Friday, April 6, 2012

Tile Sizes

Today was spent playing with tile sizes, as I continue to try and nail down an art style for the game. Although the original graphics were 16px based, I debated using 32px sprites so I could have the characters look the way I was drawing them. This produced a whole slew of problems -- formost among them using 32px tiles completely threw off my scale. I either lost the pixelated look entirely (something I'd like to keep), or my game window had to be HUGE to accommodate the larger graphics scale.

In the end, I decided I wanted to keep the 16px tiles, *and* my 640 by 800 game screen, *and* my 2x zoom. I've grown accustomed to them, and if the settings are good enough for Cave Story, they're good enough for my game. But what about larger entities?

Crocomire. He's big, ugly and mean, but you kind of feel sorry for him.

I still wanted my new, better looking 24px characters. The solution? Something I've been needing to work on anyways - a tile system that can grab different sized tiles. This is essential if I'm going to have bosses (or any characters) that are larger than 16px. One of my favorite parts of Super Metroid is how big most of the bosses are. It gives a great sense of peril and scale, and completely changes how you approach them as enemies. This is not something I want to skip over - sometimes enemies need to be BIG!

With this system in place, I'm currently in the process of re-working my graphics that no longer fit my desired scale - most notably the player sprite. It's a lot of work, but I'm pleased at how things are looking.

Bob is all grows up.

I'll have the graphics for the player done soon. After that comes NPCs!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Here we go. I've made some good progress in the last few weeks, getting several key systems in place. Most of the graphical systems are in place, though not finalized. I can switch levels, create and destroy effects and sprites, and my little guy can even shout at dragons (or bats).
Sprites, Items, Enemies, Text and Meme systems all working well.
I'm getting to the phase where I have enough systems in place that I actually need to start building the game proper, rather than just the systems for the game. Which means I'm delving into the world of game design - something I've never formally studied. The two books I'm working through right now are The Art of Game Design and Rules of Play, as recommended by the always wonderful Extra Credits crew. Pretty different stuff than programming.

Once I work through those books and put together a little more art, I should be ready to get a demo together.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Office Space

The ball is rolling! It's moving slow but has gained momentum this month. My python build of v.0 of the engine is just about as far as I was in Lua before restarting, and I have a music composer and writer on board. Good things. I've also gotten set up with some sweet office space, courtesy of my lovely wife. I'm organized, I'm motivated, and I've got a great start on a platform engine that isn't using a bunch of stuff I don't want to include in a game. Good times.

Office Space: important for getting work done.
Best of all, I've been able to re-arrange my work week to spend a day a week working on game development all day. Almost like a job. Yess! There's enough to do in building a game from scratch that approaching it like a hobby isn't going to work, at least not at producing anything I'll be proud of. I'm taking time out of my week to start approaching game development like it is something I can make money doing. Maybe someday it will be.

Hey Kids! Can you find: Chair, Pillow, Lamp, Desk, Tablet, Machete,
Konoha Headband, Skyrim Banner, and Cat? Have your parents help! 

Game build is at 0.16 - Bob the skeleton jumps bobs and weaves, collides with ground, and even handles running up slopes like a champ. More posts about the game coming soon :)

Oh! Also. Game development! - this is great. I want go there.