Posts Tagged ‘pixel art’
Hey, just wanted to make a post talking about the game I made (azuritereaction) with a friend (sweetielise); it’s called A Catastrophic Date. (Hey, we only had a few hours to come up with a name!)
It’s a cute little visual-novel-esque game (no nudity/sex/romance in it though) that we thought up, and it was the first time I’d completed a game project since… probably 16 or so years ago, when I was making games with Klik & Play and Multimedia Fusion 1 back when I was about 12 years old or so.
The game itself is really short, there’s about 10 or so possible endings with 7 of them being unique, including a secret ending, too
Sweetielise did the art in probably 8 hours, and the coding took me about the same amount of time, but we got continually distracted by Awesome Games Done Quick during most of Saturday, haha.
That said… I will probably NEVER program a visual novel game like this in Multimedia Fusion 2 again. Easily one of the most frustrating programming experiences I’ve ever had, for sure. Still had a lot of fun making it though, and I hope a lot of you have fun playing it!
Additionally, feel free to check out our main work on YouTube, Twitch, and a webcomic that I write with the links below! Looking forward to the Jam sessions coming up, we’ll likely do another game for that (and any future MiniLD’s too)
Era of Errors (webcomic)
First Page of the webcomic
Although it was not completed in time for the Jam, we would like to share the game we started for Ludum Dare 28.
More details at the link above.
Midnight Minigun is a top-down shooter where you fight the rising tide of Zombification in a small-town community. This was my third Ludum Dare and I only had 24h in which to create my entry … on the whole I was pretty happy with this one, I hope you like it!
What went right
1. Preparation – I knew I’d only have a single day in which to create my entry, so making sure emy tools were sharp in advance was vital. I stripped down my last LD entry to base code and was ready to hit the ground running. Preparation also meant treating my family well and bringing everyone on board in a team effort – the Zombie noises were provided by my 6-month old daughter and slowed down in Audacity
2. Tiny scope – dawn til dusk is not a lot of time and I wanted the game to be polished – that meant avoiding feature creep at all costs. The main feature I cut was a mechanic where humans would follow you. You could lead them to the fenced area in top-centre of the map and they would be “saved” and un-killable. It broke the flow too much so I cut it early. However the game is very simple as a result and could benefit from another feature or two… 8×8 pixel sprites was also the right move for my limited art skills!
3. Two phases: core then juice – I watched the “juice it or lose it” video linked by a previous LD48 poster and this really cemented “polish” for me. Polish is what makes a game shine and without it your game will always be dull. The biggest win is SOUND, so I grabbed the free music from Franklin Webber early on and made sure the gun sounds were bang on. Other additions to juiciness are the screen shake, darkness vignette and particles. Without these the game would be shallow and dull.
What went wrong
1. Struggles with art – I knew this game needed fun animations and readable sprites and environment. I really wanted a gorgeous colour palette to unite the elements but this proved elusive so the result is a bit of a mishmash – the dark vignette hides many evils! Creation of the environment tiles was really tough for me – I had plans for a school, shopping mall, carparks, cars etc … I just didn’t have the skills to pull that all off so the environment ends up feeling a little sparse.
2. Lack of reliable excitement curve – Ideally games should start with a hook, feature periods of tension and release, before a climactic finale (see e.g. Jesse Schell’s Art of Game Design). I think I have the first two but it is quite possible for the game to fizzle out / become a bit of a dull trudge to mop up stragglers. I would really have liked some kind of key event like a boss battle to provide an exciting conclusion…
3. Missed opportunity to add story – I kicked myself here as I really intended to get the player to drop some one-liners etc when you died/respawned. This sort of thing really lifts the experience and adds humour and character – alas, I chose to just “ship it” and regretted this afterwards. The ending is also a bit un-rewarding. Something tied into the fiction of the game would have been better, with a custom win screen with some nice art assets picturing your triumph or whatever.
I had such a blast making this game, and I’m pleased with the result. I really wanted to convey the feeling of mowing down hordes with a minigun (rather like the jungle scene in Predator…see below!) and people seem to dig firing that gun! It’s a simple and short experience that doesn’t outstay its welcome, and I think there is plenty of scope to add features for version two.
