sábado, 6 de dezembro de 2014

Finding your art style when you can’t draw

As the first post of our newest project, I wanted to talk a little about choices and choosing.

First some introductions. The game name is Drifter's Last Stand. In short terms, your ship is always going forward (you can’t control), you have two cannons you can aim with your mouse to shoot enemies, and you can build turrets in your ship that will shoot enemies for you. And enemies are always coming (always!).

We have two persons in the team, both programmers “by nature”. Although one of us can draw

(like this)

for the limited time we have (until the end of the year), we preferred a simple solution.
My mind was “drifting” between Desktop Tower Defense and Geometry Wars. Two simple art styles that I was sure we could reproduce in time. 
Desktop Tower Defense
Geometry Wars

However, we thought that a great part of the idea of this game was to really recreate a space feeling (as in outer space). You know, like in Space Battleship Yamato 2199, when they jump out of a dimensional portal and there are thousands of enemies surrounding them? That’s the game we want!

If you are a fan of space operas, go watch Space Battleship Yamato 2199.

So after some search, (roll the drums) we settle on…tchan tchan tchan tchannnnn…this! (Thanks a lot Skorpio)

A modular ship construction pack!


If you are an artist, check this tutorial by the author of the Space Construction kit http://opengameart.org/content/spaceship-tutorial

Anyway, with both packs it’s fast and easy to build your own space ship! So we did it, and so far these are the results:

This is the player's ship:

As commented before, the player will control two cannons, shooting with the left and right mouse buttons, and aiming with the mouse:

The best part about this modular art pack is that the pieces are fitting really easily and nicely. So, this is the ship, without and with the cannons highlighted:


 Now what we are missing are the turrets. The player will have 8 available turrets to build. These turrets will be placed over slots distributed in the ship. Slots and Turrets look like this:


In the ship, they will be positioned strategically (Slots have fixed position and you can only build Turrets on top of them). In this highlighted version, Slots are green and Turrets are blue, and we removed the main cannons:

Finally, putting everything together, the player ship will look like:

And now what? We still have to test this art style with players of course. 

Unfortunately we don't have a lot of time, so if this proves to be lame (through a few friends evaluation), will probably revert to triangles shooting squares. 

But if this gets approved, we already have some ideas for enemies (which we will improve depending on how fast we can complete our task list):

So far that's it. Again, many thanks to the author of this spaceship art pack, Skorpio http://opengameart.org/users/skorpio

Leave comments if you have them, and see ya next week

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