Savage Jar Beasts

So this is a page to serve as a central site for Savage Jar Beasts info. I'll try to post anything relevant to the development effort here.

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Here are the original emails that started this. There's some info in here regarding the game goals and stuff.
From: Andy 
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 12:26:38 -0400 

Hey hey hey. 

You guys have both expressed interest in doing some independent game 
project. I was wondering if I could tempt you into working with me. 

I don't know if either of you watch YuGiOh, but that's what my 
inspiration is for the game. It's a card-collecting game where you use 
your deck of cards to duel with other players. In addition to your 
cards, you also have one Monster which can gain experience and go up 

Basically, the big advantage of a card game is that most of the artwork 
is static, not animated. That allows us to make a very content-rich 
game without spending thousands of hours developing artwork. The other 
advantage is that there may actually be a feasible revenue model. Cards 
could be sold to players in a micropayment system, and hopefully the 
kind of phenomenon where people spend hundreds of dollars on their 
YuGiOh or Magic: The Gathering decks would translate to an internet 

Anyway, I've got a ton of ideas, and my engine is almost ready. Lemme 
know if you're interested. 
There will be animations needed. Here, let me outline the idea a little

Like every game, it starts up with a menu screen:

which should look
nice, maybe with some kind of big splash image or a logo or something. The
working title is Savage Jar Beasts, but that could change. When you first
start, you get to choose one of three Monsters. The Monsters are the things
that need animation. They're different from the Cards, which can be just
static art.. So there needs to be a "monster select screen":

After that, there
will be the "town" screen which will be some kind of landscape or overhead
view of a town, with 4 clickable areas on it that lead to other screens,
Home, Store, Arena, and Forest. There should also be a panel on the bottom to
bring up a menu and other misc.  Clicking on the forest will take them to the
Explore screen, which eventually will be something significant, but for now
it'll be a little clock graphic or something that tells them how many turns
it has taken them to find an encounter. 

From there, there'll be a Fight
screen, which shows the player's monster, and the enemy monster. There'll be
a panel somewhere, where they can access their cards. There would be 4
monster animations per monster:

- idle/breathing
- attacking
- defending
- death

When they use a card, it zooms in on the card, and then the card has
some effect on the fight, and perhaps causes some special effect on the
screen.Basically, I'd depend on you guys for 90% of the 'creative' aspect of
the game - monster art, card art, layouts/backgrounds, maybe widget art
too.Does this sound cool?

From: Andy 
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 14:25:27 -0400

So what would you guys like to start with?

- monster art
- card art
- GUI art (buttons, splash screen, logo)
- backgrounds
- story exposition art

Here's my basic premise and storyline:

You play a kid who mails away for a "Savage Jar Beast" from an ad in a
comic book.  (remember those ads that were all black and white and sold
stuff like x-ray specs and sea monkeys and stuff? )'s.htm

So you order one of 3 possible Beasts, and it arrives much less fearsome
than had been described.  I was thinking one of the beasts would be a
baby manatee a la Nigel's Bill TVM.  Disappointed, you go to the store
to see if you can get him something to help bulk up and become more
fearsome.  There's a dude or a couple dudes hanging out outside a la
"Clerks" / "Jay & Silent Bob" that convince you to train him to fight by
taking him to the forest and pitting him against woodland creatures such
as squirrels, and other absurd things.

I'm kind of envisioning a comic book / cartoon type esthetic for the
game, but since you're the guys volunteering to do the art, it's up to

From: Andy 
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 10:14:14 -0400

Hey guys.

you've both expressed interest in doing the monsters, so let's start
with that.

here are my ideas for the "Jar Beasts" that the players can own:
Baby Manatee
Sea Monkey (called something else due to trademarks)

And then there'd be woodland creatures:
Squirrel (there could be different colours of squirrels)

Necessary animations:
Rest (breathing, etc)

All images would have to fit in an area this big:
380 pixels width,  450 pixels height
However, one side of the image (and maybe even the bottom) could be cut

lemme know what you think.

From: SB 
Date: Fri, 05 Sep 2003 17:36:54 -0400

this is really cool martin.  I'll try and integrate these into the game
and get some screenshots up in the next couple days.  (I'm all inspired

I like the overall style.  They're definetly not 'too cartoony'.  One of
my ideas for a joke when the manatee goes up a level is that he gets a
"walrus upgrade", whereby you take him to the guy at the store, and he
drills two pencils through the manatee's lips.  So for that joke to be
funny (ie, shocking), it'd be best for the manatee to look cute.  so
maybe cuteify it a little more.

I like the armoured manatee too.

Can you think of other ideas for the Jar-Beasts or the Woodland

anyway, i'm gonna work on the code now...