The comments and feedback I’ve received have been humbling, thank you Ludum Dare!
Or watch Predator here:
Wow, that was close.
Two programmers, 72 hours, first attempt to draw stuff, a lot of fun! If you like space battles, check our project here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=22214
After adding the parts to flip the tiles it was still kind of crazy so I had to go through and clean things up, make some things work how I didn’t intend and make it so there could be more empty space. It’s much better, but there is still a decent amount that needs to get done.
The right side I have to deal with and I’m thinking I may need for it to fix up certain areas automatically because as is, the logic can’t fix all the problems due to it not knowing what the next piece will be. I may have it look ahead one space to choose the best piece, but that’s still a lot of work.
So I started the compo very late and I won’t be able to finish in time, but might for the jam.
Anyway since I haven’t made a post yet, I should explain.
My idea was to make a climing game where you only get one life and chance, meaning if you die you can’t play the game again, you know like real life, basically because I’m an ass (unless you delete the hidden file, then you can play again, but you lose your score). Well I decided on 2D and for it to be pixel art, haven’t done either before, main mechanics were pretty easy to manage, but the biggest thing has been making the level randomly generate, which I’ve also never done before. Let’s just say it’s taken a while to do that and partway through I realized I needed another piece. The art is actually pretty easy, though I’m not much of an artist, used the program Pyxel.
I’ve been working in Unity, as that’s what I’m used to, pretty easy for 2D games from what I can tell, was easiest to program my own controller for it instead of using anything built in.
As you can see in the image, it looks like crap, that’s because I haven’t added anything to flip the pieces, which is used to determine what to place, based on what’s below and to the left and if the one to the left is facing left or right. Once I get that, a lot of issues should clear up. I’ll also need to shrink the character, and make art for that.
A first version of my game is kind of playable, but there is still a lot to do. Right now you can only walk around and jump
You can give it a try here.
I just posted a review of Pickle 2.0, over on my blog.
Focusing on the post-compo is starting to pay off. Except for the HUD, particles and background, every other graphic has been redone. As soon as I finish reworking the graphics, I’ll begin to modify the gameplay. That will be the ‘post-compo version’. I plan to later redo the game itself, adding enemies, waves and bosses (there’s already a new ship, though :)).
I usually make a black and white sprite and then use an “multiply” layer to color it. This helps me to make sprites quickly (as I don’t have to bother select exact colors every time, only the tone) but makes the sprite somewhat plain and boring. Now I’m using 8 tones with 4 shades each, what made everything better looking (and clearer).
Take a look at the boss graphics evolution:
Hi Everybody! Do you remember Gods Will Be Watching from last #LD26 “Minimalism”? We got tons of incredible feedback from Ludum Dare and ranked 2nd place in mood and overall! That encouraged us to go for a huge remake and try to take our chances on the commercial scene and become one of those “Success stories”. Since we want to improve our development power and aim to create a really huge polished game for several platforms (Including PC, Mac, Linux and Mobile devices -iOS and Android-), we launched a crowdfunding campaign to get a little push in our way.
We talked in another post here at Ludum Dare about our work on the remake of Gods Will Be Watching. But, along with this crowdfunding campaign we are showing in depth what the game is going to be about. You can check it out here:
Ludum Dare gave us a lot of joy and interesting ideas (Ages of Irving, a torture simulator!), thank you, truly, you helped us to grow as game developers.
Hey, everyone! Green Pixel’s artist here! Ludum Dare 26 was a blast and we came up with our Jam entry: Eternal Journey
If you’ve played it and rated it, thank you so much for your feedback! If you haven’t, check it out here and we’d appreciate your thoughts!
