Hamlet the Video Game: Character Concept Art and Brainstorms

For the Character concepts, I managed to come up with the designs below:

lady b character collage

I went with four designs because I wanted to explore different elements of this character. Different things are taken into consideration for each design.

For example, the first drawing focuses on having an up do that is short but not full bun. This is to show off her more intricate collar design for her cape and dress. I also took inspiration from more medieval hairstyles that included braiding and tied up hair. The cape is reminiscent of superheroes such as Batman and Superman respectively. I found that those super hero designs would have tight fitted clothing with a flowing cape and it made movements have really expressive lines of action. There is also something so cool about having a long over the shoulder cape whether for a villain or hero and I really wanted to capture that in Lady Macbeth’s design.

In the second design, I wanted to give her looser bell sleeves which were popular for Celtic dress designs. It added such a regal appearance that I really liked for a menacing character. I think her sleeves in motion would be really cool but could run into problems for the modelling, so that is something I have to consider. The wrap she has or hoodie (as my group calls it) was a way to cover her hair, which I thought would be easier to model since hair has more collision problems and are finer strands. It was also inspired by medieval wraps that were used for fashion. It seemed that crowns would be placed on top of these wraps for royalty, which I thought was an interesting concept. The ribbon belt was inspired by the belts that a lot of Celtic dress designs had except I made it fall underneath the chest rather than at the hips. I found that balancing the belt with the billowy sleeves made the silhouettes more interesting and put together as well.

The third design focused on having a lot of cloth coverage except it would highlight the neck. The top bun style is more modern but because it is somewhat braided, I think it still works. While we are not going for historically accurate representation, I believe that little details like this would be fun to incorporate.  The dress was for me to try out less constraining clothing where it was looser fitting. I think this would be the hardest design to model because of the loose fabric because the structure would be harder to create and have more collision problems.

The fourth design has Lady Macbeth’s hair down but pulled back. While drawing, I found that her having loose hair would make her look younger and less menacing therefore each design has her hair somewhat tied up/braided. This off the shoulder design worked really well with the bell sleeves and ribbon belt around her waist. This design just incorporated everything else I haven’t tried for the other designs which I ended up quite liking.

For now I think I will just continue editing the drawings and play around with colours. I haven’t gotten any feed back from the group yet but they do know that I’m working on her design.

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Hamlet the Video Game: Gameplay and Ideas

I took a look through some suggested readings to get a better idea of what this brief was about. While we have made a game by ourselves in Semester 1, I think that refreshing these notes about elements of game design and the main principles still help in creating a fresh idea.

In terms of originality, I think that our game seems to focus on the portrayal of Lady Macbeth a lot. It deals with ideas of her having to face ‘demons’ and what she’s willing to do for her ambitions.  It’s a side that has been talked about in relation to Macbeth’s downfall but I think a main focus on her solely in a game play format is extremely interesting. I think our ideas so far do possess elements that haven’t been combined in this particular way. Things like the cracked mirror element to reflect her inner demons and represent the crimes she has done derive from different member’s take on the play.

I found that we often had ideas bounced off of each other and had our own sources for references. This gave each of us some new ideas for our roles. In terms of the art department, I had games suggested to me (such as ‘Alice: Madness Returns’ and ‘Bloodborne’) so I could study atmosphere and character design/models.

I also looked over articles to influence my design process. Things like art styles and going over requirements of the game needed a lot of consideration because it had to conform to the game needs but also be creative. Restrictions such as art style came into play because I had to figure out if it was doable. In terms of our 3D design, our character models had to be made from scratch and reasonable designs for my group members to make.

So far I have been given a lot of freedom to design our main character, Lady Macbeth. My group hasn’t mentioned too many specific requirements besides bringing in some Scottish background to the character because Macbeth is based in Scotland. This made me do more research on Celtic designs, as well as Scotland castles. In my collection of research, I found that the tradition Celtic dress designs were extremely beautiful and elegant which was reasonable for our regal character.

So right now it’s just a matter of me picking up my pen and doing some concepts based on my research.



Game Review: Bloodborne

Bloodborne was one of the first games suggested in the group, to use for our game reference. It contains a lot of dark atmospheric designs , which I definitely wanted to look at for the game art. I like how dark and grim the visuals are, I find that visuals and sound really compliment each other as well. This role playing action video game uses third person perspective really well to get the audience immerse into it’s surroundings.

