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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogs✨Anodyne 2: Return to Dust✨
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archgame
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« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2018, 11:18:42 AM »

It's nice seeing some behind the scenes level design and hear your process. Did you have to iterate the level a lot or was it a bull's eye on the first shot? That's too bad about Unity terrain.

The 2D game looks a lot more vibrant than the 3D environment, is this on purpose? Are they supposed to be juxtaposed in a particular way?

Looking forward to the demo!
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« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2018, 04:01:01 PM »

It's nice seeing some behind the scenes level design and hear your process. Did you have to iterate the level a lot or was it a bull's eye on the first shot? That's too bad about Unity terrain.

The 2D game looks a lot more vibrant than the 3D environment, is this on purpose? Are they supposed to be juxtaposed in a particular way?

Looking forward to the demo!

Thanks!

The area's needs were planned on paper first, then I made a rough Unity Terrain placeholder (not shown). The design needs changed a bit so we shrunk that first area into what I showed, and after I greyboxed it, Marina went over it in ProBuilder to make the geometry more detailed before texturing and decorating it.

So most of the changes were done before I showed anything here, then it took me like 30-60 minutes to get to the first ProBuilder sketch, which ended up basically being final for the layout. So I'd say knowing the needs of the area is most important before any final 3D modeling starts.

An interesting thing on Terrain is that Marina ended up integrating it for the beach part of the area, which works quite well.

The vibrancy is partly because that 2D area is relatively cheery compared to the rest of the game.  The 3D does tend to look a bit fuzzier overall though. but for example this 3D area (the finished version of what I was showing previously) the colors are pretty vibrant. So it depends the area. But I would say the 2D style will likely be 'cleaner' on average just because of the nature of pixel art, though the 2D area I showed is an extreme example because the ground tiles are a plain fill. Some 2D areas will have more dirt or grass or tile pattern like ground, etc


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« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2018, 02:52:35 AM »

What's New

After the previous devlog, we continued work on the demo. We set up the animations for Nova's character, as previously she only had a idle animation. I also took the time to fix some controls issues.

One of the biggest progresses was we created the intro area and finished the art and layout for it, minus a few cutscene things. I showed it on Twitter, it's called The Albumenium. If you'd like to see an animated version, go here. In the process of creating this, we learned some things about 3D level design as well as the art process for 3D areas. The area plays an important role in the beginning of the story but we'll leave exactly how for the main game!




On the 2D side, I created a few new enemy types for the various Nanoscale areas. As well as some infrastructure simplifications and additions (such as obtaining some key items, and a system for how the game manages a certain resource. Boring, important stuff!)

Some main characters also received 3D models and color blocking.

I also have worked on a bunch more songs for the beginning areas of the game!

Planning

We also made some large simplifications to the content scale of the game. We had planned for this character to appear in the game, but its relation to Nova was a little too complex for Anodyne 2, so Marina came up with a way to simplify it out of the game. As a result, the game has less levels and cutscenes and content to create, meaning it's more likely we'll ship the game on time! The game narrative should also be clearer and the gameplay flow smoother as a result. We'll likely explain exactly what it was we did when the game is out, but the general idea was:

    -There was a character who had a complicated relationship to Nova. This character was also related to a certain currency you obtain in the game, codename CG.
    -It was hard to express this relationship in the context of Anodyne 2 without feeling too distracting to the main game or making it feel like the game had 'story bombs' at certain points where too much info was dropped.
    -An alternative we thought of - removing that CG currency and splitting up these story sections and moving them elsewhere in the game - was workable, but likely more confusing to follow, and required planning more things the player was forced to see. This goes against the exploratory free roam feel we wanted in the 3D sections. It also would make the game sort of vague, confusing, while still having lots of cutscenes to pull you out of the main progression of the game... without clearing up that vagueness!
    -This lead to also removing this other gameplay story mechanic, because the removal of the CG stuff meant we didn't need this story mechanic.
    -So now the game still had the character but the role was different. However now this character was basically pointless, so we cut it out.
    -However there was a character development in Nova that needed to be expressed, but we were able to utilize these items you obtain in the game to aid in that development, which is nice to have those items better integrated into the story.

Anodyne on Consoles

The past few days I've been busy with dealing with some stuff for Anodyne on consoles! I cannot speak details, but expect exciting news soon.

Current Goals

    -Continue working on the demo for business reasons. Note that this probably isn't going to be a public demo.
    -We're doing modeling, level design and texturing for another area
    -As well as working on some writing revision and stuff for the story
    -A few short cutscene things
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« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2018, 03:04:25 AM »

I adore the way this game looks, can't wait to give it a shot some day. Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2018, 03:53:03 PM »

Thank you! Glad you're looking forward to it.
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« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2018, 05:54:19 AM »

Howdy fans, and welcome to another update on Anodyne 2: Return to Dust!