We made Eternal Journey with mobile devices in mind (as we have released an iOS title in the past) and we’re happy to read that a lot of the feedback seems to welcome the game – albeit a more finished version – on smartphones
This was our second LD Jam and one thing I realized from LD25 was that I didn’t really learn much artistically – besides learning how fast I could work under a time constraint. So, this time around, I decided to experiment. Why not, right? When I heard that the theme was Minimalism, I thought of triangles and, inspired by games like Vlambeer’s Ridiculous Fishing, I came up with the art for Eternal Journey. Below is a handy screenshot if you don’t have time to play the game
Triangles galore, eh? Now that we’re going ahead with the fully-featured version of the game (that we’re hoping to release before the next LD :D), I’m wondering if I should continue with this triangle-istic style. As a game artist, I’ve only really ever worked with pixel art and it’s the most comfortable style for me. I whipped up a quick mockup of what the mobile, pixel art version would look like (note that the background is largely unfinished :D), seen below:
See the huge difference? Gameplay aside, which style would you prefer? Do you think pixel art still appeals to the masses or is it played out? Would the semi-abstract triangles fare better in the world of apps?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thanks and happy gaming!
We finished on time!! UNBELIEVABLE!! For the first time on our ludum dare history, here we are, publishing a game 1 hours before the deadline. Also, we are very satisfied with the results, the “Minimalism” condition really helped us to get the project on time. Gods Will Be Watching is a minimalistic survival/adventure game with multiple ways of completing it and failing. We hope you enjoy playing
Thinking about how I want to do my gfx for my LD25 game.
Since LD24, I took some time to work on my art techniques. I’ve got two approaches which I think are viable, both of which I like equally. So I’m trying to decide. I don’t *think* that they’d blend together well, but there’s always the option of doing something really creative that does blend them.
Idea 1: Pixel art. I have a good technique, that I can use consistently to create appealing pixel art quickly.
Idea 2: Hand-drawn, photographed/scanned art. I’ve been doing a bit of sketching with pen on paper, for the first time in years, and am finding that I enjoy it. I’m not sure how well I can animate hand-drawn sprites, but I can at least draw static sprites.
I know I want to do both types of graphics in some project or other, eventually. I’m just not sure what I’ll pick this time. It’ll either be a decision that becomes obvious when the theme is announced and I come up with my game concept, or else I’ll flip a coin.
Here’s one of my pixel art sketches, of the Marvel Comics villain, Venom:
Here’s a quick sketch I drew from a photo, to give you an idea how I am with a pen:
Ever since I was a kid I had something with video games, whether it was making silly card games with pieces of papers or making lame interactive stories in power point, I always looked for a way to create them…bla, bla bla! I don’t have time and nor do you to read the story of a 16th year old who always has dreamed about being a video-game designer, and has gone through everything form Modding to Unity 3d (which I guess is the case in many of us!) so I’ll go to my point
When the charity game jam was first announced I told myself “Cool I’ll give it a try”…and finally, the day arrived, November 24th at 12:00 A.M. I hadn’t read the rules or the jam’s theme until that moment. When I found out it was a NES theme I got excited and started working immediately.
After some minutes of thinking about my game, I found this book called “Mitos y Legendas de Guatemala” (Myths and Legends from Guatemala) which is a compilation ghost stories and urban legends from my beloved country, Guatemala There I found this famous legend of a diabolical dog called “El Cadejo” who wanders the streets at midnight looking for drunken people, whose souls he devours. But there is another type of Cadejo, the white coated one, who instead of having a feast on it, protects the human soul from being cursed or stolen by demons and other supernatural beings. That’s how I came out with the simple story behind my game: You’re a white Cadejo who has to protect the soul of a drunken man from incoming hordes of black Cadejos who are trying to devour it.
Since I’m not good at 2D games in Unity, I decided to use an old tool called Game Maker. Everything (except the music and sound effects) was made from scratch for this game. The music is from ‘Retro PC Games – Tokyo Japan’ and for the sound effects I used SFXR. The barks and growls are from Nine Tails and Venusaur from Pokemon I would have loved to use my own FXs but I don’t know a thing about creating 8-bit sounds!
At the end of the post there are some screenshots of my game. You can look for it at the funkytron as “El Cadejo: A Guatemalan Horror Story” or if you don’t feel like it, go directly to the mini-site where you can download the game (just a simple .exe ;)) and watch the first five minutes of gameplay! I’ll be adding more levels and a boss fight at the end. If you are interested, follow me on twitter (@Hyde_WS) so you can know when the update has been done.
