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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogs◣◢ Meawja — An 8-bit ninja adventure of a black cat!
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Author Topic: ◣◢ Meawja — An 8-bit ninja adventure of a black cat!  (Read 3634 times)
GabZero
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« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2017, 10:27:17 am »

Meawja! I don't usually go for cats, but I like the name and I LOVE the luscious smooth animations, especially on the big boss monsters.  Gentleman

Whoa, haha thank you! I'm happy you like the animations, I always loved animation since I was a kid, and this project was my first serious approach to it. The first ones were really clumsy, it's crazy to see who much we can evolve with practice.


Player character's sprite looks great, and a bit like Zool for the Amiga.

Haha, I just googled it and you're right, the eyes does remember the hero a little bit. And it's a ninja as well, haha. Never heard of this character before, thanks for showing me.
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GabZero
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« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2017, 04:12:41 pm »

Mini-log #07 - Stage 05 new enemy + some gameplay gifs  [oct/04/17]

I had some problems with my internet connection, but there are the updates. I worked on the last enemy from Stage 05, called Moss. Is a weird plant who looks weak, but it has deadly roots. Once the player enters Moss's range, it will attack from below with spiked roots. I played with some colors as always, then decided for the blue one due to better contrast.



 

With this, all enemies from Stage 05 are complete. Next, I will create a simple hazard and add life to the scenario. After that, I'll work on the last tileset.

Some gameplay of those enemies. Moss is not yet in-game, will work on that later:



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GabZero
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« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2017, 11:14:58 pm »

Mini-log #08 - Creating the Shock-vines  [oct/05/17]

For the second part of Stage 05, there's a hazard we call Shock-vines. Basically, they are vines that will not harm you unless you touch them when they're giving an electric shock. It would be complicated to create an animation for this and just duplicate it dozens of times through the map. Could be done, but it would take lots of hours and also, processing more than 100 tiles animation could be problematic (probably not due to be really small files, but still, we wanted to make it easier). As you can see below, there's lots of blocks for those vines:



And that's just a small part of it. So I found a simple solution:

> Created 3 tiles of those vines (top, mid, bottom);
> Made one variation of those tiles but with extra-light for the "shock" effect. I still have to test in-game but 2 frames looks enough;
> In a new layer on Tiled (using the same file with the base tile for this map), I positioned all the vine tiles where they should be;
> Duplicated the layer and replaced all those vines with the variation perfectly in the same place;
> Now I have 3 layers: Base tile, Vines and Shock Vines;
> I export the base tile without any vines, and each vine layer without any tile around and transparent bg. So the vine image looks something like this:


(used blue just for better view but the BG is transparent)

By exporting after hiding the base tile and using the same Tile file, I guarantee that the 2 vine images are exactly the same size of the base tile and positioned perfectly, so there's no need to lose any time finding the right place for it on the map. All the programmer have to do now is create an animation with those 2 images .

 The final result for the vine shock animation is two png images of 14 and 16kb. All this took me around 1 hour, I'm sure it would be way more if we had to manually include every frame of animation or try to create chunks to fit properly in each necessary area. I'll do some testing when I wake up and post the results.
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GabZero
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« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2017, 07:54:03 pm »

Mini-log #09 - "Moss" enemy working, temple tileset on the way  [oct/12/17]

Whoa, took a while to post here but we've been working hard on the project, just got a few personal problems on the way.

We made some adjustments on the level design, but most importantly added some changes to the enemies. "Shaky" now shots spikes if killed with fire, and "Moss" defends itself against shurikens, meaning you can only kill it with the sword. It was an update from 2 days ago, sorry for not posting.

Here's "Moss" in action:



It's an enemy that summon roots with spikes, the places are always the same so the player can prevent it just by observing a few times. Still, you need to be careful because those roots can appear from anywhere.

Also, I'm working hard on the temple tileset. It's the third part of Stage 5, filled with traps and I'm thinking in add some water elements (no swimming, just for decoration). Here's the preview:



Still missing some details and background, but that's the main idea. Inspired by aztec/mayan temples, this will be the stage for the last boss. The image above is just me testing the tileset to see if there's any problem with continuity, it's not an actual part of the playable map.

