Happy Birthday!

It’s our birthday! Just one short year ago, we announced Rustclad and now we’re well into production. No birthday is complete without cake… and we figured we’d share some with you.

All footage in this video is from our swamp environment, which is just one of the many exotic locations you’ll get to explore in Rustclad.

We’ll continue to update the blog regularly throughout the project, so make sure to come back frequently, subscribe, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SkullTheatre
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SkullTheatre

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Creature Capture

Lately we’ve been tweaking our art creation process and to test it out, Dave dug up one of his creature sculptures for capturing. We were really impressed with the results and wanted to share.

Here are some shots of the original vulture head sculpture in the photo studio:

Here’s the raw, completely unedited  mesh that we got when we digitized the photos.  It took about 20 minutes to produce this in PhotoScan. As you can see, we were able to preserve an amazing amount of detail.

We’re really excited about what we can do with this higher quality art process. And speaking of really exciting, we have something wonderful to share tomorrow… so keep an eye on the blog!

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Rustclad Unclad

Good morning!  Jeff here, to talk about some design and engineering stuff.  If this isn’t your cuppa tea, I apologize.  I’ll be sure to at least include some pretty pictures.

It’s hard to write a game engine.  I mean, really hard.  Head-achingly, brain-twistingly, spirit-crushingly stupidly hard.  Modern game engines, even for simple games, require an intimidating amount of engineering.  Rustclad is well over one hundred thousand lines of code already.  There’s an adage that the average professional developer writes ten lines of code per day.  If that applied, then I would have been working on this project every day, with no days off on weekends, since age six. Continue reading

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Meet our team!

First there was one and now there are five! Like a snowball rolling downhill, Skull Theatre is picking up more stellar indie talent as our project progresses.


One of these writes code. The other just stares vacantly.

Jeff “Echo” Isselee

Jeff has been making video games professionally for eleven years.  His passion is graphics, and has previously worked on crafting the visuals for Lord of the Rings Online and Infinite Crisis.  He founded Skull Theatre as a way to delve into the creative freedom of indie games, where he now spends his time feverishly turning zeroes into ones and pixels into art.


Rae “Boone” Russell

With a Masters degree in Art History, Rae thought she would be spending her life working in a stuffy museum, but luckily for us she was tempted by the glittering world of indie game development and now gets her kicks as Skull Theatre’s art director and creative lead.


exhibit “A”

David “darktoad” Silverman

David joined the Rustclad team last year, taking the “indie plunge” after being Director of Development at WB Games. We’re happily exploitating his design, art, and production skills. David’s been in the business since 1992. You’d think he’d be pretty jaded and unlickable by now (both untrue) – observe exhibit “A.”

Image Akash Thakkar

Akash has been lending his audio talents to indie games for over five years and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Skull Theatre team as our sound designer! Check out more of Akash’s work at www.akashthakkar.com


Photo by Ravenelle


Torley is delighted to amplify the awesome with the Rustclad soundtrack. A strong believer that the visual art of worldbuilding becomes whole with its sonic counterpart, he draws upon kinetic metals and sundry raw materials to fuel the robots on their adventures. Check out more of his music @ www.torley.com

And Introducing……

ImageBuddy “The Indie Dog” Silverman

Buddy’s strong background in food tasting, butt sniffing, and napping is put to good use here at Skull Theatre, where he fills the triple role of HR Director, Healthy Moral Enforcer, and Hygiene Inspector.


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We’re Back!

This gallery contains 6 photos.

It’s been a little while since our last post, so we have some esplanin’ to do! To put it mildly, we’ve been busy. We started as a mostly one-man operation (now there’s five of us, more or less), and we … Continue reading

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From the Murky Depths of our Minds

This gallery contains 4 photos.

We’ve been quiet lately, mostly on account of our lives being fifteen flavors of insane.  But things have begun to settle down and as the summer draws to a close, we’re directing the Eye of Sauron fully back on Rustclad. … Continue reading

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Lets Talk

Chatmapper Illustration

Boone Here.

Looks like we’ve definitely been neglecting the blogosphere once again! I blame the fact that summer has officially started in the northwest, and thus we’ve all been on a mad dash to get in as much sun as we can before the clouds roll back in.

I’ve also been drafted to fill yet another new role at Skull Theatre, so I’ve been taking a break from art and world building to write dialogue.

If you’ve ever played a true adventure game, then you know that, puzzles and pretty pictures aside, dialogue is the real (and oft under appreciated) meat and potatoes of the genre. To put it another way, witty and dynamic conversation is to adventure games what gun play is to first person shooters. Its the interaction that drives the player through the game and even more importantly, it helps to create that immersive experience that we’re all striving for.

We intend for Rustclad to be a very story driven game, and thus we want to give our conversations center stage. The challenge for us is going to be striking a balance between having a lot of player engagement with dialogue and creating the sort of tightly crafted monologues you would find in a visual novel.

In the Rustclad story a terrible disaster will send the main character on a journey to discover what went wrong (and how to rectify the situation) through conversations with other characters. We’re playing with some non-linear forms of story telling as well, so our dialogue composition needs to be particularly strong.

Recently a friend recommended a great bit of software called Chat Mapper which is an easy to use tool for writing and testing non-linear dialogue. It kills the need to use a clunky excel spreadsheet for creating branching dialogue and allows you to simulate the flow of entire conversation trees. Best part is, many of its essential features can be used for free.

So far I’ve found the new resource extremely helpful, not just for mapping out conversation trees, but for creating dramatic timing and emphasis. We’re excited to see this come to life in the game!

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