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August 24, 2019, 07:42:57 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsMoonflight - pixel art spook-em-up & witch dating sim
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Author Topic: Moonflight - pixel art spook-em-up & witch dating sim  (Read 652 times)
qkjosh
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« on: August 10, 2019, 09:48:41 AM »


Moonflight is a spook-em-up game set in a world of magic and mystery. Travel far across the ocean in search of the legendary witch, Baba Yaga. Become her apprentice and spend the summer gathering magic plants, tending to your greenhouse, and brewing potions. In your free time, get to know other witches living on the island, take them on dates, and watch your relationships grow!

I’m @qkjosh, the lead developer of Moonflight. I’ve been working on this game with @AlcopopStar, the game’s pixel artist, and a small team, for the past two years. As we’re getting closer to completing development, I wanted to open up more about the process with a dev log! I’ll try and post updates every so often when I have something to share, but I’m also open to questions about any of the tech or design decisions.


Bel is a witch in her final year of studies at The Academy. Fascinated by myths and legends from a young age, she convinces her childhood friend, Chime, to spend their last summer vacation together searching for the fabled witch, Baba Yaga. The two travel to Bel’s family cottage, far in the Northern Isles, and begin their search. When Bel manages to find the Baba Yaga, she is enthralled by the witch’s knowledge of forgotten magic and plants. Baba Yaga begrudgingly takes Bel on as her apprentice, yet Bel may learn more about the island’s secret than she bargained for.



Illustrations by Lana Jay



Dev Log
« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 12:31:48 PM by qkjosh » Logged
Keops
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2019, 12:27:40 PM »

This is my jam! So following this.

I dig the 2-bit palette and the character designs are extremely lovely! I LOVE Lilia.

Good luck with your project, I'll keep an eye on it!
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QOG
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2019, 12:15:13 PM »

Digging the art style as well, posting to follow.
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ClickPad
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2019, 12:23:35 PM »

That artstyle is just fantastic  Kiss
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qkjosh
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2019, 12:29:40 PM »

I dig the 2-bit palette and the character designs are extremely lovely! I LOVE Lilia.
Thank you! The palette limitations give it a strong aesthetic, but it's also fun being able to do all kinds of palette swap effects. I get to pretend that I'm developing for older hardware, haha.

I thought I would kick off the dev blog with a look at some of the special effects used in the game. I had done a short thread on Twitter previously, but I wanted to organize my thoughts and use some better gifs. Anyone who has played Yoshi's Island most likely remembers the stage, Touch Fuzzy Get Dizzy. I've always loved the weird, distorted effect used in that level, and I wanted to recreate it for Moonflight.

For my first attempt, I decided to send the camera output to a render texture, apply it to a mesh, and then distort the mesh.



I used a quad with a generous amount of subdivisions so that I could move the vertices to make it look wavy. Here's how that turned out. The effect was okay, except there were obvious issues with the UI and black empty background on the edges.



I was just working on memory of what the effect looked like in Yoshi's Island up to this point, so I decided to take a closer look and break down the effect step-by-step. I was surprised to find out that, first of all, the wavy effect only applied to the background layers. All character and enemy sprites, as well as the UI, were on separate layers and remained untouched by the effect. This makes sense, as you would want the important sprites on screen to remain readable (there are probably also hardware-related reasons). Second, the ground moves up and down, in a pattern that's different from the background distortion. I'm guessing they just split the ground into 8px-wide columns and shifted them up and down in a sine pattern - but ultimately this was irrelevant for Moonflight, as there is no solid ground when you're flying!



I created a secondary camera whose only job was to capture the background layer in the scene, then wrote some screen effect shaders. One is a pixelation effect, that changes the scale of the pixels. In the above gif, I've slowed it down when this effect kicks in - right after touching a fuzzy, there's a short blurring effect that fades out into the distortion effect. The other shader is a simple distortion shader that just warps the screen in a wavy pattern.



The end result turned out like this:



Overall, I'm pretty happy with how it looks!
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Keops
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2019, 01:11:31 PM »

This is AMAZING

DAY ONE
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c023-DeV
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2019, 11:59:38 AM »

Yep, dizzy  Smiley
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qkjosh
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2019, 07:13:37 PM »

Mini mid-week update, testing out a new "shooting star" spell!

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Rarykos
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2019, 12:00:27 AM »

Oooh this looks real nice! Shocked
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 09:14:13 AM »

this looks lovely !!  Wizard
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