Graphics?

So, the collaboration with that graphics artist didn’t really work out. Back to putting something together myself. In one way, it’s nice to make something where you’ve done absolutely every part of it, but it takes time and, more importantly, might not look as super amazing as it could. ;)
I had a change of mind on how to create the graphics too. While I still want to keep them simple and cute, I decided on a bit of a whim to create 3D-models and render them to get the 2D-art. This of course means that I had to refresh some old modelling skills and learn some new stuff, but I like learning new stuff and I think it’s a skill that’ll be handy in the future as well, so I decided to go for it!
(Now I finally understand why those 3D-artists seemed to have a thing for voodoo dolls… You’ll know what I mean if you’re a 3D-modeller. :P)

I’m using Blender which seems very nice so far and is completely free. :)

  

Above is an early test-render vs the hand drawn design for the main character. Even this early version feels a bit more professional in my opinion. Hand drawn can be charming, but I get the feeling that alot of people would feel that it’s more of a “real” game with the 3D-render version. What do you think? I would appreciate any feedback.

 

You Win!

This is the lovely and very encouraging screen that now meets me every time I play through the currently existing levels. :) It makes me happy.

Since last time, I’ve had the not-so-much-pleasure of hitting bed with flu and fever. Luckily, (or am I being sarcastic now..) last week was supposed to be my week off. :P So, yeah, I guess I at least managed to take a break from my work on the game.. ;)

Now I’m back on track again, and I’ve implemented a system for automatically fitting together a set of graphics bits into walls of arbitrary shapes. It seems to be working pretty well, and without any problems. Ahh, the magic feeling when something just works as it should! I was pleasantly surprised.
Here’s an example of what it looks like in a stage very close to the one I showed a screenshot from last time:

All the walls are marked the same way in the level file, so it’s up to the code to figure out how to display them so that they mold together into cohesive walls. I decided to do it by setting up 15 different pieces that cover half a tile each as in either the left side or the right side of it. (They also cover about a third of extra space above to give a sense of height as they cover part of the player when he walks behind them.) The code will then generate a short text based on in which directions there are other wall-bits of the same type (ie “ud” for connecting walls up and down from the current one) and then look up which piece should be used from a map of strings to integers. (String = piece of text. Integer = whole numbers.)
I hope that explanation made sense even to non-coders. :)

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more updates on the progress!

Website launched!

Finally, the website is ready and launched! No more “coming soon”. ;) Check it out at http://www.superamazing.se/!

The game is moving forward, under the working title of Hotel Blood & Breakfast. (Wouldn’t you wanna give it a visit? Of course you would! That’s what the main character thought too and came to regret..) I wouldn’t go as far as calling the player character a “hero” because you’ll mostly be running from your enemies rather than fighting. The closest you’ll come to fighting is in the final stage where you’ll get to defeat the big boss of this lovely venue. You won’t get to kill him though, cause honestly, I like the antagonist alot more than the protagonist.
Oh, and I’ve got to see some samples from my prospective graphics artist and I loved them! In fact, I loved the sketches so much that I’m willing to let go of more of the graphics making if he has the time and will to take on more! Really looking forward to getting my hands on something I can try in-game too.. ^^ I’ve been working on the basic engine, so I should be able to deliver a desktop version to him that he can play around with before too long. That’s one of the magic things with using libGDX for developing. You can switch between launching a desktop java application and an Android application with just the changing of a few lines of code. (Or more conveniently, link your main code to 2 different small launcher projects.)

Finally, I want to announce that my app What’s Up Wallpaper has had some improvement to its picture-finding methods and should now find more varied and more wallpaper-friendly pictures. :) Please send me feedback if you tried it!
I’ve also added support for Danish after getting my first Danish customer! \o/

Thank you for reading! Please leave a comment. :)

Springtime, gametime!

So.. time to get ready for this spring! :)
My first app was just the start. I wanted to make something that I could finish and publish to get a first taste of coding for Android and see how publishing (and hopefully promoting) your stuff works.
I realize that publishing your app or game is just the start of it. Now I’ve gotta make people see that it’s out there too! And, of course, keep supporting it based on user feedback. :) I’ve come to love the app myself, and I’m not gonna just forget about it. ^^

But it’s also time to plan for this spring. As mentioned in an earlier post, I’m attending a 1-year education that’s focused on making a project happen – from planning to running/managing to evaluation. The education ends in May this year, so my plan is to have a first version of a game ready and published by then. As always when I plan something, the goals tend to get rather grand.. ;) But I’ve tried my best this time to find a balance between wanting to do everything and not wanting to lose 4 months of sleep! (We’ll see how that works out though.. *haha*) At least I’ve been wise enough to add priority levels in my plan, with some goals of what I pretty much *must* finish at certain dates, but with lower prio stuff put into the plan that I can cut if I need a buffer.
I talked to a classmate of mine about this problem, and she confessed to have a bit of the same thing. You want some super amazing goal to keep yourself motivated, but you also don’t want to put yourself off by having a time plan that will inevitably fail at day one. It’s a fine line to walk.

I’ll let you know more about the game in future posts and show some screenies when I’ve come as far as that. :)
Right now, I’m getting the basic stuff started, starting on the game engine, creating a storyboard, and figuring out the format for my levels. I’ve been looking around for a nice graphics engine to use instead of being stubborn and doing everything from scratch, and found a nice project called libGDX which I think looks promising! The community for it seems nice and friendly too. :)

Lastly, I’m very happy that I think I’ve found a potential graphics artist!
The style will probably be a bit like old SNES RPGs – cute and fat little things. I’ll do at least *some* part of it myself because I just can’t resist the temptation, but my timeplan will be alot more realistic with some help. And I totally suck at making backgrounds, so that’s something I’m especially hoping to get some pro-help on!
Hopefully we’ll find a way to make it work for both of us. ^^ If we do, I’ll give you some sneak-peeks of some of his previous arty stuff!

Thanks for reading, and please leave a comment! :)