Week 7: Game Maker, Backgrounds and Platforms

The background elements are coming along together with the style pretty well. It took a few sketches to decide whether I liked the design as a contentious piece of land that uses tiles to build (repetition of blocks but can assembled in game maker) or have a large layout designed, (reference to the 2D platform Lion King Game) where it is essentially a giant map. Making it a large layout would allow me to split it into titles (reference to how the Pitfall backgrounds are seamless but tiled) and allow specific areas of this design to be zoomed in on. This will mean that when following Meepoo across the adventure, the whole image would already be loaded or have individual parts of land (reference to Kirby) where sections are made and designed instead of a block or tile. There would be more detail this way and I would have a larger chunk that I could still assemble like bricks.

Background Map Design and object notes

I am leaning towards the full on map design (reference to the 2D platform Lion King game) because I just like designing/drawing the whole image first so i know the layout of the game and where Meepoo would go. Also in terms of art style, it’d be easier to shade the entire piece/colour at once instead of little chucks or segments for me personally. It brings out the mood and theme of my game for me more and therefore i prefer doing the background this way.

Platform mapping ideas

UPDATE: I changed my mind about having a full on map design because after some testing and research, I found that it was lot more extra work and harder for me to make collisions. This was because it is dependent on each individual design of the integrated platforms.So pre-made collisions would not fit for another platform and each one would have to be done again. Using platforms separately means the collisions stays the same and is reusable, which in the long run can save time and be more versatile.

UPDATE:I decided to not use a water colour theme for my game (as mentioned in an earlier blog) because while developing it, I found that it was more work and time consuming. The main issue was that multiple layers of watercolor pieces were needed for the multiple objects and the background details(trees, stone walls) in the game. I also found that I wanted to have pixel art incorporated into my game. This was because I really liked that nostalgic look from pixel art and how shading is just dependent on creative layering. Mixing pixel art with my transparency edge based characters and designs created a slightly different look, which I quite liked.

My platforms will now be created using pixel art style and sizing. From a distance (when zoomed out) I found that the harsh edges from the style actually looked quite nice against my background. If you look closely, you can tell that the stone elements have the softer edges (grey blocks) and the platforms have stronger edges.

Mockup of background and platforms: Testing design, colour palette and style.

Game review: Kirby Dream Land 3

How challenging was it to discover the value of the game? I found that while being an adorable game, the game manages to put in their values from the start. You meet new friends along the way and have them accompany you across the adventure. You help them out and they return the favor and help protect you (as Kirby). The characters take turns with who is carrying who so they are dependent on each other. Examples of this include characters with no legs that need Kirby to take them around but they also fight off the enemies for Kirby. There is a strong emphasis on the values of relationships, friendships and balance, which is very nice.

Graphics: 8/10

This pixel art based game was a great reference for looking at creative designs. It had an enjoyable and cheerful atmosphere which really brings up the player’s mood. The sprites were adorable and had movements really nice movements due to the amount frames they drew for each motion.  Each character had a decent amount of frames, just for walking or the idle sprites to really push the motion.

Sound: 9/10

The music is so upbeat and has a strong 8bit game feel to it. The music also changes according to where you are in the game so the music isn’t as repetitive and you get a chance to hear something else. The sound effects puts emphasis on the motions, actions and make the game play really lively.

Story: 8/10

The story is also another adventure where you want to help the character get to their goal. There is also a start cut scene which introduces the characters briefly, Kirby interacting with them and the story in a picture format. Interestingly, it isn’t that long but you know the basics for your challenge which is enough. The story uses friendship and balance a lot so that you get to meet new characters and have them help you , while you return the favor.

Controls: 8/10

The controls are responsive and doesn’t lag, it also has a smooth flow from the mechanics too. It is really easy to figure out the basic controls and how to navigate in the game.

Replay Value:9/10

I defiantly recommend this game because it gives off such a charming mood when playing it. You can’t help but hum along to help Kirby and his friends and the cute aspect really helps. Overall the designs are excellent and so is the experience.


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