Curtis Himel (Engineering, design, project management):
I’d been “moonlighting” with games for years- slowly building up skill, tech, and libraries. But progress was slow- I was always just too mentally tired after a long day of “real work.”
Circa the end of 2011, I decided it was time to get down to business, start telling stories, and make something bigger than a desk job. That night I sat down to brainstorm ideas for a “quick” game and came up with the original ideas for Jacob’s Ladder. The design has evolved, but the core of a boy’s dream world where he just walks and you manipulate the world to keep him safe never changed. I’ve barely known what a “weekend” is since that day, but the stars are aligning and the pieces are sliding into place. The past year or so has been of the best in a long time and I’ve no doubt it will be worth it.
Kristen Dahms (Art):
While I’ve certainly got a lot on my plate, Jacob’s Ladder is by no means a one-man effort. All the backgrounds and much of the foreground tile art you see is original work of the talented Kristen Dahms. To portray Jacob’s dreamscape, we decided on hand-painted water-color backgrounds. The “fuzziness” of the medium really helps to hammer home the “dream” concept. It also lends itself to smooth transitions as Jacob climbs from his house, into his neighborhood, over the downtown skyline and the mountains beyond- ascending into the sky and celestial palaces above.
While Kristen has been doing art for years, Jacob’s Ladder will be her video-game debut.
J.C.C. Brown (Music):
In a game like Jacobs’s Ladder, the music is just as important to the themeing as the visual art. In another video-game debut, Jon Brown is expertly composing an original orchestral score.
While I had some idea how to direct Kristen, I was next-to-clueless as a music director. I was like “uh… here’s the game and some YouTube videos of video-game music I like. Kinda like that? Sad, but hopeful at the same time? Maybe?” But he just said “alright, I think I got it” and somehow came back a few weeks later with a 3-part demo track that nearly nailed it the first time. I was shocked. He even masterfully used a child’s music box as an instrument for the opening house area! The music fit perfectly- progressing from sounds reminiscent of a playing child to more ethereal and otherworldly themes in later levels.
James O’Reilly (Jacob Animation, some foreground art):
James handled animating Jacob from Kristen’s concept sketches and did some other foreground art.
Ross Gillespie (Additional foreground art):
Ross helped with the last pieces of foreground art and tiles needed to finish up the game.
Dave Saunders (Trailers):
Dave put together the game trailers.
www.freesound.org (Sound effects):
Sound effects were used (sampled or in whole) from the following users on www.freesound.org : firstname.lastname@example.org, CGEffex, duncanlweisma, joedeshon, klankbleed, luffy, outroelison, reelworldstudio, RHumphries, samule44, shakaharu
Fonts were used from the following users on www.dafont.com :
William Koch, Manfred Klein
Special Thanks / Random Help / Test Hardware:
Reuben Fries, Mark Diehr, Andrew Miller, Chris Neubauer