Platformer: Making Them Feel like They Belong

As I had when I was making my Shoot em Up, this week I will concentrate on making the assets of my game feel as though they belong in the same world.

One of the biggest changes I’ve made this week is to the background tiles used for my game. With my current inspirations being Indiana Jones and Lara Croft, I’ve looked at several games with Egyptian levels.

For the most part, I found that there was a heavy use of brick-like patterns with the background being of a more darker, earthier colour while whatever the player could access or interact with stood in sharp contrast with a golden brown palette. This made the levels feel like they’ve been created with a set plan in mind, from the same people or at least with the same person as a boss. What also stood out were the pictographs and hieroglyphs carved in on important structures like pillars or along the supports of the platforms.



Pyriamid Level in Rabi-Ribi


The Mummy Online


Mushroom Kingdom Fusion


And so in the spirit of making my levels look like they’ve been crafted not only by the same people, with similar materials and culture, I’ve changed all my platforms, border tiles and my background to have some form of brick pattern while also trying to keep the colour scheme seen in these games above so that it is hopefully still clear what the player can interact with. The hieroglyphs I decided to place them on the border as that is both the roof and the pillars of the dungeon which are very important structures. To show it real quick, here’s an updated version of the mockup with the new tiles etc in place along with the old one for comparison.



New Mockup


Old Mockup


I’ve also changed the turrets ammunition to a golden like bullet to better fit the technology of the dungeon.


For the platforms, I topped them off with a slightly lighter shade of brick with a slightly different pattern as it is flatter than those on the others. The idea was to have it highlight itself so that the player would always see it, as they would need to jump onto it and have it in a sense lead the player onwards as seen in The Lost Vikings.


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The Lost Vikings


This was also the reason why my moving platforms are a lighter colour entirely while having a very different pattern. I was hoping these differences mark them as important, both to get across the level as well as to use as shields.

A recent addition to my game mechanics were checkpoints which I wanted to make feel safe while also hinting at a place for the players to rest so that it would also visually hint that the players progress would somewhat be saved at this point. For this I will reference Final Fantasy 4 in which tents could be used to restore HP and MP of all party members while also allowing players to save their progress wherever they were in the world. This is also seen in Tomb Raider where camps normally accompanied by a campfire is a place for Lara to rest and upgrade skills and weapons. I find the campfire gives a sense of comfort which I want my players to feel as well as warding off animals due to it having fire.



As such, my checkpoints are marked with camps as it not only serves the above purpose but also fits in the idea of an adventurer setting up camp to rest. I’ve also made it so that when the checkpoints are activated, the fire is lit so that the player knows they’ve passed through and used it before.



For all the assets I’ve used in this post, here they are;

Background from Stone, Tree, Wood and Metal Textures for STK by Dakal

Border Tiles with Hieroglyphs from  Hieroglyph Sprites by Andor Salga

Texture for Unmoving Platform from  Calinou’s Texture Pack by Calinou

Top Part of Unmoving Platform and Moving Platform from Egyptian Tileset by gtkampos

Tent and Wood Planks from OOP Jungle Tiles by Hapiel

Campfire from Camp Fire Animation for RPGs (Finished) by Zabin and Jetrel


For those who are interested, here is the current build of the game;

Simply download the game and double click or drag it onto a web browser to play.



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