(This is a continuation to my previous post, “Making an Idle Game“)
I have one thing that I am not as strong at and that is that I don’t really like to draw humans, or animals. I find anything with legs, limbs, fingers harder to draw. Unless they are turtles or beings that I don’t have to focus on parts like hands, in which case I could draw them. But for my idle game, I can’t make turtles as the monsters without quickly running out of variety, so I looked up inspiration of monsters used in various other games. Working with my designer*, I also have to keep in mind several things when I draw stuff for my game. My designer wanted my monsters classified into “themes”, such as ‘forest monsters’, ‘swamp monsters’, which also makes it easier for myself to research and generate ideas. *Designer being myself Epic Battle Fantasy and other 2D games I’ve played before did provide me with a source of inspiration. However, because I am pretty much limited to non-animals and non-human drawings, I often have to get creative with generating monster ideas. Common easy monster ideas like dragons, creatures, demons appear a lot in my search results and in other games, but drawing them is pretty much out of the question for me. So I have to look up on other inspirational “monster pictures” to boost my creativity in coming up with monster concepts and ideas, like this area boss I drew below:
Area boss design
This started out as a simple bush monster until I realised I needed an area boss, so it evolved when I added a “shell” for it to sit in, and rocks below it. I drew branches growing out of it to make it more detailed, but apart from its huge size, it wasn’t very boss-like. To make it look more menacing, I added spikes and a skull, as well as patterns around its eyes to differentiate it from a normal un-intimidating bush monster, like the one below:
Ops sorry, this is the other area boss.
Yes, I meant this one above.
I am naturally more ‘artist’ than ‘programmer’, so the moment I took a break from coding and started drawing, I couldn’t STOP. I just kept drawing, and drawing, AND DRAWING. The moment I was done with one monster, I saved it, and immediately started a new one. When my ideas run out, I switch to chrome and enter a new keyword into google, and voila, I get another string of ideas.
Some monsters look better than others
I eventually stopped when I realised it was late and I had to sleep. This is the kind of motivation that actually keeps me up late at night. The kind of motivation that makes me stop playing all my games and focus on actually making a game than playing one. Somehow, I derive fun out of making my own games. Combined with my love for drawing, it’s like a formula to happiness.
All my monsters are drawn in high-res, a lesson I learned from my previous game, Introvert, where I drew my assets in such small sizes that scaling them up made them lose quality. In this game, I draw my assets in high-res and downscale them so there is no quality loss. Those sprites above are about 4x bigger than their actual in-game size.
A compilation of my monsters/bosses, as well as a peek into 3 themes I have planned so far:
On the second day, I completed the next two themes, ‘Desert’ and ‘Swamp’, one of which is the mud monster you saw above.
At this stage, I’m not sure if this will be a game I will finish. Drawing sprites is extremely time-consuming. Imagine that all these take two days to draw. I only have two weekends a week, and just doing the art assets would devour my weekend. Talk about “no life”, I honestly spent too much time on the art assets and this being my first game in Unity, it may not turn out very well. Most first games don’t do well and I’m afraid that if I spend too much time drawing the art, it will be wasted if I don’t finish this game.
There’s still a lot of scripting I need to learn, and it will be a very busy week for me as I play in my new playground, Unity.
And talk about programming, I had two major breakthroughs. And man, Unity is really tough to use for me since I’m still a beginner at it. Although I don’t like programming as much, when I successfully code a feature, it gives me a really great sense of achievement. I resolved two very big issues recently:
1) I finally got the green health bar to go up and down according to your current HP ratio. It was so much trouble because the camera I rendered it on it set to some special settings that screwed up my calculations. I looked up multiple solutions and sort of did a mix between them.
2) Adding random enemy spawning and collision detection. Instead of 1 enemy, the game now spawns random enemies chosen from a list. I tried to disable collision detection because I don’t want the enemy to PUSH the player back every time he attacks. However, disabling their collision box means disabling events like detecting if the mouse is over an object and I can’t afford to do that. In the end, I did some workarounds to get it to work. Not only that, I managed to make the collision box fit perfectly to the enemy as his graphic changes without having to rely on Unity to repeatedly destroy the collision box and re-generating, which I think may not be very good for game performance.
See, that’s the complex thing about coding. Sometimes there are multiple solutions to a problem, and you got to choose the best one. Because as I had learned in the past, bad coding can make it hard to expand and “add stuff” to your game in the future.
A week has passed since I downloaded Unity and about 5 days since I started making this gams and I think it’s a really good tool for game development so far.