Week 10: Designing the level and the Sprite Sheets

I am now putting all the components together to create the game and this includes all the visuals and implementing the codes for it to run. First I will create sprite sheets for all my characters, objects, platforms and background decorations. By doing this, I am able to see the flow of all the sprites movements, check sizing and check if things are in level with each other or off centered. The sprite sheets have been converted to .jpgs so excuse the quality and blurriness. Here are a few examples of my sprite sheets:

meepoo_throw
Trying the throwing mechanic if watermelon weapon is gained (watermelon only gained if player goes back for Baguette at the end of level 1.) This mechanic and sprite won’t be used for level one but will be used to try out code and develop the game.
meepoo_jump
Jumping Sprite For Meepoo

UPDATE: I ended up only using one of the jumping frames instead of all 10 frames (as seen above) because it made the mechanic crash quite often when changing between a jump, walk cycle and idle sprite. It also lagged less with one frame for the action, keeping it simple. I choose to use frame 6 because it had enough visual information to convey a jump.

meepoo_walk
Walk/acceleration (run) cycle

 

chat_meepoo
Meepoo chatting sprite sheet (used in the cut scene at the beginning)
chat_baguette
Baguette chatting sprite sheet (used in the cut scene at the beginning)
floating_platform
Platform sprite sheet
bg_trees
Background platform decor sprite sheet
health_emoticon
Heath Meter emotions sprite sheet

 

My visuals are then all exported and put through game maker. This is where I have to manually size the collisions for the visuals because even though they started out all in the same sized dimensions, sprites that have motion will have changes in placement of hair and body parts which affect the areas for collision.  So I will be checking this mainly after I have a few platforms down with my background.

20170529_131529
Game Level Designs: Concept/ideas

The game level will be as mentioned in the earlier blog posts but now have everything actually mapped out in Gamemaker. I am starting out with putting the sky in and laying down the first few platforms, adding collision and then bringing in Meepoo and Baguette. They both have to be at the start because that is where they meet and tell the story and tell the player how to play. I am also looking into implementing code for fading transitions and text boxes.

UPDATE: So far I have my characters in and moving, they can both blink and Meepoo has a working walk cycle which can accelerate. She can also jump now with one frame change which was a lot easier and straight forward than using 10 frames for one action (as seen above)

I will keep mapping out my game level design and test areas to see if the character can jump high enough to reach floating platforms, collecting inventory etc.


Game review: Pitfall – The Mayan Adventure

How challenging was it to discover the value of the game? The game has a focus on survival when the elements in the Mayan jungle are trying to hurt you. The player has to use wits and tactics to get out of situations and have a strong sense of timing as well. This is shown through using vines to swing across and battling enemies. The adventure starts because you have to go find you father whom gets kidnapped and shows value of family, safety and intelligence. Once you get into the gameplay, the values become pretty obvious and works throughout the story.

Graphics: 9/10

The graphics were impressive for the time and had a lot of details. Especially in the main character sprite where any action he did would have multiple frames to show motion. Such examples would be when he swings from a vine or lands. There isn’t a scene where his motions aren’t lively and this is extremely strong when he fights and jumps to battle the jaguar. At the time, due to technology and storage space, the layout of the background was essentially a large piece that got split and tiled when making the game. So the backgrounds are held up with tiles but the coding is done very well to hide any notion of split pictures/scene. This saved memory and would have been more work but it was done so seamlessly that it doesn’t distract the player and still allow specific areas of this design to be zoomed in on.

Sound: 9/10

The track that starts off the start screen and cut scene already builds an upbeat sound for adventure. Animal sounds were also incorporated into the gameplay as background noise which made the Mayan Jungle so much more lively and active. The enemies you meet also have build ups of sound which makes you have a sense of urgency when fighting them as they charge at you.

Story: 7/10

The story is simple, you have to rescue your father who has been kidnapped in the mysterious and hazardous Mayan jungle. The process for the story to develop is what pulls the game through and strongly emphasizes on how far you would go to save family. While the story isn’t anything new, it is the process for the story to develop which makes it enjoyable.

Controls: 8/10

The controls are responsive and each motion this main character has is visually stunning to watch. Whether jumping, swinging or using a weapon, the characters details make the simple controls much more lively and seem responsive.

Replay Value:9/10

This was a game that had mixed reviews by people but is still a childhood favorite of mine. I recommend this game and believe it has replay value because the beautiful movements and designs really shows the dedication and effort put into it. The story may be basic where you have to go rescue someone but the adventure, the process was exciting and creative.

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