Cosplay

IMG_4695

 

Sharlyn likes to surprise people. Her previous body of work in the field includes making dolls, plastering a Sprocketpunk logo on the wall of our office, painting a commemorative drawing for our one-year anniversary, making us all (much needed) coasters and even hand making a Pokémon-style trading cards for Tristan’s birthday. She even got herself a hanbok and showed up on Day #1 of HobbyCon in traditional Korean attire, especially for our homesick Korean colleagues, Minho and Snow. That’s how the Sharmander rolls.

Her most elaborate surprise to-date came when she emerged on Day #2 of last December’s HobbyCon dressed as Nadine from Shiftling. While the rest of us focused on board games, messing around with the Oculus rift and debating which size burrito to buy for lunch, she managed to sneak off and return dressed as the heroine Minho and Tristan have been bringing to life for the past year. Apparently Sharlyn only got the urge to cosplay Nadine a week out from HobbyCon, leaving her precious little time to pull it off. Despite having never cosplayed before, she was able to pull a few threads and get the whole ensemble to come together in time for the event.

Sharlyn Nadine Side by Sidejpg

How it went down It’s no secret that Nadine’s clothes are inspired by the traditional clothing of the indigenous people’s of Malaysian Borneo. Her attire is definitely distinct in its own right, but if you happened to have a have a Kadazan-Dusun “moludu” hanging around in your closet, you’d have a good head start on cosplaying Nadine. Sharlyn, while Sabahan herself, is ethnically Chinese, so her closet had been hitherto moludu-less. Luckily, a friend of hers from college had been doing fashion design for over a decade, and her specialty conveniently is Kadazan-Dusun traditional clothing. She gave Nancy Jollok a call.

Shitfling_in_game_mockup

Nadine’s Brightwood Costume Having arranged to meet “Kak Nancy” as Sharlyn calls her (“Kak” being “big sister,” like onesan in Japanese or eonni in Korean. tl;dr No relation.), Sharlyn was ready to talk moludu tops and kickstart her cosplay. Traditional clothing being varied from area to area, even village to village, the first piece Nancy presented Sharlyn with was a version from Kota Maruda. While no doubt beautiful, this wouldn’t help her bring Nadine to life. Sharlyn was sad. Nadine’s attire with the black and gold edges as she would later discover is more like those from the Penampang area. She was a bit taken aback to learn that the sleeveless design of Nadine’s costume was meant for unmarried young women, and surprised that Minho had incorporated that into his character design all those months ago. She was also bummed that Nancy didn’t have the necessary top design on hand, with HobbyCon only a few days out.

Thankfully, Nancy is a legend. After seeing the character design of Nadine from Brightwood, her home area and the launchpad for the journey that players embark on through the world of Shiftling, she said she would need only two days to produce the top. Score. With that part of the costume done, Sharlyn could focus on the boots, brown tights, the mark covering Nadine’s hand and the Tagal family necklace. Tattoo/Mark It would have been a total surprise for everyone on our team, if only Sharlyn had physically been capable of tattooing her own right hand. Not being ambidextrous, and not keen on drawing the tattoo while holding eyeliner in her mouth, she enlisted the help of the Minister, our Art Director Minho. He’s pretty good at drawing Nadine’s tattoo.

Nadine Tattoo

Tagal Necklace This was one of the hardest piece to make. Extracting the design from Minho’s art, measuring the exact size and printing it out was a piece of cake. The hard part was finding the perfect sized metal base for the pendant and making sure the final outcome would be waterproof (the design is printed on paper after all). Everything was DIY. It took about a good 4 hours to make sure every seam is perfectly sealed and protected from water and an entire day for the glue and resin to dry completely.

Sharlyn Wearing the Tagal Family

While Sharlyn is going to be hella busy working on motion comics and and other in-game art assets going forward, we hope she finds time to continue cosplaying and  help the rest of the gang get stuck in.

