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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsGhost Bird
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Author Topic: Ghost Bird  (Read 12930 times)
torcado
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« on: May 07, 2016, 12:24:50 PM »


Heya!
I made a game for Ludum Dare 35 called Ghost Bird. It has been my most popular project by far and I'm continuing to work on/remaking it into a full game!
It will be a 2D explorative platformer of some sort. probably metroidvania-esque. Might take inspiration from many places. Right now the idea for the game is in its infancy, but I'm getting a good hold on the visual style.

I plan on updating this devlog with progress of the game! Because I love reading these and I think it will be fun.




Play the original version here!

This is the first version of the game, made for Ludum Dare 35 in 48 hours. Some progress gifs I posted got a lot of love (even from Mike Kasprzak himself!) and I'm really happy with the result. (We'll see if that persists when I find out the results in 2 days)
This is one of those gifs:


After publishing the game to LD I started messing around with a new visual effect:



I wanted tiles to fade out instead of just get smaller, and I loved how the effect turned out. The only issue I had was with the outside colors, because I didn’t want the tile silhouettes visible, and I couldn’t fade the grass textures to that purple. I should mention I’m constraining the game to a 24 color palette I made:

So I started to play around with a bunch of different outside color schemes:


A lot of these looked really cool, and gave me some great ideas, such as day/night/sunset settings, and also “invisible” blocks that you can only see the silhouettes of but can’t see when inside the light. But I still wanted the main or first part of the outside area to be the same as in the caves, and eventually came up with this color scheme:


The only issue i had with this is that It removes colors from the fadeout, because the tiles are blue and they fade to blue. So what I did is I remade the grass tiles so the base color is that darker green instead of that blue. (in the screenshot i just replaced the blue to green, the tiles are completely different now)



After posting about the new visual style to my tumblr, I got a couple complaints about it giving them headaches. Since the original Ludum Dare version also had multiple complaints from people mentioning it gave them headaches to look at, I started rethinking the design and working on a new one for those who are affected by it.

I nearly posted about this issue to these forums, but instead I reached out to one of the people who complained about it and asked for ideas to make it better for those people.
I got some really good ideas and after a few days ended up with this:


I posted this as well and many people thought this looked better and didn’t hurt their eyes.

From this I began actually adding content. The next thing I added was multiple light sources:


I also loved how this turned out. With this effect I am also able to specify individual intensities and sizes for each light.



And right now that’s all I have for the new version! Let me know what you think of it all if you’d like! I’ll be posting updates here Smiley

PS: the game is 640x480, these gifs are 540x480 because of tumblr’s post size. I may record them full-width to post here though later on

PPS: let me know about my formatting and such. This is my first time posting anything significant to these forums! Thanks
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Silkworm_sweatshop
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2016, 12:58:04 PM »

Cool! This was a great entry, I rarely play LD entries to the end but I remember I did with this one. The softer visual effect seems easier on the eyes so definitely an improvement there. Love to see where you take this!
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torcado
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2016, 01:03:12 PM »

hey thanks a lot! I recognize your icon from the comments on the LD page heheh.
Thanks a lot for playing it through! I'm glad you liked it
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torcado
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2016, 09:13:53 PM »

YO OK BIGGGG UPDATE

I started messing around with shaders like 2 days ago. I mainly just wanted to see what I could do with them, but it got out of hand pretty quickly.
I'll go more in-depth about all I've done with different shader effects, but here's the biggest thing:



I have implemented a shader that clamps the screen to a set color palette.

SO basically I don't have to worry about anything messing with the colors, I can implement any lighting effects and it will match up to the color palette.

This is especially amazing for my workflow;

Before I was doing crazy stuff like this:



How the game worked before is everything was based on the tiles, so all I was doing was changing the sprite of every tile on-screen based on the lighting of that tile (and also the orientation relative to the nearest light source)

This required me to create a sprite for every single possible combination of light intensities and angles, for every type of tile.
NOW I just need 1 tile image, and an overlayed transparent lighting tile, and the shader will detect the color + transparent black pixel and move it to the closest color from my palette.

With this, I can actually do any type of lighting i want anywhere, and am always assured I'm keeping to my palette limitation.

Cons to this system:
Less control over colors (but they're pretty much the colors I would've chosen anyway, and i can tweak the color of the transparent overlay to create the color ramp I want)
I can no longer use flash/web builds (oh well)
May lag on older comps, not sure.

Probably a bit of a rambly description, I'm tired and have been working on this for many hours (and I've never done anything with shaders before, so I'm very happy I was able to somehow work this out. I probably could've asked for help here or somewhere, but oh well Tongue).
More tomorrow probably!
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torcado
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2016, 11:55:37 AM »

ok, here's a better example of what's going on:



This is what the game looks like now without the shader active. Instead of tiles with a bunch of images, it's just a layer of the same shapes as transparent black.

