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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsBlood Moon (working title)
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Author Topic: Blood Moon (working title)  (Read 4677 times)
snackycactus
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« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2017, 08:55:41 AM »

Thanks Pehesse! I wasn't sure if folks would be intersted or not, so that's awesome to hear. I'll try to go more in depth on that sort of thing going forward. :D
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« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2017, 09:02:22 AM »

Thanks Pehesse! I wasn't sure if folks would be intersted or not, so that's awesome to hear. I'll try to go more in depth on that sort of thing going forward. :D

Definitely interested!

In fact, I hope you won't mind if I take cues from some of your techniques? Your guiding camera rails look like just the thing I need! (the ropes, too, actually, though I'm not sure I completely understand how you went about it, so I'm still thinking about how to get them working at all in Construct!)
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snackycactus
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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2017, 09:03:42 AM »

Oh totally! Go for it! If you have any questions on em, I'd be happy to answer.
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Pehesse
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2017, 09:04:58 AM »

Oh totally! Go for it! If you have any questions on em, I'd be happy to answer.

Well, thanks a lot :-D I might need some help with the ropes, though I fear C2 is a pretty different thing - but the underlying logic should still work, hopefully! I'll try it on my own for a while, and if I fail, I'll come back to ask for advice, yours look especially cool :-D
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snackycactus
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« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2017, 09:09:25 AM »

It's possible the way I did ropes wont look as good for your game- since your project is so smooth and hand drawn looking. It may be hard to use the technique I used and make it look natural. ( I specifically was trying to make mine pixel-y looking). Its possible that if your segments are small enough and are rotated it could work though. You may have better luck making chains look realistic because they are already segmented.
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Pehesse
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« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2017, 09:57:48 AM »

It's possible the way I did ropes wont look as good for your game- since your project is so smooth and hand drawn looking. It may be hard to use the technique I used and make it look natural. ( I specifically was trying to make mine pixel-y looking). Its possible that if your segments are small enough and are rotated it could work though. You may have better luck making chains look realistic because they are already segmented.

Hmm, that's true too, and definitely something I'll have to think about. In the context I mean to use them, ropes will make much more sense, so I'll need to find some way to make it work (mostly the weight part - otherwise, just having a straight rope is no trouble!). If all else fails, I'll think about using something else more easily segmented :-D In fact, maybe I can do a segmented rope design...? But now I'm derailing your thread!
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snackycactus
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« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2017, 02:38:32 PM »

Today I've started work on some art and planning. I have a basic plan for 'level 1' of the game (actually level 1 of the prologue).
Here is the sketch for the level:


In the final version of this concept, the player will actually start at the end and pass through the level without anything happening until he reaches the grave at the end, then the level will 'activate' and you'll have to make it back the way you came. For now though, i'm going to just start from the grave and work on the level linearly. (So the level will from right to left, and from top to bottom of the page.) You might also notice that the boss area at the bottom right is lil' nod to the intro scene in Castlevaina III.

The idea is that by attempting to fully complete a level I'll more or less run into everything that has to still get done before the game is playable, and have a more fun time in the process.

Something that I've started to do that's helped my level designs a lot is break up my levels into 'moments'. You can see a few of them outlined in the image with a pencil line under the section of each part of the level. Each of these 'moments' has a specific design purpose, introduces a new mechanic or enemy or has a different feel from the last.

Now that I have a general idea of what I'll need to build, the next thing to do is to get some better art in the game. Normally final sprites could wait, but I really haven't settled on a specific art style yet, so I need to do some experimenting. This usually starts with come concept art to get a color palette, then many many many test tile sets.

Here is a small color test I just finished to try out some color combos for the level. I'd love to hear any feedback anyone has!

« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 03:55:41 PM by snackycactus » Logged

The Armorman
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« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2017, 04:15:13 PM »

displaying at the proper resolution, your Game(s) sprite(s) looks like they will be roughly the same size in proportion to the world around them as "シモン・ベルモンド. Shimon Berumondo" from the vid-con Super Castlevania IV

i enjoy this. this is where i find enjoyment! thank you for making this videogame.
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snackycactus
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« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2017, 04:56:12 PM »

Thanks!
I think there may be a bit more room on the screen because it's widescreen. In general I'm tanking more inspiration from the pre-Symphony of the Night Castlevania games.
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jctwood
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« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2017, 04:56:26 PM »

I really love the purples and thank you for the technical breakdown of the rope, really fascinating! I love the idea of the ball and chain too. You showed two players, would you consider a 4 player mode or is that too much? What are you creating the game in? I'd love to know how you are handling building the actual levels with such small tiles. Excited to see the next update!
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snackycactus
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« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2017, 05:33:16 PM »

Hey jctwood, Thanks!

So it's actually meant as a single player game. For the two-player rope gif, duplicating the player character was just the fastest way to show & test two 'characters' on a rope at once. Normally the other people on the rope besides you would be an enemy. I do actually have ideas for multiplayer components that could be added on to the experience, but for now I'm focusing on the single-player stuff.

I'm making the game in Unity, which may be an unusual choice for 2D, non-physics games like this, but it's a software that I've been wanting to learn and so far have been having a great time with. There is an experimental alpha version of unity with some tile map functionality in it, so I'm using that to place some tiles. I'm not however using collisions from that system- instead I'm drawing all of the tiles as purely cosmetic layers and then adding boxes for my collisions. Anything that's dynamic like ropes, moving platforms, enemies, etc are all also outside of the 'tile' system. In the past I'm made some tile engines that were much more traditional where every element is placed based on the grid, so this is a big departure for me.