Graphics: 10/10

The details in the gore is really impressive, the tones morph really well together but we can still see our prominent customized character, highlighted among the chaos. I was most intrigued by the camera movements because it made fight scenes so exciting. We follow behind our main character to fight enemies but the interaction with the camera really follows smoothly. The clothing on the models were also beautifully done, as my character walked or pushed through doors, there was little details like the belt or hood that would move due to gravity.

Sound: 8/10

Sound effects are used to its upmost potential during the boss fights which make the weapons so lively. The music fits well with the game and helps give off that eerie vibe.

Story: 8/10

The story keeps you wanting more, you’re on a quest but bringing in these well crafted enemies was what made it for me. The hunter that we play as, goes through a journey that is somewhat of a bad dream. It’s a lot to take in at first when you’re completely new to the game and it’s history but once immersed in the hunting down monsters and escaping nightmares, you’d be so attached to the narrative.

Controls: 10/10

The controls are responsive and in a way, danced through fighting mechanics. Every flex or dodge was beautifully done to encourage the building tension and the audiences reflexes.

Replay Value:9/10

I recommend this game and believe it has replay value because of the beautiful environments and detailed designs really shows the dedication and effort put into it. The process through the game isn’t incredibly hard to follow, simple things like going to each lamp lets you explore the surroundings very well and keep you on the adventure. It’s also a thought provoking experience which I enjoyed.


Game review: Alice Madness Returns

Alice Madness Returns is also another game we mentioned early on for reference. It had dark elements in the story which we really wanted to convey in our game. The character design for Alice was also something we thought about to reference for Lady Macbeth’s design (dress and style wise).

Graphics: 10/10

The graphics are so distinctive, whether it be for cutscenes or in game play. I found that the cutscenes used a lot more 2d elements in comparison to the 3d perspective in the game. It made a nice contrast to different parts of the game and how the story was told. The 2d drawings were a lot like paper dolls and relied on colour to put emphasis on things such as blood (patterns or splatters). It had a much more animatic based movements to them as well. The 3d models used straight up gore (such as ripped body parts that detach with strings of blood)  or cinematic approaches.

Sound: 9/10

Sound effects definitely add to the build ups of disturbing visuals but also a lightheartedness to the magical segments (where Alice is in Wonderland). A noticeable sound effect caught me by surprise when one of the characters would start deforming (the rabbit for example). It was high pitched and a stretching sound, possibly made with string instruments. When used, it dragged out the process of the distorted visuals so well that it definitely impressed me (building onto the camera angles panning and such).

Story: 9/10

It is a somewhat familiar story since it is based off Alice In Wonderland but it definitely has it’s original twist. It a lot more gore based horror, especially as you get further into the game. Without giving too much away, we learn about our character and her dark past which leads her to this psychedelic wonderland. It also brings up the questions of moral righteousness and whether we side with our main character.

Controls: 9/10

The controls are very smooth and just run well.  Notability, when Alice jumps, she can do these beautifully animated twirls where particle effects are explored.

Replay Value:9/10

It’s a stunning game because the visuals are so stylised to match the tone of the story. The narrative relies on building up an empire for Alice to explore but it establishes more recognizable themes within this to get the audience hooked. A definite winner for those interested in the original book (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) or the multiple popularised Alice in Wonderland films.


Game review: Disney-Pixar Brave: The Video Game

This is a PC based game which I really wanted to review because it was something that I use to play. What made it relevant to this assignment was how the cutscenes were done. I remembered the cutscenes distinctively because of how it used parallax scrolling to convey movement. To tell the story, the colours were a lot more muted and imagery was placed on something similar to a tapestry. This linked to our original idea to have our cutscene in a play book/storybook. I wanted to study this game for this reason and as well as looking at the use of particle effects. Particle effect studies were relevant to me because I wanted to get inspiration for our enemy/demon designs and see how the in game graphics used these effects to drag out spirits or monsters.

Graphics: 8/10

The graphics are what you’d expect from a decent 3d game and it is beautiful atmospherically. A lot of cool tones and warm tones are explored in the levels to make Merida (our main character) stand out while wearing a emerald green dress with bright orange locks. Her character model is distinct with her curly red hair but due to complications and the simplified models, the curls are flat. This is expected though since it meets the needs of the game and rather than the needs of a visual animation. It is the most noticeable in close up shots however, so the scenery can still be appreciated.