EDIT:

Updated some details on the tileset:

« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 10:58:21 am by GabZero » Logged

GabZero
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« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2017, 07:10:35 pm »

Mini-log #10 - Water gate, light source and BG complete  [oct/14/17]

Stage 5 tileset is complete. Made all variations, extras and backgrounds. All that's left is the puzzles for the temple area


(Not in-game footage)
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GabZero
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« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2017, 04:55:21 pm »

Mini-log #11 - Hidden Swamp design process + Discord Server [oct/29/17]

Greetings, ninjas!

Sorry for taking so long to post something, I've been through some personal problems lately, I had to deal with a lot of stress for a while. Still, things are better now so I'm back to the development. There's not much I worked on these days thanks to those problems, but I've prepared some sketches to show the development process of the 5th stage: Hidden Swamp.

But... First things first: we now have a Discord server! So if you want to talk with us devs or other fans, feel free to join! Just access this link or click the image below:




Now back to the game dev!

Before I started working on the tileset and background, I googled some references from swamps, plants, mushrooms, trees, etc. I spent around 2 hours researching and paying attention to the details and trying to understand what made a swamp look like a swamp. The sketches below are those studies, nothing too original, just grabbing some ideas together. (Click the images for high-def version)




There where actually way more sketches so I could decide that gate design, but I could not find it (artists will know the struggle). I strongly based the temple on Aztec and Mayan architecture. Final result: https://i.imgur.com/dV1nCPd.png




The enemies had to be plant-like, only 1 flying enemy where planned to be some kind of insect. These are some sketches and, as you can imagine, we had to choose only some of them for the game. The reason is simple: we could not have that many enemies and some only did similar things. We wanted something versatile.






If you lost some dev logs, there are the links so you can see the final result of the sketches above:

• Shaky hazard: https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=62553.msg1355406#msg1355406
• Whipper enemy: https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=62553.msg1355751#msg1355751
• Spitter enemy: https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=62553.msg1356123#msg1356123
• Wanderer enemy: https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=62553.msg1356457#msg1356457
• Moss enemy: https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=62553.msg1357090#msg1357090
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GabZero
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« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2017, 05:47:51 am »

New article posted on IndieDB.

It's a resume of the most recent mini-logs regarding the 5th stage: The Hidden Swamp:

http://www.indiedb.com/games/meawja/news/dev-log-10-the-hidden-swamp
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« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2017, 05:42:30 am »

Mini-log #12 - Stage Clear arts complete [nov/14/17]

I've been creating the arts that will appear once you complete each level. The idea of it is showing the Hero entering the next level, a "transition" art. The original idea was to add a Password system and the password would show up on the Stage Clear screen, but we decided to add a save system instead. Still, we wanted to keep the arts, you can check them below. All of them are saying "Stage Clear" on the 4 available languages: Russian, English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.












Now we're moving to develop the final boss!
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GabZero
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« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2017, 05:03:49 pm »

Mini-log #13 - Added Bestiary, Gallery and Collectibles [Nov/19/17]

Greetings!

We've recently added a save system and, with that, we decided to add extra features as well. This came after thinking about once the players finish the game, how we will reward them (beyond achievements) and what can be unlocked to make it interesting for them to play again. Back in the NES era, those unlockables where really fun and somehow extended the gameplay. So... why not? We already included 3 game modes: Normal, Hardcore and Master. The main difference between them is the number of health points available.

For now, these are the new features:

• Bestiary: a simple room where you can see all the creatures from the game (we're still deciding if we'll add some information from each one). To unlock it, you'll need to finish the game in Normal mode.




• Gallery: to unlock it, you'll have to find all Meawja Coins scattered through the game (more about it below). It's a collection of 16 concept art pages.




• Meawja Coins: Those are collectibles we decided to add, inspired by Megaman 5. They will be kinda simple to find but you'll have to look for them.




We tested those features and it makes the game more interesting, then make you have some extra motivation to explore the map and look behind some rocks.

There's still a discussion about adding one last feature, some kind of book with quick character biography. The idea is to add some collectible in-game like coins or jewels, and the player can use it to "buy" every book page. There will be not many pages, and this is purely optional. Like the other features, if you like the game enough, it's an interesting extra to catch.

If you have any suggestion or feedback, let us know.
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« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2017, 09:58:00 pm »

Mini-log #14 - Added treasure chests and gems [Nov/23/17]

Greetings, ninjas!

