The Land of Eyas is a World Where Art and Gaming Collide

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Originally posted on What's Your Tag?:
We had a chance to check out a pre-Alpha build of The Land of Eyas, courtesy of developer Happy Square Productions. After several hours of slobbering over the fantastic art style, solving gravity-based…

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Eyas Blasts off on Steam Greenlight!

steamworkshop_collection_1395777757_collection_brandingThe Land of Eyas is being well received on Steam Greenlight! But every vote counts! Give us the thumbs up!

Untitled-19We are still on Kickstarter as well, every little donation helps!

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Mini Animated Screenshots

I made these little animated screenshots of the video game I’m working on, Enjoy!

These are from The Land of Eyas. An indie video game I’ve been working on. If you so desire you can support the project on Kickstarter! :

I might make more of this kind of thing in the future… kinda fun!

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Kickstarter Progress for Eyas! (15 Images)

Our Kickstarter campaign for, The Land of Eyas has been making good progress – but it is sill early! You can watch the trailer for the game at the link above, below are a series of screen-shots from the game in its current, in-progress state. More to come eventually, hopefully with your support we can make this game a reality!

brd shot(castle) Sshot2rtwt sShot(colortest) Untitled-2-2 Untitled-3-3 Untitled-13 Untitled-14 Untitled-15 Untitled-15-stp Untitled-16-stp Untitled-17 Untitled-18 Untitled-19 Untitled-20You can learn more about the game at: It isn’t just about the art, this game is a gravity, puzzle adventure!

We’ve also had the privilege of being reviewed by several groups:
Kooky’s Save Point:


Indie Game HQ (one of several games on their funding Friday):
Jusk Ok Gamers (worth the wait episode 4 – the second game they sugjest):
Cover of furfunding 3|11|14

We love this kind of grass roots support, it really is an indie-venture!

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The Problem of Architecture (The Loss of Tribe)

Where has community gone? Why are so many lonely? The problem is architecture.

1) People’s houses are too big, so they don’t need to go somewhere else. If you live in a small apartment you might feel a need to get out. But if you live in a “big” house you would rather just stay and have others over. If you live in a house – with a pool, a theater, and a gym – why would you ever leave?

2) A house is not considered a public space – and most come with a “moat” (yard) to keep visitors at bay. It does not easily become a “just drop by” kind of place because people feel like they are intruding. So our houses today do not foster community.

3) More space costs more time to maintain – and working harder at your job to maintain the mortgage. Ultimately, you have less time and energy for social activities. Our lifestyle and consumerist behaviors around property/house ownership do not foster community.


This seems to be less of a problem in apartments and dormitories, college campuses, and inner cities – depending on the design.

Like art, Architecture is a product of people’s values. Contemporary suburbs are a sign of our culture’s values: self-importance, privacy, status, consumerism (seeing what you own as a statement about who you are – your worth, importance and value being dependent on ownership). People who live in small apartments can even be made to feel guilty in our culture.  Having a small apartment seems like an invalid endpoint, just a stepping stone to owning a house in the suburbs.

Think about the way stores are designed. Stores are designed so that you feel less inhibited to enter: big windows, big glass doors, flat faces (the roof does not slope down toward you), you can park up next to it, the sidewalk is next to the building (not 10, 20 or more feet out – if there is a sidewalk at all by your house). Open air markets are even less inhibiting. But our houses are designed for privacy – even to keep others away.

We’ve designed our houses today into places where we feel inhibited to leave – as in, we would rather just stay in. We have “everything”: light, warmth (or escape from heat), food, water, information. Many people can even work from home now. We even have our communities at home in our social networks… Who would want to be bothered with going anywhere?  It can be seen as an inconvenience to leave our home.

But, something seems to be missing.

I think that we forget we were once tribal peoples, living in true and necessary communities. These communities where built from our extended families. Imagine all your  aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, sisters, brothers, and everyone’s children, all living together in a group of tents that would move with the seasons. Forget the discomfort of the heat and cold – and all the hard work – and imagine how that community would feel. Someone you trust would be beside you every day, every hour. In your free time you would all sing, dance, tell stories and craft together. There is no social status – just respect and love, family member to family member. There is no “getting ahead,” only working hard for the love and respect and honor of your extended family: the tribe.

There were other problems living a tribal lifestyle but this is really what has been lost in the modern era: the community of the tribe. Until the automobile people mostly still had these kinds of groups, or churches/religious groups who facilitated this sense of tribe. Now many people do not even have this, and if they do it does not get deep to a degree of needing one another for survival.

Consider for a moment the times in your life that have fostered deep relationships: For some it might be a time at a camp with other young people, living in close quarters whispering stories to each other at night. For some it might have been  in dorms at college (living in close quarters). For others it is military service, or living aboard a ship (in close quarters). The members of sci-fi space-ship crews have communities that we desire; we are often lacking this kind of depth even in our families.