Sound: 8/10

Having our reactions of grunts and speech really help bring the character alive. It is especially commendable during the boss fights because the demonic sound effects contrast well with a human voice. The music also on cue, changes for the fighting segments automatically which alerts the player for trouble.

Story: 7/10

The story is similar to the film but with more focus on the demonic side of the narrative. It creates new character (enemies) so that Merida can have more fights but lack the warmth that showcased the mother daughter bond that was heavily emphasised in the film.

Controls: 8/10

The controls are decent, they flow pretty well and she responses decently for a lot of the fighting mechanics (archery aim and attacks).

Replay Value:7/10

This game offers more backstory on some characters that weren’t focused on in the film. It dabbles into darker themes and new enemies are introduced. It has you battle against these creatures who somewhat represent the 4 elements (fire, water, air,earth in my opinion) and leads you through beautiful forests and chilling mountains. Its a game to check out for sure if you’re a fan of the film or just keen on some good old adventure.


Game review: Disney Tangled: the Video Game

This game was also an inspiration for me because of how the cutscenes were done. It was one of those games I have played before which really had a distinctive style in the cutscenes that made it extremely engaging to watch. The flow of it follows along like a painting where layers of imagery would be ‘painted’ in with strokes. I found this as an interesting way to transition shots and highlight important details while still looking active.

Graphics: 8/10

As a PC game, i found this to have a lot of colour combinations and really reminiscent of the lively, exciting tone the film had.  There were a lot more bright colours since they often have a lot of scenery shots outside in sunny weather. I found the cutscenes and the in game footage complimented each other really well surprisingly. While the cutscenes are completely in 2D, the game play itself is in 3D.  I think it complimented each other because the colours are brought through to both parts.

Sound: 8/10

The soundtrack in the back brings back themes from the film which is a nice touch. When fighting enemies, the music would shift in pace and change to a distinctive battle piece to dramatise the sequence.

Story: 8/10

The story is also based on the film, taking in a lot of elements that were not as prominent in there and using it in the game. The further developed characters and story line showcase another view and more in depth perspective for characters which is nice.

Controls: 8/10

The controls are responsive and I found that the fact that they managed to get Rapunzel’s hair usable as a weapon really surprised me. While it did glitch and go through collisions sometimes, it was pretty useful and worked well throughout the game, especially when swinging.

Replay Value:8/10

This game was fun and I would definitely recommend it, even to just to study the visuals and the use of bright vibrant colours.  It is an enjoyable experience for any fan of the film and characters.


Game review: Shadow of the Colossus

This game was something I wanted to play for a while since I’ve heard really good things about the story and the graphics for it’s time. It definitely gave me inspiration for colour palettes and the use of lighting.

Graphics: 8/10

The graphics are beautiful, especially for when it was made. It is really refined and lives up to the quality of games today.  The animation is very impressive and I found myself so struck by the horse movements since the run cycle is so smooth and mesmerizing.   There is a lot of stone in use for the assets textures and environment. This is very helpful to study because the backgrounds aren’t just flat colours. The texturing helps add to the atmosphere and smoky surrounding.

Sound: 8/10

There is a chorus in the soundtrack which really help the dramatic scenes build on emotion. It also uses music for specific scenes like when you beat a Colossus. The same piece would be used in a ending cutscene to make it reminiscent and remind the audience of the two sequences.  It fits the mood and surrounding very well.  It adds to the eerie setting where it is barely populated by humans.

Story: 9/10

The story is very straight forwards at first, you have a quest and the adventure is important to reach the end goal. Complications happen along the way and in the end, it’s not exactly what you expect. I found that by the near end when the goal was reached, I was already too invested into the characters and narrative. that is why it becomes much more of a shock and provokes emotion out of an audience when it doesn’t go according to plan. It’s clever and creative in my opinion.

Controls: 8/10

The controls are fairly simple to use and navigate around. It is only when the narrative calls for it where you have trouble to control. An example would be when the main character is dragged back and the player, when they try or not would still end up with the protagonist dragged into the portal.