These days we've been working and deciding more about the Extras, and we made some changes. Like we mentioned in the last mini-log, we decided to add some collectibles, and besides the Meawja Coins, we included a currency: gems. At first, those where meant to be used only to unlock each character file on the Archives, but the thing is: this game has only 7 characters, what would result in a really short list to complete. So we decided that the Bestiary should be unlocked with the gems as well, what takes us to the first change:


• Bestiary Rework



Originally, the Bestiary was supposed to be a room where the player could walk and see all the game beasts. It sounded good at the start, but during the development process, we found many problems with the idea. In theory sounded nice and charming, but in practice, it was troublesome and not that interesting. We could not fit the creature's description in a reasonable way and the player had to walk to navigate. This just to name 1 issue.

Now, the Bestiary is a menu where you can easily navigate between all the creatures. To unlock the access you still have to finish the game in Normal mode, but each creature info must be unlocked using the gems you collected. We're planning that 1 playthrough will be enough to unlock a good number of beasts, but since the gem drop is somewhat randomized, it depends on the player's luck.


• Gems

Personally, I find more interesting to find gems than coins as a treasure. Somehow it looks more valuable. Thinking that way, we decided to use gems as the currency. They will only be used to unlock extras, but still, it's something that makes the player feel more rewarded. Also, just like the Meawja Coins, those gems are a good incentive to exploring. At first, we didn't want to use the classic treasure chest to hold them, but after 2 and 1/2 hour trying to create some kind of gem deposit, I gave up. The idea was similar to Hollow Knight where you hit a rock and the currency fell from it, gameplay-wise it's amazing because you feel good doing it. But again, in practice, it was a mess for our game. We tried to use vases as well, but... yeah, treasure chests won again.

There will be small and big chests, sometimes the big one will be floating inside a bubble and you need to burst it to get your precious reward.




"It's raining money!"

Some other way to find gems is by killing enemies (small change) and something borrowed from Wonder Boy: invisible spots. Jump on the right spot to reveal a hidden coin.


That's all for now! C&C are welcome!
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GabZero
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« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2017, 12:38:11 am »

Mini-log #15 - Gems updated + Logo Rework [Nov/24/17]

Greetings, ninjas!

First of all, the Main Theme is now available on Youtube!






We worked on some small updates on the gems, trying to make them look more interesting. I believe it's way better now compared to the previous version.




Also, the title screen will be updated as well, but first we had to remake the logo. It was some of the firsts pixel art I ever made so it obviously needed an update. The new title screen will now feature a simple background according to the stage you last saved your game. An example: if your last save is in Crimson Woods, then your title screen will feature this stage background. Just a small detail we'd love to add.




The new logo took around 4 hours to fully remake and animate, so that's all I worked on today at dawn.

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bombjack
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« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2017, 07:39:21 am »

The OST is great and I like the art very much too. Good job.
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« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2017, 08:27:35 am »

The OST is great and I like the art very much too. Good job.

Thank you!
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GabZero
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« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2017, 02:30:54 pm »

Mini-log #16 - Market and Main Menu Background [Dec/04/17]

Greetings, ninjas!

These days we added a new feature: the Market. There you'll be able to buy not just the extras we mentioned before (bestiary pages and character files), but also some passive skills to help you through a new game. One of them is the Super Cat Eyes, making easier to find secrets and hidden gems. The market will be available once you finish the game the first time so it can make replay more interesting and, also, help you with the new difficulty that will be unlocked: Hardcore Mode.

Market prototype:


Final design:



The first row includes the skills I mentioned, the second row has all bestiary catalogs and the final row, the characters. When you first unlock the bestiary, the stage 1 catalog will already be unlocked. The same with the character files: there will be already the hero file and another character you'll meet. Oh, and the empty space on the lower left area is for the market vendor: a happy fat cat called Pepe.

And speaking about it, the bestiary is already finished and it looks like that:






Also, we're developing the background from the Title screen. As promised, the bg will change based on your last save. Here's the one that will appear if you saved on the second stage:


(click for bigger version)

Our goal this week is to finish all these backgrounds (3 left) and the design of the character catalog.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 02:51:04 pm by GabZero » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2017, 05:32:25 pm »

Aww yis.  This looks great.  Loving some of the character designs.
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GabZero
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« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2017, 05:38:53 pm »

Aww yis.  This looks great.  Loving some of the character designs.

Thank you! You can check more of the artist's work on her fb page: https://www.facebook.com/gabriannemd/
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GabZero
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« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2017, 11:55:24 pm »

Mini-log #17 - Menu Backgrounds + Archives [Dec/08/17]

Greetings, ninjas!

