Last week, I proposed a concept by which I would base my platformer around and so today, I will be listing out the first rendition of the asset list along with reasons as to why I chose these artworks. For an overall look at the game, here’s a mockup.
To start off, I’ll begin with the background. I wanted to be able to communicate to the player where they cannot go and make them feel closed in as if they were in a dungeon just like how Dungeon Seige II did in their dungeons where the walls were visible and gave the sense that they were caging the player in. This is also why the exits are rimmed in stone, to give the impression that even through an exit, the players are being caged. What I hope to achieve with this is to hint that the player will most likely not get help from the outside and need to improvise with what they have.
Now onto the player character. Since I want to encourage the players to use the environment to their advantage as much as possible, I wanted to have a character that did not look either very tanky or strong but was crafty and resourceful. What instantly came to mind were explorer adventurer characters like Indiana Jones, Lara Croft and Nathan Drake.
For self-defense, as I had mentioned the week before, I would be giving the player a gun as I wanted a weapon that would feel familiar to players that could give the sense of comfort knowing that they could always fall back onto this weapon should anything go south. Many games from adventure games like those referenced above to even some action puzzle games like the Ricochet Kills series use guns and I figured it would be something many players would be quite familiar with. As for reliability against anything, well, Lara Croft has managed against a T-rex with those trusty guns of hers.
As such for my player character, I have left him with simple clothes, no armor or the like, just a vest for the cold and a hat similar to that of Indiana Jones to help portray this idea better as the clothes are quite hard to see on the sprite’s small body. While the lack of armor would hint to the player being squishy, it also implies that the character is quite light on their feet.
Moving onto the environment, I wanted to make the traps like the small arrow turrets and the large fire cannons stand out. To do that, I used sprites that were shiny in nature similar to how Mario’s coins work, as the outline and the gleam draws attention especially when placed against Mario’s background. To further emphasize what can be interacted with or is important, I add in a little glitter effect similar to the gleam which can be seen in the mockup below.
Now in Mario’s case, the coins looked appealing and were asking to be collected, but since my traps are dangerous, I wanted to have that reflect in their form which resembled deadly armaments like cannons, either from the sea or from the front of tanks.
The reason why the turret is cracked is to show that it is actually destroyable, referencing how Pokemon different shade breakable rocks from normal ones with cracks.
As I’ve mentioned last week, I wanted to use fire to imply that enemies themselves could very much be hurt by the traps. This is why I chose to use fire and arrows against animals as seen in other games like The Witcher 3 where the fire spell Igni is used to great effect in areas with grass or on animals. Arrows have also been known to be effective against animals, for example in the game Deer Hunter 2014 where using a bow had the great advantage of being silent along with its damage which were comparable to guns. The platforms are made of stone for this reason as well, to show that they would not be harmed by both the fire and the arrows.
-Platform and Walls from Platformer Pack Redux
-Player Character from George by sheep
-Arrow Turret, Fire Cannon and Fire Effect from Time Canon Sprite SVG by qubodup
-Bat from Bat by bagzie
-Gun from Handgun by -SMBX-
-Glitter, Bullet and Switch by me