This is what it looks like with the shader turned on:



So the shader finds the color closest to the current color on the screen based on my palette and sets it to that color.
(oh and there's a warping effect on that one, might keep it might not. Let me know)



So yeah now I don't have to worry about the lighting, I can just make any tiles I want and the game will do the work for me. and it may look better than if i had manually faded the colors.

And if it doesn't look like what I wanted it to, I can just change the color of the transparent overlay. like so:







Lots of things i can try with this! Let me know what you think of any of this :D
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SolS
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2016, 01:18:33 PM »

The game looks super cool! Following, good luck!
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torcado
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2016, 12:37:01 PM »

More stuff! It's been a while, I've spent a ton of time remaking the lighting system again. It should run better for all machines. (Kinda, before it would run at like 18-50 fps unstable, now the new system runs at a consistent 30 fps on my computer, and 50 on another one I tested on.)

Also, Colored lights!



That's a Skantern. It's just a lantern on a skateboard. Because why not.



Blue orb things and blue skantern! They're all floaty and woah.

With this new system I maay also be able to have multiple colored lights overlap! (I can have different colored lights but they do a weird splitting thing when they overlap)

This also means lights of the same color can get brighter where they overlap. this may look great, or really bad. We'll see! (Most likely it will look pretty nice but make things behind the light really hard to see, if I ever put anything behind the lights (which could be everything besides the light itself possibly)).


Another thing I've been working on is resolution switching because I haven't gotten it to work before. Trying to make the game fullscreen is very glitchy, but I can up/downscale by 1x, 2x, 3x, or 4x resolution at runtime, which is nice.

Next is to mess around with the multiple colored lights, and then maybe I'll get onto some actual game elements eventually.
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FK in the Coffee
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2016, 02:57:36 PM »

this aesthetic is totally rad. Definitely gonna be following!
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maruki
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2016, 07:12:38 PM »

OMG! So much development after the LD! I played it and voted for it, and I remember enjoying it a lot. It's also fun because the main character of my LD entry is also a ghost (not a ghost bird, but a ghost ghost).
I began developing my entry intro a full game too, and seeing your devlog really pumped me up! <3
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torcado
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2016, 01:52:54 PM »

Thanks a lot, FK!

maruki, thanks so much! I'm glad you liked it. I remember yours too! I really liked the art and idea of the game. I'm glad I could inspire :D


As for dev stuff, I'm remaking the tileset because it was uglyy before. Here's a preview:

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maruki
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2016, 08:00:36 PM »

oh, torcado, your tileset is pretty much what I want for my tileset. ;_; Current status: http://i.imgur.com/8zpN95l.png
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Darion
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2016, 08:27:47 PM »

This was one of the few LD entries I played – I was really taken by the aesthetic. Glad to see you're taking it further! Definitely following.
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@darionmccoy
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2016, 08:55:57 AM »

That's pretty good maruki! Maybe a little low contrast.

Notababyelephant, thank you! I'm glad you liked it :D I have a lot of ideas for it
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nnyei
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2016, 09:05:46 AM »

It's really nice to see that this LD entry is going to be made into a full-fledged game! I'll be following. Smiley
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torcado
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2016, 10:52:45 AM »

woo things look pretty now



(and a smaller gif if the other one doesn't work)


Here's the full tileset (with some example terrain)


I also reworked the movement and such. Things are a lot more polished, the bird is a bit floatier and slower.
I also fixed a shader issue that caused a black screen for some people, that was fun to debug.

Next I will probably move onto the overworld tileset (I already remade a lot of it a while ago) and mess around with the colors up there (though the yellow one from a previous post does look pretty dang good).
Thanks everyone for the nice words! I'm glad you all like it
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foofter
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2016, 11:10:20 AM »

The aesthetic is really nice, and the bird grabbing and carrying the candle is cute and a nice touch. Really nice trixel-light-fading effect! Great for a jam game, too.  Hand Thumbs Up Left
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torcado
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2016, 05:20:37 PM »

Thank you! Yea that was just a dumb idea to test movable lights. It's pretty silly, maybe I'll find a real use for it for the game, but moving lights will definitely be a thing. Just probably not in the form of a skantern haha
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ashtonmorris
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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2016, 06:26:47 PM »

Great astethetic and LD entry. Also It has a great name. Love it!
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hyperduck
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2016, 01:52:16 AM »

TIG tells me I commented on this a while back, but I can't see it. Either way, this is really beautiful to look at, and I love the magical stuff that comes out of LD.
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torcado
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2016, 08:27:26 AM »

Hm interesting, I don't recognize you from here. But I'm glad it brought you to a devlog you find interesting!
Thanks for the kind words :D
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