Replay Value:8/10

I recommend this game because it stands strong, even to this day. As a game it includes a strong base of narrative and visuals. When being extremely thought provoking, it also under lies some ideas open to interpretation. It is definitely worth the reply to immerse into the story again.


Link reference:

https://gamedevelopment.tutsplus.com/articles/four-elements-of-game-design-1–cms-22720

http://www.paladinstudios.com/2012/08/06/how-to-write-a-good-game-story-and-get-filthy-rich/

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/185676/the_aesthetics_of_game_art_and_.php?print=1

https://www.kotaku.com.au/2015/04/originality-in-video-games-is-overrated/

Hamlet the Video Game: Introduction

“Fair is foul and foul is fair” (Macbeth, I, i)

Good news everyone, we have a new assessment based on the works of Shakespeare. This is actually very exciting for me since I do enjoy a few of his plays and have studied them.

It was nerve racking being placed into groups though and choosing my role definitely freaked me out. It was more because I didn’t know what I could really offer to the group, what assets could I bring to my potential group members and this game? Who knows?

I was alright with trying anything for the challenge aspect but then again, I didn’t want to take on a role that I had no confidence in whatsoever. Since it is a group project, the overall grade will have contributions from every member and I certainly didn’t want to drag my group down.

I went with the role of the Game Artist/Concept Art because I found that I really wanted to draw more recently. Since taking this course, I have had less exposure to practical arts such as painting, so I guess I wanted to take on a role that would allow me to draw more and create more conceptual things. I am also quite new to digital art and I haven’t actually done digital drawings or paintings on a drawing tablet often. The last time I tried drawing digitally was for a personal animatic and the semester 1 assignments (Game Design and Cinematics). My second choice was to do the narrative and/or animation.

Since I went with the Concept Artist role, I got placed into my group accordingly with Abbey, Quinn and Alex. It was a bit awkward at first especially since none of us knew each other very well but we did manage to get some ideas down and do the Marshmallow building challenge to the best of our ability. We ended up not winning but we did get ‘Macbeth’ for our play which I thought was a win.

I personally really liked the play and it happened to be something I studied in high school. So with some previous knowledge about it, I was quite excited about creating a game based off of it.

I found that the theme of having a fatal flaw present and recognized in ourselves, was something that really hit me when I read Macbeth.

” A man of high standard who falls from that high because of a flaw that has affected many.” -Niccolo Machiavelli 1469-1527.

We did have a group chat about what aspects we could focus on for the game and the character of Lady Macbeth definitely stood out to us. It was interesting because she is the side character, the wife of whom the play is named after and has a very dark role.

I was so interested in her character that I remembered one of her quotes to Macbeth to “play the humble host” (3.4.4). The use of words hint that Macbeth needs to essentially ‘play’ a role to fool the opposing forces. One could argue that she was the cause of Macbeth’s downfall or simply a force that pushed Macbeth to unveil his underlying ambition. She was manipulative and just as ambitious as her husband, often making questionable choices and driving Macbeth to pursue unthinkable crimes.  Whether you agree that she is the main villain or just an ambitious but psychopathic woman, it is undeniable that she is a character of interesting qualities.

We decided to go for this point of view for the story because we could explore more dark themes on Lady Macbeth’s side.

We also looked over some games that have a similar themes and atmosphere. Games that gave us some starting points included ‘Dark Souls III’ and ‘Alice Madness Returns’. My group wanted a very dark and morbid storyline which was exciting.

I guess it’s just a matter of continuously pumping out ideas right now and thinking of ways we can make it based of Shakespeare but not just retell the story.

Week 13: Final Game and Trailer

Final Game Trailer Link: https://youtu.be/dz1hrT6t7K0

Final Game:  https://shifujontron.itch.io/meepoos-adventures/download/OgSm_JrPrBLwjDHvBQHZC9oVIdSeFPPv8w3XUaXl

 

Instructions for playing the game:

At the Start Screen, left-click the “Start” button. During the introduction cutscene, press the space bar to advance dialogue. Within the level, the heads-up-display (HUD) consists of a life/health meter on the left, a flower counter in the middle and a vase piece counter on the right. Use the left and right arrow keys to make Meepoo walk in the respective directions. To run, hold down either “Shift” key while walking to make her run. To jump, press the space bar.

