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It’s Submission Time!

Posted on 1st March 2014 in Twisted Peeks

At the beginning of February The Underground team sent out emails to Image Comics, IDW Publishing, as well as a few established individuals in the comic book industry.  They were reaching out to raise awareness of The Underground, but also to find a publishing partner for the continuation of the series.  While fundraising efforts are underway to help produce the next chapter in the series, the financial realities of independently printing a small run comic series are challenging to say the least.

“The Underground series has so much potential beyond just the comic book series.  We’ve already started playtesting a board-game based on the series, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I see action figures and playsets, lunch pails and video games.  There is so much that can be done to build the brand as a whole, we just need the right partner to help us get there.”
-Paul Reaume

The team is taking a very public approach to their submission, in an innovative attempt to build up as much ‘buzz’ around the effort as possible.  Instead of printing off materials, mailing them away, and then reporting back to their fans, everything will be visible to everyone throughout the process.  On the comic series’ webpage, a special section will be dedicated to the submission being made to potential partners.  Throughout the coming week, progress on the submission package will be uploaded to this online section so followers can check them out and offer they’re feedback before anything is sent away.

As a studio, The Underground has always been our flagship project.

As a person, The Underground has always been Paul Reaume’s dream.

These are the legitimate steps being made to realize this dream, and bring our flagship project to the masses.

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Project Update: Colonies

Posted on 14th February 2014 in Twisted Peeks

It’s time for another update on our first game project, “The Underground:Colonies”.  We have been ironing out the rules for this innovative game for quite some time now, and finally we’ve reached a point that we are ready to put our work to the test.  Next week we will be launching our email-based play test of the game.  With all of the game material collected, we are in need now of one more play-tester.  While the game is aimed to be played by 2-4 players, we’d like to have four play-testers to ensure we are getting a good spread of input and feedback on the game’s development.

Today what we’d like to do is give you a basic overview of the game’s setup.  As the play-testing commences we will be updating our online followers with other key elements to the game, and what the plans are for it’s expansion.  That’s right; Expansion.  While we are currently working on the core set of ‘Colonies’, we also have plans for a series of expansion sets that will introduce additional rules, gameplay options, and most certainly new species for players to use.

“The key is to develop a core rule system that is simple enough to be added on to, and yet still keep it engaging enough to keep players intrigued.  This was the hardest point in working out the Colonies game; there are so many cool elements in The Underground universe that we wanted to include in the game we had a tough time keeping the rules from becoming over-complicated.  All in all, I’m really happy about how the system came together, and I can’t wait to get playing.”

-Paul Reaume

The Game Tiles

The Colonies game uses a number of game tiles that when placed together at the beginning of the game will create the game board.  The tiles will depict a winding path of squares that lead players underground, and up to the surface level.  The tiles can be rearranged to create any number of board configurations and will be double-sided as well, offering even more options.  Some insects will be better suited to play on the surface level, and others will be more geared towards subterranean life.  The rules allow for this differentiation, and bonuses or drawbacks are applied accordingly.  Bees, as an example, will certainly move faster while they are on the surface level than when they are forced to move underground.  Alternatively, the Ants may have a higher Defense value while fighting underground than while on the surface level.

Our test game will be played on five game tiles, though more could be added in, or taken out depending on the length of game players would like to take part in.  The core set of Colonies will feature five double-sided game tiles and the rules for two playable insect species.  Appropriately enough, the starting species will be Ants and The Hive.  Our next project update will feature more information on these creatures and how they are used in the game.

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Project Announcement: Battle of Tippecanoe game

Posted on 10th February 2014 in Twisted Peeks

After the announcement of the Underground Colonies game, we got to thinking about a game to supplement our Tecumseh comic. At first a grand strategic game covering all of the war of 1812 was envisioned. While this is still the end goal it quickly becmae too complicated to be a start point. We wanted the game to be fun, expandable and yet still keeping true to the feel and spirit of Tecumseh’s struggle. We also wanted to portray the tactics and nuances of musket combat.

The end result will be a historically accurate simple hex based battle system that be combined with other future stand alone sets to recreate the entire war or combine sets to create what-if scenarios. Naturally the first set will be the Battle of Tippecanoe. The game will include the map of the battle, rulebook, cards representing all the participants, a 20-sided die and hit counters.

The game should be ready for play-testing by the summer 2014 and hopefully released in time for xmas.

Stay tuned to Twisted Studio for further developments on this and our other awesome projects :)

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Project Update: Colonies

Posted on 27th January 2014 in Twisted Peeks

The Underground Colonies: A tile based strategy game

A short time ago we here at Twisted Studio discovered the awesome online services available at The Game Crafter!  TGC is the world’s first web-to-print game publishing company.  They’ve managed to create a platform which allows designers the tools they need to produce a wide variety of games, and gaming materials.  One visit to their site and we were sold; this is the service we’ve been looking for!

We’ve developed rules for a number of different games, only some of which are based on our comic book titles.  Considering we can’t possibly produce all of them at the same time, we’ve had to choose the most suitable concept to run with.  The decision was more difficult than we could have thought.  We wrestled with the idea of launching with a collectable card game, or perhaps a simple board game.  No.  The answer was found somewhere between.