Updates

This past month we kept working on our demo. We've been working hard the past months so we'll take it easier in the months to come to avoid burnout. Progress and design style are more confident than when we were early into Even the Ocean, so we think Anodyne 2 development will proceed smoothly to completion.

Development goes faster as you go deeper into it (provided you planned well and are avoiding overscoped/heavy-time-cost things), since you're finding what works for the design and you're able to produce the code or levels or art faster. Anodyne 2 is a little tricky, since it's a minimal open world game with 3D areas that integrate 2D areas inside of them, and so we have to reference other games that get at similar ideas in different manners. This is also tricky because Anodyne 2 is commercial, so with the expected runtime we have to figure out how to keep things engaging over the playtime, whether that be in the literal writing, or storytelling of level designs.

Shadow of the Colossus is a useful reference for us. You travel an open world on a horse and find colossi at key locations. In Anodyne 2, you travel a small open world via car and walking, but find interesting NPCs and locations, which also connect to 2D sections. Breath of the Wild is useful too, from how tiny Shrine levels dot the game's landscapes. Things like, designing 3D locations, or designing 2D levels, are easier to find references for. But it's in the integration of these elements into a coherent game that things can feel challenging.

Specific Updates

Some of the things we worked on were the UI for the 2D sections of the game, which was designed to account for the gameplay area being square, while the computer screen is horizontal.

Games with GameBoy-style art look odd on 16:9 resolutions if the screen is too big and the pixel art too small, which is why we keep to our 160x160 pixel gameplay area. Things feel cozier and more abstract, requiring players to make their own interpretations of visuals, which can be engaging, even moreso than high definition visuals!

On the programming end, stuff was added to make 2D enemies infrastructurally easier to code. Because enemies can be sucked up and shot, or carried off screen, this creates some complications when room enemies need to reset when leaving rooms.

The demo version of the game contains the first couple main areas of the game. These have both 3D and 2D gameplay, and we want to make a couple of 2D levels. So we've done both level design for these levels as well as programming the mechanics for each level. We'll have more to announce about the exact relation of the 2D and 3D levels soon! We also finished adding NPCs and updating dialogue for the Albumenium area's 2D sections mentioned in the previous devlog.

Marina's also been working a  lot on 3D art for the first main area of the game. It's a LOT of art and one of the denser areas in the game. Here's a preview of what you can expect. There's a lot of cool stuff design-wise to explain in terms of how we laid out these 3D levels, but we want to save that discussion for later! We've also been writing a bunch of NPC dialogue for this city area.



Additionally, I made a better Title Screen placeholder and worked on some of the intro cutscenes for the game, as well as fixing some graphical things (like a fake shadow that appears below Nova when jumping in 3D, or handling how the 2D UI scales based on screen size, while preserving the pixel-perfect gameboy-resolution UI.)

Goals

Our high level September goal is to finish the demo! ...Most of this work is on me, so Marina will likely proceed by working on later area's art, design, and writing. I'm also back from a trip to Taiwan and Japan and can focus on work more, though I do begin teaching my Game Music Composition class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago next week.

    Finish some level design of 3D areas for the demo
    Program and arrange the 2D levels needed for the demo
    Create some informatic GIFs or Videos about the relation of 3D and 2D levels!
    Finish music for these areas, and add some sound effects.
    Polish the title screen, pause and save menus, and implement more of the short cutscenes
    Hire some help for marketing

After that, we'll be moving on to working on the rest of the game. It's yet to be seen if we'll release the demo publicly like we did with Anodyne, but who knows!!

Thanks for your support! Please like this post and follow us on Twitter~ https://www.twitter.com/sean_htch
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 06:12:57 AM by Sean Han Tani » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2018, 06:28:53 AM »

This whole project looks super fascinating, I'm always glad when people try to really switch things up for the sequel. Best of luck Hand Thumbs Up Right
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« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2018, 08:08:22 AM »

That is one interesting looking NPC, looking forward to seeing more!
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« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2018, 02:37:37 PM »

Hey fans! We've got a Discord now. Join here! https://discordapp.com/invite/7snxjmj
Also, Anodyne 1 recently came out on PS4 and Xbox. You can buy and play it there now!
PS4 - https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP4352-CUSA05869_00-NNANODYNEGAME0US
Xbox - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/anodyne/bq52cp76239l

(For more major announcements, join our newsletter at https://analgesic.productions/ )



With September out of the way we're about a week away from our demo going out to a few people at first. It's possible we'll do a streamer-only release sometime this month. Stay tuned for footage of that!