As for the small tiles, it feels about the same as working with big ones, just with more work Smiley. I'm currently working on developing the art style more, and something I'm going to be working on is creating groups of 8x8 tiles that function as larger 16x16 tiles and also 24x24 so that the environments feel less repeated. Art tends to be much slower for me than coding/ design so it may be slow going though- we'll see!

Thanks so much for your interest!
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Pixel Noise
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« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2017, 05:26:24 AM »

I love seeing level sketches, etc. I really like the "activation" you've described of walking through the level to reach the grave, and then having to work your way back. That's a great little piece of narrative design.

Already loving that first screenshot - I like the colors. As long as the purples stay dark, like what you'd find in a night sky, I think it looks great. (and the sky behind the grave is my favorite part)
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snackycactus
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« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2017, 08:19:41 AM »

Thanks! It's really not a screenshot technically- just a color test so I have a jumping off point for the tile sets art. The image won't be used in game at all Smiley

I'm going to be working on some tile sets today, so hopefully I'll have something to post on the process this evening or tomorrow. We'll see if the color concept image ended up being helpful (or not)!
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 10:11:06 AM by snackycactus » Logged

snackycactus
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« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2017, 09:35:46 AM »

New tile tests.
The last day or two I've spent working on concepts, art and tile sets, trying to nail down what exactly I do, and don't want to do visually with the tiles in this game. I've made a ton of stuff, and thrown out a ton of stuff and am still not quire sure if I've gotten anywhere.

One decision I need to make is weather I want to put the character on a plane where you can see the surface of the ground, or not. Here's an example of one of the new tile sets in action:


for reference, here's the flatter, front-on perspective of the last test tile set I was using when I added the rope code:


There are advantages to each design, and right now I'm unsure of which is the right direction to move in. The 'angled' view lets me show more of an illustration like environment, but it also attaches anything I put on it to a single 'plane' meaning anything in that space can't have parallax or other scrolling effects on it. In a weird way it does the opposite of it's intended goal- rather than adding perspective by showing perspective, it actually seems to flatten out the space.

It's for this reason that I'm leaning toward the 'straight on' view style. (but with better art hopefully than the image above). One thing I might try is combining the two by putting only a single 8x8 tile above the walkable flat plane to (hopefully) get the best of both worlds.

What do you guys think?
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Pehesse
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« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2017, 11:33:01 AM »

Speaking purely out of personal preference, I like the visible depth more, but you raise an interesting point about it causing a number of separate issues. I don't suppose you can have an additional graphical overlay (still using tiles, but "on top" of the main background tiles) that could help sell a little more depth? Some sort of foliage, resting at different levels on the player's plan that would rustle as they go by?

The "straight" perspective has the merits of being simpler and a closer reference to SNES Castlevania, if you want to play the reference card. The other, slanted one has a slightly different personality, and could help individualize your game, however... I suppose it really depends what you want to focus on more: reference, or singularity?

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« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2017, 11:58:16 AM »

I love the overlapping action you have for the skeletons head. It would be cool if like you could use that animation and the skeleton could like puke stuff out at the player each time the head starts to fall down. That's what I imagine when I look at it.

Plus bingo bango you have an attack without have to animate something new. PLUS, it's an interesting and entertaining idea. 
Cheesy

Oh and dude that scene you have with the cross on the cliff...that's freaking amazing. That's done in pixels? It's feel like a painting!

I'm gonna be following this devlog. I can't wait to see more updates. Keep up the great work!
==============================================================================================

Ricky:Hey, this guys pretty buff. I bet I could take him!

MJ: Rickyyyy! (Hands on hips, tilts head, smirks)

MJ: That's our Ricky. (crowd laughs)

-iris in-
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snackycactus
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« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2017, 04:27:20 PM »

Hey MagicJam, thanks!

@ Pahesse
I think I need to do more tests before I can decide. My goal is to just find a style that'll look the best- for me that trumps all else. I am able to have tiles both in front and behind the player, but I'm more worried bout sacrificing parallax effects.

Next on my to do list is to-do some tests that have 'depth' on the ground but just much less to hopefully hit a middle-ground between these two styles. Since I'd like to do a lot visually with backgrounds and maybe foregrounds, it may also be impossible to tell what looks the best until I've actually finished some background art.
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snackycactus
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« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2017, 04:31:41 PM »

Ok, so I'm super sick of working on tiles so I took some time today to take a fun lil' break to work on another form of visual improvement: some VFX!
I've always been a fan of 2D games and pixel games faking 3D effects- sometimes it can end up feeling sort of hyper-real.

With that in mind, here's a mist effect I just finished:


It tiles & moves my 'mist' segments in a sign wave, while also moving (very slightly) faster in the foreground in relation to the camera moving, to create parallax. I think it looks pretty neat!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 04:52:03 PM by snackycactus » Logged

snackycactus
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« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2017, 08:15:37 PM »

Update: Made the mist effect look a bit cooler!

Below is a gif, but you can't really see the effect well there. I recommend checking out the high quality link below where you can see it WAY better:
High Quality: https://gfycat.com/GleefulLightDeviltasmanian

« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 08:22:08 PM by snackycactus » Logged

Pawl
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« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2017, 07:21:04 PM »

Dang, dude! Making a ton of progress already!! Shocked

I really like the look of the more depthy ground tiles over the flat look.

Keep it up, can't wait to see more. Smiley
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