Designer Nat Hunter of Airside selected Anthony Grajirena’s Hunters’ Moon game for the iPad as one of her choices for best of Digital in Varoom 16.
Anthony Grajirena told us about the game and how he created it.
Hunters’ Moon is an interactive illustration for the iPad that unravels a small narrative involving a hunter in the clouds, the beasts of shadow that share his sky, and a cosmic serpent awakened through a campfire. It utilizes simple game mechanics that allow you to shoot arrows and collect the spirits of the beasts. Interacting with the serpent requires your imagination.
The hunter’s moon, according to the Farmers’ Almanac, is the full moon of October. I worked toward it for inspiration and under it as a deadline. I imagined landscapes in the clouds and the cyclical interplay of hunters and prey. It came to serve as a prelude for the character I will follow through a narrative that I am developing along the way. I see interactive illustration as a wonderful opportunity to explore and share handmade worlds. The Internal Landscapes Preservation Society frames this idea.
Pen and ink, paper, scanner, software, computer, banjo and MIDI keyboard.
Finding the right set of development tools and then learning to use them took time. Hunters’ Moon was made with the Corona SDK which proved to be a great environment to work in and also supports a very helpful community. Going through the process of testing and publishing an iPad application is also a lot to learn, but Apple provides plenty of documentation and after the initial setup it gets much easier.
I started by sketching until I had a decent understanding of what I would need and how it would need to work. From the sketches I made inked drawings of everything broken up into pieces which I then scanned into the computer and reassembled. I textured and colored the drawings digitally and with the help of my brother began piecing them together with code. When everything was built and working properly I added the music and sounds.
Making work on the computer is a constant struggle with distraction. The best I can do is find content that is either inspiring or informative and assume a certain amount is inevitable. I have also tried to surround myself with things that I won’t mind being distracted by. If music distracts drawing, or if writing distracts code, that’s ok… As long as the list of things to do gets done.