Merry Christmas 2011

Every drawing feels like style exploration >.<  Merry Christmas!

Ludum Dare #22 - Surume

So I did the Ludum Dare Game Jam with a bunch of friends!  It took place over the weekend of Dec 16th, and I even had a buddy sleep over.  I had to take care of most of the programming, which, unfortunately, is not my strong suit, but I'm glad we pulled through at the end.

Our game is titled:  Surume: The Little Squid

and you can play it here:  http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?action=preview&uid=8680

Web version of the game

The First of December

The First of December came and went as quickly as the Winter winds blow.  The day before, Erica Zhao and I turned in a completed build of Spectra for class.  No project is without its crunches, and Spectra was no exception.  I worked as many hours as I could as soon as Thanksgiving Thursday ended, clocking in about 5 hours of sleep by Monday night.

Here's the one minute teaser video we put together to showcase our game:

The major changes that occurred during this looong weekend were:

-color changing flashlight

The boy's sprite was overly static compared to the girls.  She would have her hair dyed a different color every time her powers changed, whereas the boy had a 2 frame flashlight animation.

I separated the flashlight from his sprite, and let it change colors.  It's only a small number of visible pixels compared to the entire screen, but better associates the floating circle with his wand.

-animated, reactive picture frame (hud element)

Spectra is bordered by a picture frame.  I'd always wanted it to be one that changes according to the game-state, but the design/insignia had always stumped me.  I ended up animating a vortex, as if light were emitting from a source in the center of the box.

each individual tile changes colors after every animation cycle, and the color that is matched with the girl's current color is lit brighter than the rest.  I will try to post a video soon, but for now, imagine twinking stars.

-simplified node sprites

The color fountains that I had going before had too much unnecessary detail.  I removed the pillar that held up the orb and diamonds, so now they're just left with the base and shape.


Anh gave me a rough pencil sketch for the background.  I then spent the entire night painting the repainting the entire thing.  Sometimes the flow of the lines would direct eyes out of the picture instead of inwards, and those sections would have to be repainted.  Othertimes detail would accumulate in certain areas.  Since the background is a decorative element and is not part of the playspace, i had to simplify and remove anything that was distracting.

If you've heard me pitch Spectra before, I talked about playing in a stained glass world, where the picture and the game are one.  I mentioned how players would be brought into the stained glass environment.  In practice, it is a difficult goal.  I do plan on experimenting with that idea again, but it seems unlikely that we will be able to find a convergence of gamespace and the background.

In its place, I plan on implementing 'glitch world' levels, where the the entire screen is filled with gameplay elements, platforms, and players will have to find their way through its maze-like structure.