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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsNo Berry Left Behind
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UmutD
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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2015, 11:11:15 AM »

A little update:

Designing levels... is going well, I'm having fun both playing and designing the game at this point, which doesn't always happen, I have to admit. (Normally at this stages I have a tendency to get bored because of mundane stuff that needs to be done).. So, while I'm productive, I'm trying to avoid thinking too much about the testing phase which will probably crush my dreams Smiley

...

I also started working on the art. Aaand it surely took a very different direction from what I was imagining before.

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(my first "okay enough(?)" sketch. Ummm can't see any bones here, can you?)
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The thing is, I find myself following a very flexible "trial and error" path for this game (after seeing my initial ideas fail horribly) and art is no exception. Game feels very fast-paced (it became faster than previous gifs), and you're trying to clear all enemies without dying, it can get PRETTY HARD already, while traversing different environmental features. Whenever I add details that looks cool in still image, chances are they mess up the readability in the fastly changing screen, which is the last thing I want currently. So, going for something cool & unique while keeping it simple. Mmmmm hard.

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(Another try. I liked it better, instead of "just another casual game" feeling in the first one. Still, while it's readable when playing, it feels a bit empty in full-screen)
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These below are the last iterations, I liked them very much actually, I'm thinking of going with one of them (these are just rough sketches by the way, no way finished as you can see the half baked textures and broken lines):

Saturated one:

________________

Less saturated one:


....

So, what do you think?


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and
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« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2015, 11:42:15 AM »

I like the less saturated hand drawn look. It's a pretty unique visual style, I particularly like the faintly drawn trees in the background - more of that kind of stuff would be cool.

Are the bits of fruit the characters in the game or are they collectibles? I think that's the only thing not communicated super clearly in the image.

I've done a couple of hand drawn games. One was easier than I expected and one was a lot harder because it needed a lot of animation - so bear that in mind obviously!
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2015, 11:42:30 AM »

I've been quietly watching this log, waiting to see what the visuals will end up looking like. So the character is a fruit, a tomato?

Looking at the two last screenshots, I have trouble parsing some of the line-work, for example the red lines on the platform, I can't work out what that really is.

Watercolour is an interesting aesthetic for a game, but can be a bit of a pain to look good. In motion it can look terribly static, as if you've got these 2D plains sliding around on top of one another. The best watercolour video games I've played actually painstakingly animate their watercolours, or at least fake it with the classic 'draw everything three times and loop it' Don Hertzfeld squigglyness. Adding some motion to the lines can really make it not look frozen, so perhaps that's something to consider? I think I'll have to see what you propose in motion to really form an opinion, though.
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UmutD
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« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2015, 12:54:37 PM »

I like the less saturated hand drawn look. It's a pretty unique visual style, I particularly like the faintly drawn trees in the background - more of that kind of stuff would be cool.

Are the bits of fruit the characters in the game or are they collectibles? I think that's the only thing not communicated super clearly in the image.

I've done a couple of hand drawn games. One was easier than I expected and one was a lot harder because it needed a lot of animation - so bear that in mind obviously!

That's my favorite too, I'm relieved to hear I'm not the only one. But I've seen some friends respond well to saturated one, so I'm also trying to figure out what got their attention (just shiny colors?), and if they would think the same if they see it constantly and in the action. Or may be I need to find something better, if nobody cares about the difference much.

Fruit(berry) guys are the guys which we should smash before ending the level. I'm still not sure about them being berries, having trouble finding expressive characters that fit in 32x32 Smiley Some stand in weird places where you can fall down after getting them, some shoot stuff to get you, and sometimes the hard thing is just connecting kills without missing going upwards in continous fast movement. No collectibles, upgrades or anything else. Just clear the maze and get out, that's the version I liked after series of experiments.

Yeah I'm a bit unsure of extra work that might be required because of hand drawing, but hey.. let's wait and see, I have hope :D Btw, tried pixel art (which was my first intention) but failed horribly, just couldn't wrap my head around it for this game, don't know why.

« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 01:47:46 PM by UmutD » Logged

UmutD
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« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2015, 01:22:42 PM »

I've been quietly watching this log, waiting to see what the visuals will end up looking like. So the character is a fruit, a tomato?

Looking at the two last screenshots, I have trouble parsing some of the line-work, for example the red lines on the platform, I can't work out what that really is.

