Firstly, I had a go at using game maker, I had to learn what each tab represented (the rooms, objects etc.) because I haven’t even come close to creating a game that detailed before. I played around with game maker to see what the options were and looked over some recommended tutorials. I even tried to make some sprites and rooms in Gamemaker, however I didn’t like the outcome of it, due to the restricted pixels and small range of tools it had. So after creating some things test code, I decided to use another program for the visuals and export it into Game Maker instead.
I decided to use Gimp to create my visuals because I wanted to try out the program properly. I started off with a development sprite of Meepoo and played around with the options of the brushes, effects and layers. It took a few tries to get the colours, brush settings and overall look right.
When done digitally and coloured, Meepoo’s hair had issues with how colour would be filled in. The strands couldn’t be coloured without the lines confining them and in my character Mood board, it was something I didn’t think about because the hair wasn’t coloured (as seen below).
So this made me change a bit of my design but overall it showed me how I had to adapt to a Game Design’s needs.
So this was my process for the sprites in general: I would have the lines drawn in with a set brush so that all my sprites have consistency in lines. The lines were drawn not in black but a warm toned dark grey because I didn’t want the lines to over power the visuals too much when everything else is pastels and bright. I felt that black looked to heavy and harsh especially up against the backgrounds I tested with.
I also had consistency with my colours because I referenced each sprite back to this development page:
I checked what the colours looked like on other screens as well, to see how it would be presented and this was important encase any colours were too bright or dark and distracted the eyes. The colours were on another layer so that I could make changes and not interfere with my lines and vice versa:
The concepts were so varied in the enemies, so I had to apply the designs to a digital format to really see which one I liked and which one worked.
This was also a opportunity to have a play with colours to see what complimented the setting and characters. I also had the characters mechanics designed in the same file to see how it’d look when animated. As you can see, there are a lot of layers to go through so making groups were essential.
I also looked over references for creating sprites to see how they moved, interacted and how much detail would be needed.
Games I reference from include, Kirby Dream Land 3, Super Mario World/Yoshi Island
and Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure respectively. Each game had elements that I found really interesting or creative, which drew me into the gameplay and sprites. I made choices that worked for my game as a result, after reviewing other successful games. The size of the sprites, use of parallax scrolling, whether Meepoo enters or leaves the stage and other mechanics were just some of the aspects that I looked into from other 2D platformers.
Game Review: Against All Odds (Developed by UNHCR)
This game is heartbreaking because it showcases a global refugee’s experience. It goes from leaving their country of origins to starting a new life at a new unfamiliar place.
How challenging was it to discover the value of the game? As you play through the 12 stages, you are in the role of a refugee. It has a creative game play which aims at younger audiences such as early teens. It is effective to allow them to develop ideas about these social issues and bring forth serious questions regarding morality and treatment of refugees. The value therefore wasn’t difficult to discover and very straightforward. From my experiences, it is user friendly and not confusing.
The graphics are interesting, the style is focused on colour blocking and shading. It gives some dimension to the characters and make the ideas of contrasting views more prominent. The use of silhouettes to invoke an idea/character/scene fits in with the ominous surroundings and dark mood.
The sound effects are great and emphasis specific parts of the game,whether collecting or spinning right through the zones.
The story really makes you think about what it’s actually based on. It’s an issue that does have relevance and impact on our world whether we acknowledge it or not. It brings to light these issues through a game making it appear and seen by a wilder audience.
There are smooth controls making the mouse pointer flow along side the story and camera view. It isn’t laggy which makes it a pleasant experience and there are also obvious highlighting around objects, places, buildings to contrast against the dark tones in visuals. This makes its important to the player to know if the game is responsive in selection and gameplay.
I defiantly recommend this game and believe it has replay value because it highlights a issue through a format that is different and interesting.