A Beat-em-Up Beta for Genre Studies 2

So, for the last three months or so, I’ve been working on a Beat-em-Up with Basebuilding and Rogue-like as genres.

 

Beatemup.png

 

So let me start off with a pitch:

Might is right, and you are might personified; with every swipe, you gain strength until no one is left alive to tell you otherwise.

 

And for better explanation; you are a powerful yokai, but your adversaries are many and joining together. But this is simply an opportunity; there’s a totem, you’ve heard, that takes souls sacrificed to it to make one defy death. Your soul would return to the world ever stronger, though all who have walked this path has had their own soul trapped within the totem. You have a simple solution to that, and that is to make even the totem bow down to your strength. With that in mind, you set off to fulfill that destiny.

 

What I present to you now is game about power. You will be overwhelming enemies with strength as they attempt to overwhelm you with numbers, but the more they come, they more souls you have to sacrifice to return stronger than ever. But the totem’s not the only thing in your arsenal. Bloodthirst plagues your heart, cleaving enemies in quick succession builds into a berserking rage which leaves even armies at the mercy of your claws.

 

Click here to download the beta version of the game.

To play, simply double-click or drag onto a browser.

 

Platformer: Summary of the Weeks

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on a platformer and so for this week, I’ll be summarizing all that has happened from where it started to where I’ve managed to get it today.

 

The game itself is simply about the adventurer who had incurred the wrath of the tomb’s traps because he had taken one of it’s treasures and has to escape alive. However, the ruin itself has great historical value and harming it would devalue it. So now, he is faced with the choice of either making escape easier by breaking past anything that stops him or to manipulate the very traps around him to help him instead.

 

So to start off, I had a concept of encouraging players to use the environment or enemy attacks to their advantage, mostly to kill enemies, inspired by God of War and Ori and the Blind Forest in my proposal for the platformer.

 

 

Which I got my teeth into far deeper on the coming week where I had blocked out the very basic look and feel of my game along with all the enemy attack interactions with other things in the game, which I had tried to keep as logical as possible. An example of it can be seen below, where the arrows would kill the bats, and the player, but would bounce harmlessly off the stone platforms.

 

Mockup

The mockup from the first version of the game

 

From there, I now had what quite felt like en Egyptian tomb, considering that one of the main inspirations for the main character was Indiana Jones, and I decided to make that the art theme of the game. As such, I replaced much of the platforms and tilesets with new ones to fit the theme and make them feel like they belong in the same world, which resulted in the mockup below.

 

Mockup2

The mockup from the second version of the game

 

What laid beyond that was to make the assets pop out to have a clear distinction between the foreground and the background. To do this, I revisited some of the previously added assets and edited them to have light and shadow as well as swapping out the background for something darker and with a smaller set of brick patterns. At the end of that, I had this;

 

mockup3.png

The mockup from the third version of the game

 

This week, I’ve made some slight changes to the start screen, by include a glowing artifact so as to give a little bit of backstory to what the player is doing in the tomb like how Temple Run 2 does its start screen. I’ve also swapped the ending background to one of slightly old paper, like those from a worn journal to fit the theme better which I reference from World of Warcraft’s Quest Log.

 

 

 

And that concludes my five weeks working on this game. For those who want the complete list of all the art assets I used, here it is;

 

-Exit from Fancy Dungeon Tileset by James Bell

-Player Character from George by sheep

-Turret, Fire Cannon and from Time Canon Sprite SVG by qubodup

-Bat from Bat by bagzie

-Bat Boss from 10 More Fantasy RPG Enemies Plus a Boss Normal Map by Antifarea/CharlesGabriel

-Gun from Handgun by -SMBX-

-Glitter, Bullet, Enemy Bullet, Hurt Dialogue 1, 2 and 3 and Switch by me

-Background from UndeadEmpire tileset (64×64) repack (floor, lava, walls and effects) by Big Rook Games

-Border Tiles with Hieroglyphs from  Hieroglyph Sprites by Andor Salga

-Texture for Unmoving Platform and Wall 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

-Ending Screen Paper Background from Paper by Darkwood67

-Fire Pillar from Pyron from Darkstalkers

-Artifact from Artifact (Animated) by Gokhan Solak

 

As for those interested in playing the beta version of the game, click here.

Simply download the file and double click or drag onto Google Chrome to play.

Platformer: Having The Important Stuff Stand Out

For this week, I’ll be attempting to make what I feel are important stand out. So to start off, I did edit the tiles of my platforms once again, this time adding light and shadow to them as well as a stronger outline. I referenced how Mario did their light and shadows to make their platforms pop while doing the same for the cracks on the floor for a similar effect.

 

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Mario’s Platforms and Floor

 

I also changed by Boss sprite this time around as previously my boss used the same sprite as every other bat in the game even though it could only be killed using the fire pillars. To do this, I used a different, more menacing looking bat sprite which was also larger just like how The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess did with their first boss which was a larger, triple headed version of the usual flytrap looking mobs from around that dungeon.

 

 

 

Now onto the colour of the boss which I took reference from Pokemon, specifically how they’ve changed the colour palette of some of the new Alolan forms for existing Pokemon. As my Boss Bat was vulnerable to fire, I thought to use Pokemon that had been changed from some other type into an Ice type like Sandshrew or Vulpix so that the colouring would hint at Ice and since ice is weak to fire would also imply that the Bat would take damage from fire.

 

 

To solidify this further I also referenced Pokemon’s burn status effect, the status itself caused additional damage to the afflicted Pokemon every turn. This is shown in the animation when fire is overlayed on the sprite and burns the Pokemon before the damage is dealt to their health bar.

 

Burn_PtHGSS

Pokemon’s Burn Status Effect

And so I changed the Boss Bat’s original colour to a snowy whitish blue like the Ice-type Alolan Pokemon while also adding the fire burning animation when the Bat runs through the fire and gets burned.

 

 

Finally to show when players are damaged by anything that is not instantly fatal and have it be quite obvious, I have made speech bubbles indicating the player is hurt which are outlined in black and a solid white in the middle with clear bold capital letters which spell out exclamations of being hurt. For this I referenced Riddle School 3 where many of the main hints in the game was actually given by the player character who says them to the player through a speech bubble.

 

RiddleSchool

A Hint Spoken by the Player Character in Riddle School 3

 

These would appear briefly when the player takes damage and would increase in frequency along with changing its words depending on how much health the player has left.

 

For all the new art assets that was shown in this post, here they are;

Bat Boss from 10 More Fantasy RPG Enemies Plus a Boss Normal Map by Antifarea/CharlesGabriel

 

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

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwOqOq-a3CrhM0RZZ0hGSlJJNmM/view?usp=sharing

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

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.

 

Rabi-Ribi-Review-7

Pyriamid Level in Rabi-Ribi

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The Mummy Online

EgyptianTomb

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.

 

Mockup2

New Mockup

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;

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_IYSsCH9NX1bUxJN25BUThJa2c/view?usp=sharing

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

 

Platformer: Asset List

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.

 

Mockup

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.

 

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Coins in Mario

 

Mockup

Glitter on the Switch

 

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.

 

rocksmash

Rocks with Cracks and Those Without in Pokemon X/Y

 

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.

 

 

Asset List;

-Platform and Walls from Platformer Pack Redux

-Exit from Fancy Dungeon Tileset by James Bell

-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