From Sketches to Animation

February 05, 2024

Influences like the „Gorillaz“ music videos, cartoon-style video games such as „Sly Raccoon“, and Tim Burton’s stop-motion films have profoundly shaped my life. My artistic journey began with hand-drawn comics at age 7 and evolved into creating digital graphics on a tablet during my college years. An artist’s unique signature is always discernible, even when their projects span various styles.

For Mindlock’s art style, I intentionally drew heavy inspiration from Tim Burton’s distinctive approach. The combination of pale skin tones, abundant black and darkness, intentionally imperfect lines, and cartoon-esque anatomy strikes the perfect balance between eerie and whimsical. This blend is mirrored in the storyline, which infuses serious and somber themes with dry humor, marrying depth with entertainment.

Beyond style, the right technique is crucial to shape spaces as envisioned. I initially used photo templates for the first screens, providing immediate, coherent perspectives and vanishing points. Later, I shifted to using Blender 3D, allowing for more personalized and efficient sizing of tables, cabinets, and objects. Like the photos, the 3D views were reimagined in Mindlock’s style, akin to the techniques seen in games like EXIT: Trail of the Griffin. This 3D approach is especially beneficial when designing interconnected spaces with uniformly positioned doors and windows.

While some areas are intentionally rough and sketch-like, such as playable memories and thoughts, I’ve poured a great deal of attention into details elsewhere, notably in the intricate character animations. Focusing on quality over quantity, particularly with animations, is a principle I uphold and regularly showcase on our Instagram channel. I often draw multiple frames for each second to capture fluid, dynamic movements, rather than opting for longer but less impactful animations.

During the lengthy development process, an artist’s style may evolve, often due to improved skill and practice. It’s crucial to regularly ensure that all elements cohesively blend into a functional and engaging whole.

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Evolution diary

Follow the exciting development of Mindlock from the idea and the first sketches to the finished game.

Project Planning The development of Mindlock – The Apartment is divided into monthly milestones, delivered to my publisher, United Soft Media. These milestones form the chronological chapters of the game. Additional tasks include managing the Instagram channel, creating a demo, revisions, and promotional graphics. At the end of each month, I present the next month’s […]

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From Punk Band to Game Developer My personal journey has always been closely linked to punk. I spent years as the bassist and singer of the band PRANX. A little Easter egg in „Mindlock“: An EP cover of my band adorns Colin’s wall – a drawing by me that dates back seven years. My punk […]

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At the heart of „Mindlock – The Apartment“ is a story designed to captivate and surprise the player repeatedly. Other games, like „Return of the Obra Dinn“, focus their storytelling on gameplay mechanics. In contrast, „Mindlock“ prioritizes a compellingly narrated story to bring out the profound and humorous aspects of the game world, with unexpected […]

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