Trapped within a deep coma, Professor Ayumu Tsuburaya struggles to regain his memory of the events that led to his condition. Searching his inner mind for answers, the beings that make up the fabric of his personality begin to emerge, locked in conflict. As the Tournament of the Mind begins, will Ayumu's mind regain order, or will it remain forever lost in chaos?
Konsui Fighter is a hand-drawn fighting game designed from the ground up for mobile devices by Kansas City based game developer Circean Studios. Konsui Fighter features original hand-drawn artwork and animation from acclaimed artist Jas Carpenter. The story, game design, engine, code, and original soundtrack are produced by lead director Shayne Helms. Graphics and network subsystems, custom tools, and story engine are provided by developer Sean Cornett. Character frame colorization is provided by digital artists Leah Faulkner and Michelle Thomas. Press and marketing for Circean Studios managed by PR lead Logan Jensen.
A professor of biological science, Ayumu has been involved in a serious accident and now lies trapped within a deep coma. His doctors, unable to generate a response to stimuli, continue to monitor his neural activity. Within Ayumu's mind, the spiritual beings that make up the fabric of his personality are thrust into chaos as he struggles to piece together his shattered memories.
Realm: Hinode Castle
The youngest son of the Royal Family, Isamu is well known for his sword fighting skills. His rambunctious and sometimes downright cocky attitude has gotten him into trouble on more than one occasion, but he always manages to take care of himself. During preparations for the annual harvest festival, Isamu's older sister Reena is swept away into a mysterious vortex, sending him on a mission to recover her safely.
Realm: Hayashi Temple
Hitan was left on the doorstep of the Sisters of Hayashi Temple, who raised her as one of their own. They taught her their sacred art, allowing Hitan to form a strong bond with the birds of the surrounding forest. Upon returning from the forest one day, Hitan finds the church ablaze, her sisters now perished in the flames. After burying her fallen sisters and paying her final respects, she begins a journey to discover the truth of her origins, and to bring justice to those who destroyed her only family.
Realm: The Arid Plains
Kenta’s tribe had survived for many years in the arid plains, but were finding resources to sustain them growing scarcer by the day. After the death of the tribe’s chieftain, the elders challenged Kenta and his rival, Takuma, to find a new land for the tribe to determine the new chieftain. After many weeks of searching, Kenta discovered a lush jungle, the perfect home for his tribe. To his dismay, Kenta had been followed by Takuma, who quickly overpowered him. Kenta awoke shortly thereafter to find himself deserted in an unfamiliar region of the plains. Filled with rage, Kenta now wonders the wastelands, searching for his tribe, and vengeance against the traitor Takuma.
Realm: Yokuchi Village
Yasu is a well-respected member of Yokuchi Village, and maintains one of the most prosperous farms in the small village despite her age. There, she teaches many of the village children how to cultivate, passing her skills on to a new generation. During one lesson in the fields, a shadowy attacker appears, prompting Yasu to defend the children. After fending off the mysterious figure, Yasu embarks on a mission to find the source of the unusual assailant, to prevent further threats to their otherwise peaceful village.
Realm: Realm of Shadow
Once a successful businessman, Shinrou was driven by a lust for power to seek out the legendary Bloodstone, rumored to grant the wishes of the one who possessed it. After a long expedition, he finally managed to find the lost artifact. Upon taking the crystal, Shinrou was pulled away into a dark and mysterious realm where objects failed to retain form, as he began to transform into a vaporous entity himself. For the last two-hundred years, Shinrou has searched in vain for escape from his shadowy prison, each day driving him further into madness.
Realm: Kizamu Sanctuary
Itami is a member of The Hokage, a religious sect who believe that the outside world has become tarnished and corrupted by peace and inaction. Their solution is to cleanse the world with pain, washing away the balance and promoting new growth. Itami has begun the Path of Jikokeihatsu as his rite of passage, where he is awarded his semedougu, the tools with which to carry out his faith's work. The Hokage send Itami forth into the outer world to exercise their beliefs, launching him on an expedition of self-discovery.
Realm: Kaiji City Massage House
Yuraku works at the infamous Kaiji City Massage House. While she is well respected within the House's clientele, Yuraku has a tendency to be disrespectful and demeaning to her coworkers. One day, Yuraku finds that her next client turns out to be a bigger handful than she imagined. This encounter sends her down the rabbit-hole on a path that causes her to question her self-centered ways.
Realm: Celestial City
Kyouki is the daughter of the chief engineer for Celestial City. Her mother passed away when she was young, and her father refuses to discuss what happened. The Ancient Celestial City was once inhabited by the technologically advanced civilization that constructed it, but all that remains of their society are a series of ruins on the outskirts of the hovering islands. Despite her father's warnings, she frequently explores the ruins with the aid of her aichou, a size-shifting bird, named Baku.
Konsui Fighter utilizes a unique animation process that draws inspiration from traditional rotoscoping and hand-drawn animation techniques, imbuing it's characters with both naturalistic movements and a unique style. The game features an estimated 1400 character frames, each of which requires anywhere from one to three hours of work from motion capture to in-game. Let's take a look at an example of how a special attack makes it through the process!
