I have posted a number of videos from the editor for Backworlds so I thought I would mix it up a bit by showing you how we create an art asset. There are a few basic things I do for every art asset I build, which you will see in the video:
Hello! after last month’s overview of some of our early graphical effects, I thought I would go into a bit more detail about one of them.
I recorded a little video showing of some of the editor features Anders has added that we will use for bringing some life into the levels of Backworlds by adding motion in different ways. The video shows of a few of them and it is more a demonstration of the things we can do than a artistic showcase. Enjoy!
Battletoads – BirdGuyJam OC Remic by Zelig
Donkey Kong Country 2 – Set Sail OC Remix by Blizihizake
Today I will talk about some of the steps we took to reach the current art style of Backworlds. While we still have a long way to go with the art and may decide to make further changes to the style, I will go over some of the reasoning behind what the game looks like right now. Continue reading
I started running Backworlds on a Surface Pro recently in order to determine how much work it would be to port the game to tablets – rather than the porting itself, the big challenges are how we change the controls to feel good on a tablet. The Surface Pro is practically a laptop running Windows 8 which meant I could immediately run the game, which was nice.
Since both of the Surface models come with a pressure-sensitive stylus this also gave me an excuse to connect this to the drawing – so if you are playing the game with a digital drawing tablet or display it would be more responsive. Implementing pressure-sensitivity with SDL in Windows wasn’t a straightforward affair though, so I thought I’d collect some of the things I learned in this post.
In previous posts we have talked about certain design issues on a higher level. Such as the general world design or rules that our level design should apply. However I thought I would bring up a few examples of design issues that have come up during the development that are more specific and also explain the solution for them.
We are currently hard at work with the leveldesign (iteration, iteration…) and working out how the themes of the game tie into the narrative and aesthetics. Taking a break from that, today I thought I’d go over one of our effects.
In the Backworlds demo, we spawn the player character into the level by gradually drawing the icon into place. We liked the effect for this and decided to try and implement it in several places, today I will give a brief overview of our quick-and-dirty solution to doing this.
I have recorded myself working with the editor to show you all how a level comes from simply being lines and boxes of physics into the water-color world of Backworlds. It is a time-lapse running at a brisk pace and should give you a good idea of the process. Note that I did not prepare in any way making this, I just came up with something as I went along, however I did work with this particular theme for the demo. By the end of the video the level is in a “first-pass” state and is missing smaller details, particle effects and so on.
Last time, I covered briefly how our playback system works within the game client – strictly speaking this is everything we need, and in the beginning it was everything we used. It did require our testers to take an active part in sending us the playback files though, besides being unreliable it put higher demands on our testers and forced them to tell us directly how much they had played – removing some of the advantage of letting them play on their own terms. Continue reading
Put simply, playtesting is to design what QA is to engineering. It is not there so the testers can tell you what to do (although collecting feedback is a side benefit) but so that you can observe how your design and implementation performs with real data. Much has been said about how to do playtesting properly already – actually, Juha covered our own process a while back – so instead I will go into the technical details behind our own system. Much of it will be obvious, but hopefully there will be something to learn for someone.