Credits:

Reference code by Shaun Spalding

 

 

 

 

Week 12: Sound Design and Finalizing my work

The last task is to add sound to my game. I have to create a little theme that fits my story and style. I’m going for a lighthearted theme, maybe even a bit inspired by 8bit game tunes. The music has to loop throughout the game and probably be used in the trailer, so it is important that it fits and has a pleasant charm. I’m planning to have instruments that have a certain ring to them, to bring out a soft and happy feeling. Perhaps bells or chimes will be used but this will be mainly just me experimenting to compose something. There may be a few sound effects but this will be dependent on time and how much I want emphasize certain segments.

UPDATES: The sound will be heard in my game so if you have a listen, it could be worth while. I used the program, MidiEditor to create my pieces. The start screen theme will have piano, bass, bells and snare drums. The Main theme will have strings, music box and xylophones running through the piece.

Finalizing my Work

This will be my last post to update my workflow and ideas. The final post will have the link to the game trailer and the game linked.

My final week will consist of more bug fixes and a lot more play testing. Going through the game with another person really showcases how straight forward your game is and whether playing the game is worth playing. I found through my play testers that a few parts for the mechanics were confusing, therefore I took their feedback and made some changes. Some examples of this would be moving the floating platforms so that the course would flow better. So I am still working on the code to improve it constantly and playing through it to see if the new music works with it.

I have also created a 1 minute trailer for my game that will be posted on youtube and linked in the Week 13 blog. The trailer mainly shows the cut scene to not give away too much of the game play and keep it mysterious in terms of game play. The music used will be the two pieces I composed for my game.


Game Review: The Lion King (SNES)

How challenging was it to discover the value of the game? The value of this game is represented well because the story is based off the classic film pretty well. Some elements are less focused on as it is Simba’s journey such as the side characters and Mufasa’s death but it still follows through with the dark themes, especially around the end of the game. The values of trust and family really come into play here.

Graphics: 8/10

The graphics are colourful and set moods for each level making it visually stunning. Rich colours are put against muted ones to represent themes and a turn for darker events (such as the setting and colours for the final battle).  The characters themselves (including other animals) are not as expressive in terms of the face, as I thought they’d be but the motions are still well paced.

Sound: 8/10

The classics songs can be heard converted to a midi format which is still extremely catchy and upbeat. It is enjoyable and the songs change with areas and level too which is reminiscent to the film.

Story: 9/10

The story is based on the film itself, so you will have Simba exploring areas in Pride Rock and also battling against the villain. The game goes through each level one by one with different songs representing the mood. The game does however gloss over more heartbreaking parts with Mufasa’s death as it wants to keep the game still playable for younger audiences. While that focus is put more on Simba’s exploration, it does have a level dedicated to Simba leaving because he thinks he caused his father’s death (“Simba’s Exile”) and the ending with battling the villain( Scar) is still quite dark and true to the film.

Controls: 8/10

The controls are quite responsive and smooth which really help in the setting because Simba is constantly on the move, either exploring or running away.

Replay Value:9/10

I defiantly recommend this game and believe it has replay value because it is based on a classic film and is still very true to the story. The music in this makes you want to sing along and reminds the player how beautiful the soundtrack is, even without lyrics. If you enjoyed the film, have nostalgia for it and enjoy a fast paced exploration of the lion King story, then this game is for you.

 

 

 

 

Week 11: Start screen and fixing code

This week will be mainly adding codes for mechanics or editing code in game maker. I have learnt how to use code more effectively and to clean up unnecessary code. This makes the game less buggy and when in need, the code is easier to read and edit.

To update, Meepoo’s collisions are incredibly frustrating at the moment because she gets stuck everywhere. From the walls to the edges of the floors, she just can’t seem to move without getting stuck.  It will be something that I will continue fixing and testing.

I was looking over personal notes and testing the HUD (heads up display) which will be used for the health bar/ flower counter/ vase piece counter. These are things that can’t be interacted with and will just be visual in the game. The text boxes for the cut scene is something I am also starting to finish up. Since they are more of a GUI, they can be interacted with (to skip a text box using the keyboard perhaps?).

UPDATE: Finishing up the text boxes currently and I am adding text to it (script for characters and narrator talking), so there is a lot of rewriting to make sure it is simple and to the point. Surprisingly, this is taking quite some time because I thought I knew the story well enough to come up with character and narrator scripts instantly.  It actually takes a lot of editing to make it flow and understandable.

