shawn's blog

Chromality power do-over

Posted in Chromality by Shawn on August 21, 2013

I’ve been taking my time, trying to pass through all of Chromality, and changing the overall art style. I have still to do a number of passes through the color schemes, as well as fix a number of issues that I have scheduled as future task. Lately, I’ve been not doing well with keepingĀ  my timer running, and scheduling issues accordingly. Part of that has to do with Terrible Hot Dogs…..which I’m hoping to do something with relatively soon.

Regardless of my own shortcomings, I’ve been working hard at making some sort of progress every night. Not too long ago, I reached finished another section of the visual make-over, completing another iteration of the powerup icon’s redesign. The very first set of powerup icons looked like this:

PowerupIconsThat was okay for the first pass, as I simply wanted icons I could identify with as I worked on the mechanics of the game. That’s how I’ve found myself working on projects. The first portion of creating something uses only standard game objects with no textures. After I can identify the core mechanic, I’ll move on to the first visual update, with a rough model of how I feel things should look. After that, I go back to the mechanics, and focus on whether the visuals and the gameplay compliment each other. I’m more included to change the visuals before changing the gameplay, but in some cases, I must work in the other direction. Of course, this varies from project to project, and this seems like a method that other people use frequently.

Anyway, I moved on from this design to a brighter design, and more simplified, in some regards. To be honest, I’m not sure why the first set was so dark, or why I considered it to be a good idea. Some of the icons worked well for their task, others just did the job.

OldPowerups

I was okay with this for a while, until I decided to change the overall style of the game. After working on other elements of the visuals, and experiment, I ended up with this (for now):

NewPowerups

As most of my recent deigns, these are a combination of working in both Illustrator and Photoshop. I’ve yet to reach the conclusion to whether that is positive or negative. The new powerup icons are more square, because it’s hip to be square, but more importantly, I feel as if each one has their own personality. There are still a few modifications I plan to make, some which I’m thinking about now as I type this up. But that’s it for now.

Oh, in other news, I’ll be in Boston playing Terrible Hot Dogs for their festival on indie games. More on that another time.

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Chromality’s new skins

Posted in Chromality, OriGamInc, Other by Shawn on August 6, 2013

I’ve been working on a game called Chromality for a while. I’ve been distracted by a number of things along the way, such a card game about French Fries and Hot Dogs, or a physical game about colorful bacon, but slowly, I’ve been making progress with Chromality. It’s a co-op/competitive game where two players share one controller in order to destroy targets on screen. I haven’t had the chance to show it off too often, partially because I haven’t been completely satisfied with the visuals. People have seen it, but that’s besides the point.

Over the course of development, I’ve changed the looks of certain elements. I started off with mostly…well….lines, then moved on to pixelated art, then moved on to a more cartoony style. I’ve now kept with the cartoony style, but decided to try and add a bit of comic book flair.

As I get closer to the end of the updated visuals, I’ll post a series of images detailing the evolution of the game’s design. For now, I’ll show a bit of what I hope is to come.

Another note: I started using Photoshop, which hopefully help make game elements more appealing.

The first thing I actually changed was the explosion that appears after a target explodes. The original explosion was something that looked like this:

ExplosionSimple, I know, but it served the purpose for the game at the time. And it looked a bit better in motion. However, here’s what I have for the new explosion:

NewExplosion

The halftone is what, I’m hoping, gives it an older comic book feel. The reason why it is grey is for when I use the image in Unity. Instead of uploading multiple files of the explosions as different colors, I can add this image, then write some code that says ‘make that red’, or whatever color is necessary.

 

ExplosionGroup

The hearts indicating health were another display that received a visual update. I’m doing the whole Adobe Creative Cloud thing, which is pretty awesome, so I hopped into Illustrator first to work on the heart, then finished it in Photoshop. I’m actually pretty happy with how the heart looks, so much that if someone asked for the file without the pattern, I’d let them use it, and wouldn’t feel 100% embarrassed.

OldNewHeartThe heart in the back is the older one, and you can see how the the first one isn’t as sharp as the second. I also took away the ‘shine’ from the upper left corner of the heart, an left it flat. And again, halftone.

One thing that I know I need to be wary of are the dots. If I have too many, the game may become a mess. So, this is something that is going to take some time to properly balance. Iteration, I guess. Seems to be the key to a lot.

Next, I’m planning on finishing the full mock up of what I want the end product to look like, similar to what I did for the original design. After that’s finished, I can get back to some of the gameplay elements. But that’s it for now.

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