The Underground Colonies is a customizable tile based strategy game.  Players will choose an insect species, and start to build a colony.  Gameplay will bring them on searches for valuable resources, and also conflict with rivaling colonies.  Elements of the game will vary depending on whether or not players are above ground, or underground.  The game rules have been structured in such a way to allow for continuous expansions, and customizations.  Over time players can collect different game tiles, additional brood types for their colony, or new colonies as a whole.

Colonies has been and continues to be a really enjoyable project to work on, and we’re approaching the point of game-testing.  As the final points of the rules are ironed out, we will be holding an email-based trial run of the game.  When the time comes we’ll put the call out to our faithful twisted followers, and recruit four willing contestants to put the rules to the test.  In the meantime, check out these game tile prototypes.  They’ve been carefully designed to allow for endless combinations, and therefore endless selections of game boards.  Are you ready to experience Colonies?


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A Prime Piece: Step Three

Posted on 23rd November 2012 in Twisted Peeks

Perspective? Check.

Blocking? Check.

Now for the final details.  Having ironed out where the people are going to be positioned, their relative heights and so on, the last details fall together rather easily.  My dad always told me when as I was growing and learning my craft that if you start with a solid foundation, everything else will come together.  It’s the first few steps, the basic shapes, the perspective and anatomy lines that make the finer details that much easier. 

I used a number of reference images of people from the 1950′s, as well as countless art pieces from the Great Norman Rockwell to give myself a good idea of how everyone should be dressed.  I cannot recommend enough to artists the importance and value of an extensive reference library.

These details out of the way.  I can start laying in the colour. :)

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The Underground’s New Look

Posted on 21st November 2012 in Twisted Peeks

This just in!  Following up on last week’s Underground update, comes a fresh new ‘top banner’ for The Underground’s website. 

” I chose this artwork, because of the scene it sets.  You’ve the words ‘Welcome to The Underground’.  Then you’ve got a couple suspicious looking insects, in a dark and gloomy setting.  I like how the two components work together to introduce the book, and the site without actually using any main characters”
-Paul Reaume

Click on the thumbnail to get a full glimpse of this new banner! And stay tuned for more updates.



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A Prime Piece: Step Two

Posted on 17th November 2012 in Twisted Peeks

In the theatre ‘blocking’ is the act of positioning your actors on stage, keeping in mind where they are and how they relate to one another.  When completing a piece of art, before adding in the finer details, I go through a stage of blocking as well.  Having established a solid foundation for the scene itself, I’m ready to add people.  Using rough shapes, and gesture lines I like to establish where my subjects will be positioned, how they will be positioned, and what they are doing.  I also use this stage to solidify heights and body types.  From this point I can move on to the finer, more intricate details.

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What’s going on…Underground?

Posted on 14th November 2012 in Twisted Peeks

It’s been a while since we’ve seen an update from the Studio’s flagship title; which leads many to wonder ‘What’s going on Underground?’

“The Underground is a project that I’ve been quite passionate about for years.  But it’s just that right now, a project.  When considering the studio as a whole, we needed to take some time to establish what the bigger picture is.  Who we want to be, beyond any one project.”
Paul Reaume
Twisted Studio
Founder & Arts Director

Despite the recent hiatus, The Underground has much more in store for fans.  Having taken the time to invest in the studio, and establishing its second title (Tecumseh), the creative team is looking again to their subterranean, microscopic heroes.  So along with a preview of the next page of the story, here’s a synopsis of the story so far.

Cyrus, the not-so-brave Ladybug, is the last surviving member of his colony.  the winged Hive wiped it out in a seemingly senseless demonstration of their dominance.  Left beaten and covered with Hive propaganda, Cyrus’ assailants thought no more of the quivering insect.

Against his own character, Cyrus would not give up.  Inspired by a mysterious dream, the weary insect would engage on a journey to Coryn, home of the noble Hill Ants and their army of Zealots.

Though the path was strenuous, the Ladybug has now arrived at Coryn.  While he began his journey alone, Cyrus is now accompanied by a band of unwilling escorts, Coryn’s brightest warriors, the Zealots Elite.

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A Prime Piece: Step One

Posted on 7th November 2012 in Twisted Peeks

“Using a reference photo from the entrance of Plaza Ontario, I can get started on the piece.  I’m trying to recreate the kind of nostalgic essence and style of Norman Rockwell’s timeless artwork.  I’m going to take a little trip back in time, and create  a window-shopper holiday scene.  But first, it’s down to perspective lines, vanishing points, and rough work.  After laying down some two-point perspective (which I”ve avoided like the plague since high school!), and exagerating the scale of the entrance, I think I’m ready to start blocking in our cheerful holiday shoppers.”


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Twisted Peek: Tecumseh

Posted on 27th October 2012 in Twisted Peeks

In the first decade of the 19th century, Tecumseh, a Shawnee warrior embarked on a noble mission of self preservation. He aimed to unite the tribes of the great lakes into a confederation fit to repel the Americans.

The United States aimed to expand their growing country by displacing first nations peoples and pushing them into the interior.These opposite goals pushed them into direct conflict at the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.

Who will prevail and how did this conflict come to be?

Find out in Tecumseh: A Heroic Tale of War and Shattered Dreams #1 – coming soon!

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