Coding language is interesting and in terms of coding for game, there are definite differences compared to coding for databases, websites or GUI’s. Using python again was still a challenging experience , even though I had basic knowledge of it. Since I was coding specifically for a game, having that past knowledge for coding databases, websites (HTML), GUI and python really made me understand it more and find errors a lot quicker. Here are a few examples of my coding:

controls
This is the code for the Keyboard inputs (controls). As a side note, I should also show the set of rules early in the game so players know how to play.
collision ground
This code is for the ground collisions. The script checks Meepoo’s contact with the ground tile and stops her from going/falling through it.
fade
This code is for the fade. This goes between rooms (in game maker terms) and it generates a fade transition. It will be used for the start screen, start of the cut scene and end etc.

I have also learnt to use time management better because in game maker, the engine follows your code to produce an outcome and when errors show up, you have to set time for testing and research. I am also learning to code more in depth for mechanics which I haven’t done before so having that success of a sprite moving or collecting something is really nice. I have to admit, I am not great at making a game or coding but I am trying my best to make things work and be less buggy. I have noticed that I am making more notes and changes to my game in order to further develop it. I only hope that the final outcome will be worth while and playable.

UPDATES: I have decided to not use slopes in my game because it creates more problems and I have already used too much time just researching and testing it. Even though I used a method that was a common fix for slopes )which we learnt in class and was online), I found that it caused more problems and still didn’t work.

I have also decided on using one enemy in the first level because while I had planned for two types, I found that the enemy I was more invested into was the Chumps (little blue creatures). The mechanic for admitting flowers took more time to develop as well because of the randomization, therefore I have decided to just use one enemy in level 1 and focus on this mechanic. I am also trying to figure out how to make them spawn from the sky and what amount would be acceptable to fight off. I think having this one enemy is already enough to push the player for obsessing over the vase piece because the more that they are in your way (since they come towards you) , the more you want to defeat them to get to your goal (finding the vase piece). This comes back to the idea that the harder something is to get, the more perseverance we will have to retrieve it. It depends on whether the particular item is a ‘need’ or a ‘want’ and how much we value it.

I also created a start screen for the game to open up with because I felt like it was appropriate.  The background was also for testing the colours and designs. This made it really helpful for shapes and objects. The start screen also includes some objects that i wanted to showcase and the two human characters. It’s not animated but will have some animation on the start button to emphasize it.

startscreen capture with gimp
Start screen includes the main character (Meepoo), Baguette (Friend), Watermelon (object Meepoo could collect if she goes back for Baguette), Vase pieces and a Burr Flower (to increase health)

Game Review: Kirby – Super Star

How challenging was it to discover the value of the game? The value of the game needed more time to be uncovered but from the beginning when the story is told, you get an idea that it is about justice and bringing back balance to Kirby’s home from invaders.

Graphics: 7/10

The graphics are nice and don’t just play towards bright colours in this game. It does have dark elements because of the change in setting and time (from day to night) in the level. The style is less pixel art based as some previous Kirby games have been, it has smoother transitions for colour and shadows which is a nice touch. I did find that this game has a lot of flashing for either boarders or sprites when in battle. This could be tiresome to the eyes and even triggering.

Sound: 8/10

The sound was really enjoyable and had that classic Kirby theme. A lot of whistling and pitched sound effects were used to bring that lighthearted mood. When you complete a task, the main theme that plays to say it was successful was also a piece that was very encouraging and delightful.

Story: 7/10

The story has Kirby go on an adventure to find all the stolen food before everyone in dreamland starves. is still the hero of the story and needs to go confront the enemies, King Dede and his minions. It’s not a rescuing mission but it is still about saving the day and does help reinforce the values.

Controls: 7/10

The controls are simple and there is a very helpful tutorial in the beginning if you are a new player. While it is responsive, I found that the flashing of Kirby constantly made the controls harder because you would get distracted and confused what to use for attacks.

Replay Value:7/10

This game is quite fun, especially in the adventure aspect, however the constant flashing of visuals, especially the main character you play as (Kirby) was very distracting and even tiresome for the eyes. So I wouldn’t recommend this if the player is sensitive or can be triggered by quick flashing lights.

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.