Can we recover the tribe? This is often an element in my art, a return to a more “primitive” method of craft. You could even say it is “crafting” a new tribe, or trying to recover some missing element in contemporary life. However, without dramatic changes in architecture I do not think we will see a recovery of tribe.

I started writing this as a response to Kenneth (The culture monk) regarding his recent posts “Being friends with people at the bottom” and “Scheduling Community” but it was really too much to leave him as a response… so I hope he gets a chance to read this.

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Making Video Game Art (from ink drawings)

I thought I would share a little of the process I’ve been using to create assets in The Land of Eyas. I’m a Pen & Ink artist, so unlike most digital art I actual start on paper.

The first step is to make the drawing. I use all black ink and I don’t use expressive marks – these will look strange once you get to some of the later steps.

So here is a drawing (all I’ve done it take a picture of it… it is even a little out of focus [or has a soft focus], you could scan if you want… but you will see that it doesn’t mater too much – so long as the image is flat):
Untitled-21(small)The above drawing is 3.5in x 4in, relatively small.

The next step is to make it into a format that is more easily edited, to do this I use the “threshold” tool in photoshop, you could also do this in Gimp. the result looks like this:
Untitled-21(b)Threshold gives you all black pixels and white pixels, which makes it easy now to select the background or the tree using the “select color range” tool. Threshold gives a more crisp image (it no longer looks out of focus) but it is so crisp it takes on a pixelated look… we will get to this issue later.

The real question now is how do you create a file that has a transparent background? In the game you want to see past the tree into the forest. For this you need to add an “Alpha Channel”. In Photoshop there is a tab for channels next to the “layers”. You should see “RGB” selected at first with  red, green, and blue channels below it. The red green and blue channels all look like gray scale. Transparency is another channel “Alpha channel”. to get this channel click “add new channel”. It will look black, black means “transparent”, white is “opaque”,. What you would want to do at this point is copy and paste the thresholded drawing into the alpha channel. Then you have to invert that channel if you want the background to be transparent (otherwise the tree will get cut out instead of the background – which is cool for some things). The Alpha channel should look something like this:
Untitled-21(c)If the image is too sharp and pixelated you could now blur the alpha channel, or darken it so that the tree is semi transparent like glass. Anyways, once you have the drawing in the alpha channel you can now choose what color you want the tree to be, if you paint the whole RGB channels blue than the tree will come out blue in the game. Your RGB channel does not even need to look like a tree now, it could look like this:

Untitled-21(d)Photoshop shows the channels like this:
So the tree is in the alpha channel so this cyan box becomes a cyan tree in the game…. well not exactly. This image here on this post is a .jpg file. You would need to save it as another file format like .bmp to have the alpha channels. The .jpg file format cannot have alpha channels. A very similar process is used for web-design, when you want to have a transparent object. In very sophisticated gaming platforms Alpha channels can be used for reflection (making part of a surface shiny while other parts are mat), they are also used sometimes to create a bumpy surface textures that react to light. This is a rather simple application of Alpha channels, that gives you a stenciled look.

The last step is to resize the tree to whatever size you want (it is best if you start with a high resolution image before reducing – it will have a less pixelated look). It will also give you some anti-aliasing.

The end result can look a little like this:
sShot(colortest)And with motion:

If you are interested in this game you can look on Kickstarter to see what this game is about:

Keep in mind this is all early developments.

Matthew Kiehl

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10% Kickstarter Funding Reached!

10The Land of Eyas has reached above 10% now with a little help from our friends!

Thanks so much if you are one of our 29 backers so far on our project! Please consider sharing this with your gamer friends!

Also, thanks to all those who have helped to get the word out!

Cliqist wrote a nice little review of our project:

Indie Game HQ mentioned us in their Funding Friday – saying some nice things about us:

Just OK Gamers said that we are “Worth the wait”:

And our friends who have shared the project on facebook (90+ times) We really appreciate it! We’ve only got 48 more days to make this happen, Please join us in bringing a new land to life!

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Doodle Tree


Learn more about The Land of Eyas.

See more of my drawings.

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Doodle Bird

Doodle Bird

For more about this project visit:

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Kickstart: The Land of Eyas

Eyas KickstarterThe Land of Eyas is now live on Kickstarter! This is an indie game that I’ve been helping to develop for the past several years. We’ve used many of my pen & ink drawings to give it a unique look and feel. We are still early in the fundraising campaign, Many early-bird specials are still available! We have many different gifts for those who wish to sponsor, including art, unique in-game characters (NPCs), beta access, Music, and the game!

Even if you are not interested in playing video games, I’d love to have your input on the art!

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