The main progress this month was level design. We finished a bunch of 2D areas in the game which will be in the demo. I've only shown bits and pieces of them publicly, like this one from the intro of the game.

Since Anodyne 2 features 2D and 3D sections, we wanted to contextualize the 2D parts of the game as being something 'observable' through a monitor, versus just inside a dark void like Anodyne 1, which was meant to represent more of a contained dream world. The feel of Anodyne 2's 2D sections should be more microscopic and tiny feeling. The computer-esque UI helps convey that. You may notice the health bar returns, as well as a few mysteriously blank sections and a blue bar! What could it be?? Hm..

You might also notice that we are using 8x8 tiles in this image, which has turned out to be a more effective tiling art style for Marina to use.

You can watch gameplay of this area HERE! https://twitter.com/sean_HTCH/status/1043568586860707841

I also released an alternate version of the song: https://soundcloud.com/seagaia/anodyne-2-ost-nanoscale-albumenium-cheerful-mix


You may also have noticed the new sprite for 2D Nova! When Nova shrinks down into 2D worlds, she gets a cute sprite.

With the level design, many of our enemy and NPC design concepts had to be programmed and written. There's not a lot I can show you from that, but we did give a few tastes throughout the month:

- Tongue licking? https://twitter.com/sean_HTCH/status/1046125195105357824

- Floating ruins? https://twitter.com/sean_HTCH/status/1045356363214401536

- A 3D area! https://twitter.com/sean_HTCH/status/1040700317346787328

- A moldy house..? https://twitter.com/even_kei/status/1037388134529548290

- A new way of showing text! https://twitter.com/han_tani/status/1045781860926795778

We still have not revealed exactly how you get from 3D to 2D, but rest assured it's been implemented into the game and we'll be showing it soon!!

We also have a number of cool 2D areas and enemies to display, so stay tuned to my twitter for the latest. https://twitter.com/sean_HTCH


Anyways, back to work - Marina will be showing a *playable* demo of the game at Minnecade this weekend, so if you're around, come check it out!
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« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2018, 09:30:59 AM »

Things are going well! Thought you might all enjoy this:
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« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2018, 12:27:39 PM »

yeah 8x8 tiles are way better at that size. i run into similar trepidation with disliking my gbc-esque stuff scaled up more than 3x, so i like how you get around scaling up the 2d portions too far.

congrats on the console release! are you looking at porting your other games (including this)?

anyway it looks like the jump to 3d is treating you and marina well. im kinda envious but excited at the same time. really looking forward to this. i've been following along on twitter more so than here and i'm bad at words so bye
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« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2018, 11:39:05 PM »

nice project!
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« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2018, 08:46:04 AM »

This looks absolutely rad. Great to see where the 2D stuff has gone but I want more of that beautiful luscious 3D! Huge fan of the PSXesque look you've got. Mostly just commenting to follow Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2018, 06:35:28 AM »

yeah 8x8 tiles are way better at that size. i run into similar trepidation with disliking my gbc-esque stuff scaled up more than 3x, so i like how you get around scaling up the 2d portions too far.

congrats on the console release! are you looking at porting your other games (including this)?

anyway it looks like the jump to 3d is treating you and marina well. im kinda envious but excited at the same time. really looking forward to this. i've been following along on twitter more so than here and i'm bad at words so bye

Thanks! Glad you're looking forward to it! Just played your short house game and I like the low-res art...reminded me of Pokemon Trading Card Game for GBC a little.

3D is tough.. but I think we'll make something okay. And yeah Marina likes the 8x8 a lot more. Actually makes things easier because she doesn't have to plan ahead as much with making tiles that trickily fit everywhere. Even the Ocean is due out sometime next year for the 3 consoles, Anodyne is currently being evaluated for Switch, so we'll see! Anodyne 2 hopefully on all 3, though we gotta find someone to do the port (I'm assuming it's hard/tedious for me to do myself). But that should be easier since Anodyne 2 is Unity.


---

This looks absolutely rad. Great to see where the 2D stuff has gone but I want more of that beautiful luscious 3D! Huge fan of the PSXesque look you've got. Mostly just commenting to follow Smiley

Thank you! There will be more to come, we've just been on 2D for a while but moving back to more 3D this month.
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« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2018, 12:59:37 PM »

some of the 2D spritework really reminds me of the mario & luigi rpg games. looks fantastic so far!
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« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2018, 08:47:22 PM »

this looks really good
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