Each animation begins with live motion capture on a green screen set, performed by a variety of motion capture actors. Here we can see Itami's chain toss being performed by lead director Shayne Helms, while PR manager Logan Jensen provides weapon puppetry for the chain prop.
Next, lead artist Jas Carpenter draws the base animation frames, referencing the motion capture frames provided. He completes these as pencil sketches, and then provides them for scanning. Once each character's frames are completed, Jas puts together the color palette to be used during the digital colorization phase.
After each character's frames are completed, they are scanned and provided to one of our digital colorization artists. The colorization artist will take the scanned frames and color palette, and perform cleanup and colorization. Once the colorization is completed, the frames go through a finalization process where they are scaled for gameplay, have a stroke effect applied to strengthen the outline of the character, and are trimmed for spritesheet packing. Finally, frames are assembled and given game metadata through the Konsui Editor, an in-house tool used to construct characters for Konsui Fighter.
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Circean Studios is an Overland Park, Kansas based game development team. The group formed in the Summer of 2010 under the direction of Shayne Helms, and co-founders Sean Cornett and Logan Jensen. In the Fall of 2010, when production of Konsui Fighter was just getting under way, the team accepted applications for the lead artist position on the title and selected Jas Carpenter to join the team. As work on Konsui Fighter progressed, the team sought expanding the art team to tackle the countless hours of colorization work required for the character frames needed for the game. In the Summer of 2012 the team brought in digital artists Leah Faulkner and Michelle Thomas to tackle that task. The team has attended multiple conventions to demo Konsui Fighter, including the Naka-Kon Anime Convention in Overland Park, KS, the ScrewAttack Gaming Convention in Dallas, TX, PAX East in Boston, and PAX South in San Antonio. The team is currently working hard to complete the release version of Konsui Fighter.
Shayne Helms is a software engineer, game designer, artist, and composer, bringing a wide range of game development experience to the team. Over the years, he has created games for a variety of systems, including some of his own design. Shayne began exploring the world of music composition in his high-school years, creating tracks for his game projects. He now leads the Circean Studios team, seeking out new and unique game concepts and stories for players to experience.
Shayne has contributed a wide variety of skills to the production of Konsui Fighter. He has led the design and implementation of Aeaea Engine, the custom game engine developed for the title. Shayne has also provided much of the game implementation behind Konsui Fighter, as well as constructing the games character and story metadata. He provides the game's original soundtrack, as well as story and character design.
"Picking a favorite character is difficult - I really like them all! If I had to pick one, I'd probably go with Shinrou - I did his voice work as well as the colorization for his frames, and I think his morphing moves are going to look totally badass in the final cut!"
Logan Jensen has been a part of the Circean Studios team since its creation in 2010. He works exclusively as the lead marketing and public relations manager for the studio. He has enjoyed his experience working on Konsui Fighter, helping the team with various tasks such as character reference shots as well as getting to meet players experiencing Konsui Fighter for the first time. Logan looks forward to Circean Studios' next game creation!
"My favorite character is Shinrou because of his amazing design and serious 'mysteriousness'."
Jas Carpenter is a self-taught fine artist now pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His unique style is heavily inspired by traditional East-Asian paintings, Japanese anime, and punk art. He goes back and forth between working with acrylic painting and creating manga.
Konsui Fighter is Jas’ first major animation production. For this project he has contributed over one-thousand hand-drawn sprite animations, ten animated stage backgrounds, all of the in-game story art, the logo design and all of Konsui Figher’s character illustrations.
“I think we are all struggling to pick a favorite but I’d like to choose Yuraku. I created her appearance based off Linda Quach, a local fashion designer and a good friend of mine. I started animating Yuraku towards the end of the project so I feel that my animation ability is best displayed in her moves.”
International man of mystery and geek of all trades, Sean Cornett has long developed his programming skills and is determined to unleash them upon the world. His ultimate goal: “Taking over the world… of video games.”
As a child, he dreamed of being a scientist yet once he discovered the magic of 'programming' in high school, he quickly mastered what he could with his limited resources. Now that he has found others who can do what he cannot (i.e. art) it is only a matter of time until he can get that new car.
Sean does a large chunk of the programming including, but not limited to: graphics engine, story interface, camera for reference frames, and the game editor.
Sean’s favorite character is Hitan because he likes the strong, silent type (and the slight Goth thing is hot).
Leah Faulkner has loved art ever since she was little and continues to fill sketchbooks with drawings that range from realism to anime/manga. She has taken many art classes during her high school experience and would like to continue creating art. She has experimented with animation as well as painting.
She was thrilled when invited to join the Konsui Fighter team. It has been a great experience for her and she has learned a lot. She contributes to the team by digitally coloring character frames after they have been drawn and scanned.
"My favorite character in the game is Kyouki because she had such a fun color scheme and I never got tired of coloring her frames. Kyouki's moves were really interesting and complex as well."