Monthly Archives: September 2014

Dead Weight (Bagged)

Phaser is a useful engine due to how easy it is to insert java script files to create functions… it also has an intolerance to .svg files, drawing them 10 times as large as their actual size for no reasons apparent.  So we are back to using .png file format, the familiar work-horse for artworks.

Conversion from .ai files involve exporting the file out of Illustrator as a .gif, and then bringing it into Photoshop to be worked with.  If there is an upside to this setback, it is that sprite creation is much, much simpler as we can count on the objects to stick to the exact pixel coordinates.

The design of the game has also been updated, we are going to use our single button to pick up and drop unconscious convicts (which can be knocked out by moving the player character into them).

Guard_Master_Sprites Prisoner_Master_Sprites

Yes, that convict is twice as big as the guard, we are keeping it for comedic reasons.

Sick Building Syndrome (Bagged)

Don’t get me wrong, working inside a climate-controlled room is a boon for those of us that are pulling long hours, though the sealed-off room is a haven for fruit flies and airborne pathogens such as the influenza.

The team have come to the consensus of using a grid-based game world, where all entities (walls, characters, ladders, etc) take up exactly one block of space.  This should simplify collision maps and path-finding to the bare bones so we can push the first prototype out by this Tuesday.

Below is the template for the first “level” in the game.

9x9_Grid_Template

White = Space, Blue = Wall, Dark Blue = Ladders, Green = Prisoner Spawn Point, Magenta = Player Start Point.

The lack of artistic goals right now is rather distressing , though this gives me a chance to take up a bit of the leadership role to solve problems and direct the team towards whatever design that can be created quickly.

.svg files work well enough for the purpose of character sprite creation, though they are much less precise in the building of level “blocks” as coordinates appear to be relative rather than absolute.  In addition, we found out that Inkscape uses its own version of the file that is neither compatible with web browsers nor Adobe Illustrator – saving the file as a “common” .svg file in Inkscape solves the issue.

Solo Wing (Bagged)

Right, as the other artist on the team is not present due to an injury, I will take on his role to create background art .

The idea of the classical cops and robbers in Bagman seems to be a bit dry – in that few can relate to something from the days of the wild, wild, West in these modern days.  Still, we are adhering to the theme for now to push out the first working prototype by next Tuesday, though we do intend to switch the role of the player character to that of the guard, now attempting to apprehend escaping convicts.  Genre shift will have to wait.

We have also changed the platform to HTML 5, from Flash, as most students seem to be more familiar to it and Java Script.  In addition, most coding work will be carried out in Bracket, while the game will be built in Phaser, a relatively new engine designed for Java Script games.  Luckily, these changes will have minimal impact on the format of the artworks, though we are to change the native format of Adobe Illustrator of .ai into .svg to make it compatible, which is still vector arts, but scales a bit better than .ai.

Retroactive continuation and a Slacking Bag (Bagged)

Starting up a new project, no name yet.  We are basing it on Bagman from 1982.

The new team is composed of Ankur Rathore, Zachary Lorenzen, Pinakin Pandit, Aditya Rajani, and Nick Burnham.

The decision here is to remake the game in Adobe Flash CC, using vector arts drawn in Adobe Illustrator CC and Inkscape for maximum compatibility.  The final product can be ran in any internet browsers that supports Flash.

I am also retroactively updating some of the old posts to better describe the methods in which art is created here.

The titular "bagman", now in vector graphics.

The titular “bagman”, now in vector graphics.

Afterglow, the Debrief (Glow)

… And in a storm of applauds and cheers, the first rapid prototype projects came to a close – the general impression was positive.

For “Glow”, it seems that the consensus was for more efforts to be put into it so it will be closer to what it was when it was first envisioned:

1. Restore the light attachment on the tongue, so the titular glow will only be visible when the tongue is extended.

2. Glowing fireflies and enemy eyes on the map.

3. Change the camouflage function so “Cam” will be invisible for the duration that it is toggled.

4. A more zoomed in view to the protagonist.

What have we learned from this project that we can apply to the next, under a different team?

For starter, a better communication standard is required: update the team whenever a change is applied, collaborate with the other artists to unify art styles early, do not run off to create tons of artworks – most of which will be wasted, make design decisions early, and do not emphasise on the story unless specified to do so.  As always, communication, communication, be talkative, even if it means it will annoy some members of the team, as long as messages get through.

Yet for all those flaws, the team managed to endure, and with that, the future looks fairly bright.  In the mean time, the project files, including dummy files, will be uploaded to a master server to be evaluated by the higher-ups.

Until the next project.

Firefly_Count_Active

Run Dry (Glow)

Our first run was surprisingly painless – it would seem that the video demo reel was the preferred media.  The last two days in this team then, would be used to polish the alpha build to get the next video ready.

Added details include some sound effects, listed here:

Jungle Ambient (BGM)

Tongue Impact (Splat!)

Eat Firefly (Crunch)

Death by Snake (Hiss! Crunch!)

Death by Owl (Wing beat, Crunch!)

Stealth On/Off (Cricket Chirp)

Had to take some creative license here since all the creatures involved are virtually soundless.  Sound snippets were gathered from YouTube, using a standard YouTube to .mp3 downloader and then edited in Audacity to fit into the game as .wav files.  More details postmortem.

Chameleon_Placeholder_L

This is not the chameleon that will appear in the final game! The new one is much cuter!

Art not appearing in Game (Glow)

Dummied out platform artwork in the “Glow” game. The definitely final demo is coming up tomorrow.

Platform_Design_0

We have done away with the dynamic ambient light, instead opting for a light radius around the player character that grows bigger with each objective gathered.  The fireflies themselves, unfortunately, cannot be made to glow (or revealed in the fog of war) due to technical limitations.

Keeping my fingers crossed for the reviews.

Pre-alpha Splash Screen (Glow)

Demo’s coming up next week, yay! (Backdrop by Erica)

Glow_Mockup_Splash_v0

Made by overlaying a black layer over the backdrop, using the Overlay modifier in Photoshop on 60% opacity, and then slapping on the texts.  The idea here is that the stage will gradually turn brighter with each firefly (these are the only objective left in the game) consumed.  The splash screen is of course, the darkest level.

Pre-alpha Screenshot (Glow)

All thanks to the team for making this possible:

Engineers: Yuchen Zhang, Akshay Singhvi, Sean Keanaaina

Producers/Level Designers: Maté Mihanović, Paul Bills

Artists/Back Drop Design: Erica Larson

Of course, there is me, Yung-Cheng Yang, though none of my assets were used for this demo. Hopefully that will change for the final build.

Pre-Alpha Screen Capture

We are also doing away with the owl boss battle, instead using it as a stationary hazard that gains radius as the game progresses.  The three different metres, light, health, and grip have also been discarded in favour of a less limited one-hit-point-wonder player character.  No actual lighting have been made yet.

Dirt (Glow)

Right, so here are the current platform designs for the game.

Mossy_Platform_1 Mossy_Platform_2 Mossy_Platform_3

All rather dirty, but that’s moss for you.

These are drawn with soft brushes in Photoshop, using actually photographs of jungle moss as reference.  They are more or less there as eye candy as the actual physical platforms are hidden behind them.  Though they can hide objectives or enemies.