These days we focused the development on the background arts for the main menu, what needs a good time to be made. These arts are more complex and still includes some discrete animation to make it more interesting. Also, there's all the design study before working on the definitive art, not to mention having to decide colors on a really limited color palette (we use the original NES palette). Some of the final arts conflicts a bit with the logo, but still, I'm satisfied with the result. At this time, there are 5 from 6 background arts that are complete.

Coyote Hideout menu background sketch:


And the final result:



Today I also worked on the Archives design. Still a WIP, but it will basically be a book with a character art on the left and the description on the right.




We're working hard on the extra content for Meawja, looking to make it fun and have a good replayability! Any feedback is welcome.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 12:09:37 am by GabZero » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2017, 11:12:23 pm »

[SPOILERS] Mini-log #18 - All backgrounds complete + Boss preview [Dec/10/17]

Greetings, ninjas!

I finally finished all the backgrounds for the Main Menu. There are 6 in total that, like promised, will change according to your last save. I'll not post all of the backgrounds because some of them will need a small rework that I'll do tomorrow, but that's the 6th background work:

Sketch:


Final:




From now on, I'll mark the following mini-logs with the SPOILER tag because it will be mostly about the last boss and some of the game lore. Always read at your own risk! For that reason, I'll post links to the images (if any) instead of the actual image. I know this could sound a bit of a stretch, but I would like to make the last boss (and the lore) a surprise. At the same time, I really need to post these mini-logs regularly, mostly for self-motivation reasons. Hope you understand.

This is the first sketch of the last boss, Kwanza: https://i.imgur.com/pWoiS8Y.jpg

I'll still work, a lot, on his design so it results in an interesting-looking character. Like a good last boss, it will have 2 forms that will be the definitive challenge. We're still deciding if Kwanza will be inspired by aztec tribes or something more african. The animal used is a wildebeest with some details (like the horns) from the black wildebeest. This week I'll focus on his design, not yet on the mechanics.

The name "Kwanza" means "first" in african.
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GabZero
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« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2017, 08:32:31 pm »

Mini-log #19 - Small updates and fixes [Dec/16/17]

Greetings, ninjas!

This week, instead of working on the boss, we decided to make all the fixes we've been putting on hold all this time. We're doing this because we want the boss to have our full focus and be the last thing to be added and, once it is finished, the game will be as well.

Most of the fixes are small things, like updating some arts, adjusting one or another block and beyond. I'll post a list of those fixes done this week, not all may have images with it.

There we go:

1) A remake of the breakable rocks.
One of the first things I made in the game was 2 rocks that could be broken by the player. The problem is that they became very similar to Shovel Knight rocks for 2 reasons: first, I used that game rocks as a base, and second, we're using the same NES color palette so... all browns and grays are the same. Even after trying different patterns, it's impossible not to compare them with SK ones. I know, a rock being similar to another game is not a big deal, but we'd like to avoid that. So we replaced the ground block for a box and the rock was updated. We had to use the same number of frames so the replacement could be easier.




2) Mario easter egg fix.

3) Modified background pillars on Stage 2: Deep Dungeon. They had black borders and sometimes this was confusing visually:



4) Just a small fix on a platform on Stage 01 to allow the player to come back if he/she misses the jump:



5) On stage 4, The Coyote Hideout, the switches now turn on a green light once it is activated.

6) Nuru, the boss from Stage 1, now look down when walking backward:




That's all for now!
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« Reply #39 on: December 27, 2017, 11:21:24 pm »

Greetings, ninjas!

Sorry for the late update, I got sick for a week and, well, the year is almost over! A late Merry Christmas for everyone, and a Happy New Year!

We've been working hard on what we think is essential for a retro-game: TV filters! Those make classic-inspired games even more charming. We tried to make it for ourselves and after many tries and failures, we decided to buy it from a professional. If there's one thing we learned from game dev is: if you can outsource something, do it. It will cost some money but will save your time and sanity, believe me.

After testing the filters and adjusting it, we ended up choosing 3 simple ones so you can select the one you like the most, or simply remove them. Those are all the variations:



The last one, Distortion, may be a little tricky to notice on an image, but there is an active distortion while you play. You may notice better on the gif:



We're still making minor changes, so the final game may have different versions of the images above.

Tomorrow I'll post the changes we made in the Training Stage.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 11:37:33 pm by GabZero » Logged

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