Watercolour is an interesting aesthetic for a game, but can be a bit of a pain to look good. In motion it can look terribly static, as if you've got these 2D plains sliding around on top of one another. The best watercolour video games I've played actually painstakingly animate their watercolours, or at least fake it with the classic 'draw everything three times and loop it' Don Hertzfeld squigglyness. Adding some motion to the lines can really make it not look frozen, so perhaps that's something to consider? I think I'll have to see what you propose in motion to really form an opinion, though.

Hey, thanks for leaving a comment, knowing someone reads here really helps.

Character is a berry (I forgot to remove that tomato cap) but... I mean.. I'm not sure. I'm thinking a lot about berries, lol. I just couldn't find anything else that made sense and seems expressive in a 32x32 box, and now I'm obsessed with berries and can't think anything else.

Is it lame? Perhaps. And I already have some very bad berry jokes. Trust me you don't want to know but in case I can't find something else, I'm inclined to put them in the game and destroy myself (whatever that means?). Though one thing is sure, I'm not gonna write a stupid background story just to justify berries... as in "your berry named Sam was castrated by the village's priest berry and now you have to stop him before he does the same thing to your niece berry". So... yeah.. berries. um. I don't want to seem like fishing for ideas but I'm open to suggestions actually.

Yeah, pink lines are broken textures from an older version (when the platforms were completely light colored). I left them uncorrected because I liked that pink and wanted to keep it in the sketch. I'm trying to have a basic idea of what works in general by blurring my eyes and trying to imagine the final art by looking at unfinished version. Not the best way to show people but I can easily fix it later if I manage to decide on the basics.

Also, that wiggle efect was exactly what I was thinking to spice things up. It might be too much work to draw platforms & walls in a wiggly way (and I'm not sure that it won't be painful for eyes), but I will try it first for the chest-like single blocks, enemies and low contrast level background elements. Just hoping that this won't turn out a year-long work Smiley
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KaiTheSpy
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« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2015, 08:25:21 PM »

The final art style you showed is my favorite I think. It's unique without being too crazy
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UmutD
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« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2015, 03:16:56 AM »

Glad you like it, thanks for the input!
« Last Edit: November 26, 2015, 03:57:24 AM by UmutD » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2015, 02:20:59 PM »

level editor seems really cool Waaagh!
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UmutD
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« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2015, 02:41:35 PM »

Hoho, thanks mate  Smiley
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UmutD
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« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2015, 02:31:03 PM »

I finally managed to transfer some graphics from concept art into game. I used boring test level in gif (cause walls and other details are not ready). Some extras that came later:

- Platforms cast shadow now, differently from the concept art. I was trying to keep 2d drawing feeling but it made platforms pop-up, obviously. I've not yet made the final decision, I'd be glad if you can give your opinions.
- I can apply color changes to different elements, may be I can use this to create different worlds for different level groups.



All these took some time because I was also thinking about my pipeline and the workflow. Especially animating background elements can/will get hairy because I'm not placing them with my level editor and whatever change I make in editor can later impair the visibility of a carefully drawn background without me noticing.

As always, your opinions are welcome, guys (about everything, not only graphics..).

« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 02:46:39 PM by UmutD » Logged

UmutD
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« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2015, 04:44:00 PM »

Very quick second update.. I was only gonna animate backgrounds but just tried this... Should I go for wiggling platforms and walls? Seems much better to me:

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« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2015, 09:43:48 PM »

I very much prefer the wiggly platforms, it gives the game a sense of life.
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« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2015, 04:37:33 AM »

Yeah I really like those wriggly lines!
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UmutD
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« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2015, 07:16:51 AM »

Thanks for the input guys, I will use the wiggly platforms. My fear was it's possibility of being distractive for the eye when applied to foreground elements, it proved to be false, mostly. I think it can also reduce the amount of filler background drawings since the need to make the game seem dynamic is much lesser now.

On the other hand, I might add a "turn off wiggle" option, in case there seems to be enough people with sensitive vision that can be affected negatively. I don't know if it is a good idea yet, in the end it will be a very definitive aspect of the visual style so normally I wouldn't want to include an option that ruins overall impact of the game. What do you think?

Also, new gif: Character bouncing & jumping & changing directions ... I tried make him circular but it didn't go very well. Also, warning, heavily compressed colors & framerate. Feedbacks are welcome as always!

« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 07:39:14 AM by UmutD » Logged

UmutD
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« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2015, 02:21:37 AM »

Tiny update:

- Past week, I slowed down a bit. I'm about to complete the first pass of platform/wall assets.
- Also made an unplanned small testing with some friends, just to check how they behave around controls.

This week, my goal is to return back to level design and build some introductory levels to make a build for a more appropriate testing phase.
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Davi Vasc
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« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2015, 08:35:32 AM »

The art is looking great. The only thing I would like to point out is the name of the game. "Bones" is pretty generic and google-unfriendly, it might be a good idea to come up with a more unique/meaningful name, especially after art direction is more clearly defined.
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UmutD
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« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2015, 08:45:15 AM »

The art is looking great. The only thing I would like to point out is the name of the game. "Bones" is pretty generic and google-unfriendly, it might be a good idea to come up with a more unique/meaningful name, especially after art direction is more clearly defined.

Thanks! I'm definitely changing the name, I thought it as a work-in-progress name. Also game just didn't go towards the way that I was expecting at the beginning, they really doesn't match now Smiley

....

By the way guys, it would be great if you can drop your opinions on this one.

I'm trying to separate 2 platform types by drawing linear stuff on one type and filled shapes/areas on the other (with differing colors). You can read about platform functions below.

Which one seems better to your eye?



Some details about platforms:

White platforms are hard surfaces (you bounce when you hit from below, you move straight when you're moving on them)
Brown platforms are soft ones (they don't have ceiling function, but you make small bounces when you're moving on them)

They also have counterpart walls (similar colors / textures / functions ).

There is also a third platform but it's not here. You can see them in previous drawings (white-brown ones), they don't have a ceiling function and you move straight/normal on them.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 08:58:07 AM by UmutD » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2015, 09:51:36 AM »

I think I prefer 1 or 7.
The sharp, bright contrast in the line work pops out and is going to make it quicker for the player to distinguish which platform is which on top of the primary color difference.
4 especially seems relatively muted, I think the line work and patterns really need some color.  Something about the stronger, reddish hues in 6 makes me think it's like a slight power-up or something; unless those colors are used on the hearts (like in 1).

All in all I'm really liking the progress in your game.
Keep it up!
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UmutD
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« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2015, 10:12:20 AM »

I think I prefer 1 or 7.
The sharp, bright contrast in the line work pops out and is going to make it quicker for the player to distinguish which platform is which on top of the primary color difference.
4 especially seems relatively muted, I think the line work and patterns really need some color.  Something about the stronger, reddish hues in 6 makes me think it's like a slight power-up or something; unless those colors are used on the hearts (like in 1).

All in all I'm really liking the progress in your game.
Keep it up!

Thanks for the detailed input, also glad you're liking it!   Toast Right

By the way, now I remembered. If I find time, I plan to try some "pillow-y" animation thing on walls this week, as you suggested before. The thing is, now everything is berries and chocolates, I don't know how it will turn out Smiley Also, different from my initial idea, now character is behaving like a jelly and I liked it a lot, because your every move gets you a feedback this way. But a jelly hitting a pillow probably won't have the most impressive feedback compared to jelly hitting a chocolate and splashing some soft pieces, for eg. Anyway, I'm totally improvising on this part.

Development process can be quiet (thus nerve-breaking) sometimes, I know I'm not giving much to talk on but every voice from you guys help me keep it together, so thanks really Smiley
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UmutD
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« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2015, 06:31:24 AM »

I added textures to platforms/walls but I don't think it is working, it is making hard to read environment in fast scrolling gameplay. Cry  Well, I guess I can still have different backgrounds to break the monotony.

Anyway, I'm returning to level design. People seem to get confused when they're first introduced to controls. I guess this mostly happens because of expectations, game looks like a platformer but controls work more like a runner.

For example, even if you don't touch a key, your character still runs and wall jumps when collides with a wall.  If you're pressing jump button while colliding with a wall, you just wall jump higher (the amount is linked to how long you press jump button). Also character is always running and this makes people freak out when the error margin seems small.  (I want them to freak out actually, just not at the beginning but after they are comfortable with controls  Well, hello there! )

People seem to adjust to it fine after they understand how it works, but they panic at start when character starts running automatically and a platform ends right away (although the fall will end up with a wall-collide, thus auto-walljump). I will try to build nice ramp to ease them into the game. I hope it goes well because when you get used to it, game really becomes fun (obviously I might be subjective).

Let's see how it goes Wizard
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 09:02:39 AM by UmutD » Logged

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