 

27.1.14  Sprocketeers Visit Labuan

Labuan Collage

For most of us, business trips aren’t really the norm. We leave those to Leon whenever possible. Still, when a lovely island off the coast of Borneo known for its comically low alcohol prices is involved, taking the whole team is warranted. Labuan is sometimes called the “Pearl of Borneo,” and while that may be a bit grandiose for an island that is best known for cheap booze and is uncannily shaped like a Reaper from Mass Effect, the experience was a good one. Were it not for the brutally early flight, and the uphill battle that was trying to get ourselves back to Kota Kinabalu after the airline cancelled our return, it would have been even better.

The trip wasn’t all about taking advantage of duty free goodies and wrangling with Malaysian Airline subsidiary MASWings for hours, though. We were invited to tour the campus at the Labuan School of Informatic Science, usually “SSIL,” from the Malay name, a Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) branch. Leon made the acquaintance of Dr. Zamhar Ismail recently at a talk sponsored by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC). Chances for future collaboration seemed abundant, and at the very least we had good company to talk games and game development with right in our backyard.

SSIL has been training its students in everything from animation to ZBrush, and even has made several courses specific to games available. The school’s worked hard to get games noticed as a technical and creative art in Malaysia, and while they were forced to use “euphemisms” to avoid four-letter words like “game.” Fortunately, the times they are a changing and newer programs in the country are able to attach “game” to their program names while still being treated as the legitimate disciplines they are.  The faculty at SSIL liked what we’re doing as East Malaysia’s first MSC-status company, and extended the offer to tour their campus, and talk supporting each other in the future. MSC stands for “Multimedia Super Corridor,”and probably sounded a lot cooler in the 1990s when it was established, but the 3-letter acronym serves as basically a license that nearly 4,000 multimedia companies based in Kuala Lumpur have attained over the years. We’re the first from East Malaysia, but surely not the last.

Tristan, Leon and Dr. Zam gave presentations to some of the faculty that hung around over the holiday, and Pedro hinted that asking him to wait more than an hour without a smoke is bang out of order. He protested by rolling a cigarette during the end of Tristan’s speech. We’re interested to see how we’re able to work together in the future. There are a lot of possibilities, but more site visits, presentations and workshops could happen. While perhaps a few UMS interns may be joining the Sprocketeer ranks in the future.




CONNECT

Leon Sprocketpunk Leon Chua CEOTraveler, businessman and Sprocketeer, his boisterous laugh and unrivaled tirelessness are a wonder to all.
Tristan Sprocketpuk T. L. Riven Creative DirectorSome liken him to a vampire, as he'd rather spend his nights writing, world-building and when the spirit moves him, redditing.
John Sprocketpunk John Sexton Communications DirectorPlayer of games, maker of puns. Generally regarded as unremarkable in both those pursuits.
Minho Kim Sprocketpunk Minho Kim Art DirectorThe Minister hails from Korea, is a trained soldier and has panic attacks when his stylus isn't in his right hand.
Pedro Sprocketpunk Pedro Pitéu Lead ArtistThe Iberian Viking is probably somewhere talking art, games and Portuguese pearls of wisdom over lagers as you read this.
Adrian Sprocketpunk Adrian Nungka Lead Game ProgrammerGiven a computer as a wee lad in Malaysian Borneo, he's seldom been outdoors since.
Bob Sprocketpunk Bob Jalius Game ProgrammerBob found his Triforce at a young age: Coding, chess and his lovely wife.
Josh Sprocketpunk Josh Ng Lead AnimatorAnimating a cinematic platformer is a tall order. That's why we put our tallest Sprocketeer to the task.
Snow Sprocketpunk Snow Bang Level DesignerWhile "Snow" was originally a mistranslation of her Korean name "Seol," she's owned her new name with her stone cold demeanor.
Sharlyn Sprocketpunk Sharlyn Bui Product DesignerSharlyn likes to make stuff: jewelry, cosplay costumes, 3D models and offensive jokes.
Doris Sprocketpunk Doris Chia Human & Financial Resources ManagerOn assignment in the capital, Doris makes sure all systems are operational at Sprocketpunk and each Sprocketeer's papers check out.
Afzakri Sprocketpunk Afzakri Awang Scrum MasterEverything's a game to this guy. Even agile development.

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