In conclusion, I LOVED the Charity Game Jam. It was a great experience and I learned a lot, I’m definitely in for the next Ludum Dare. I hope you enjoy my game and If you feel like giving some feedback and constructive critics, please do it
Pyxel Edit is a pixel art/tileset editor I put up an early version of before the last LD. It was rushed and pretty damn broken in many ways but people still seemed to find it useful.
All the positive feedback I got made me want to fix it so I decided to take the version down to do it right. I have been working on it since then, rewriting a big part of the code base and adding a lot of features. There’s now also a site for the project at pyxeledit.com where you can download it.
It’s made in Adobe AIR so it runs on Win and Mac, not Linux, sorry. (I have been told it runs in WINE though)
There is also a captive runtime version at the site if you don’t want to install AIR.
I’d love to hear what you think, and if you have any suggestions for features or anything else (maybe I can add it before the next LD!).
Ludum Dare is a great place to know more tools for game development, so I’d like to share the tools I used to make Micro World.
Flixel - Open source game-making library for ActionScript 3.
FlashDevelop - Open source code editor. Supports ActionScript (2 and 3) and haXe .
GraphicsGale - Animation graphic editor. Good for pixel art.
Guitar Pro. Tabulature editor software. I used it to write the song and export it to MIDI.
GXSCC - Automatically converts a MIDI to 8-bit chiptune. Just drag and drop your MIDI to this window, then click Authoring to export it.
Bfxr - Generates manipulable sound effects with 8-bit style.
Free Audio Converter - I used it to convert WAV to MP3.
We’re entering in the 72 jam, so we still have about another day left. =D However, we’ve just about got everything wrapped up although a few features were cut do to the time constraints such as persistent worlds. Yet, all of us are quite pleased with what we hav eso far and hopefully everyone who plays tomorrow will be too. Here are some screen shots from today:
Well it’s taken about… 18 hours? Like 18-20 hours. By the time I had finished up the map, mouse scrolling, forests, mountains, houses, roads, skyscrapers, and the bulldozer, I felt like there was more than enough in Simini to justify its release into the world of Ludum Dare #23.
So here is the rundown. Simini is a miniature Sim City-esque game, though at the moment not nearly as deep. You have three kinds of structures you can build: Houses, Roads, and Skyscrapers. Houses generate resources based on what’s around them. So, for instance, if a house is placed near a forest, it will generate 1 wood per second.
Roads are basically like… the Zerg creep. You can only build houses, skyscrapers, and other roads within the vicinity of a road. To alleviate the obvious problem of “well crap, what if I destroy everything?” the player can place one free road anywhere on the map if there are no other roads. Roads are also the only structure that can be built over water and are therefore the only way you can access the other islands… for now. Airports are on the list for buildings I want to include in the future.
Skyscrapers generate money. Money doesn’t have any use yet, but I’d like to think in a future update it could be used for other kinds of buildings and potentially even public projects like parks or random events. Skyscrapers need to be placed near houses, so essentially they’re a resource generator that you build.
The other two icons you’ll notice on the bottom are the hand icon and a bulldozer. The hand switches you back to the default pointer. The bulldozer lets you destroy anything you’ve built and get back 50% of its resources. Will be handy later on when I can figure out resource destruction. I’d much prefer it if resources ran out after a specific amount of time, making them more limited in the world. The bulldozer will also be great when there are more building types and you feel like redesigning a town.
As per the rules of Ludum Dare, the source “code” is included, but as it is an MFA file you will need Multimedia Fusion to open it. The game itself currently only runs in Windows. I made a Flash test version and, trust me, you don’t want to play a 62×78 game with mouse scrolling in Flash. With the standalone version, however, you can hit Alt-Enter to fullscreen for a much less frustrating experience.
I will definitely keep picking at Simini as the year continues and get it into a form good enough for the IGF Pirate Kart. For now, hope you enjoy what I managed to whip up in well under the Ludum Dare time limit!
(This is my last post about Pickle, I promise.)
Just wanted to let everyone know that Pickle 1.0 has been released!
Thanks to everyone who tried the alpha and helped with suggestions and feedback.
Try it out: www.pickleEditor.com
And be sure to let me know if you use it make anything cool.
Follow @pickleEditor for updates.