Addiction

Apparently, making a game is also an addiction… somewhat. I guess…

The funny thing about making a game is that it’s all about balancing. No, I’m not talking about game balancing…

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It’s all about the balance between happiness when your game works….and frustration when it doesn’t. So yea, making a game is full of such balances.

The thing about drawing is that I get a great sense of fulfilment. This is the same with coding, but with frustration. When I am done with coding and I open up my Photoshop, I’m like “YAY! IT’S TIME TO DRAW SOMETHING!”, and I get so happy when I start it up because I know it’s going to be fun.Blog4

And when I get tired of drawing (well…we all get tired), I go back to coding. Once again, balance. (That’s why I titled this post “Addiction”. I’m kinda addicted to Unity now because it’s really really fun.) Unfortunately, the dark side of coding tends to eat up more of my time because I run into unexpected bugs.

But what if I get bored of both drawing and coding? Well, then I guess there’s always game design to think about.

But what if I get bored of ALL of that? Coding, drawing, and designing. Well, that’s when you see me typing a new post, like this one, because I’ve probably been drawing, coding non-stop from day to night and I need a break.

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This is the current look of the game.

I’ve been drawing a lot lately… I’ve drawn 100 game monsters, which is really lots and lots of drawing, by the way. There are 10 “areas” in my game, and each area requires a specific set of monsters, background art and props.

SnowyHillMonsters Ice Zone

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I really enjoy drawing boss monsters a lot. I try to make them unique and memorable, but each boss monster can take up to half an hour to draw. At this point, I can say I’ve finished drawing 75% of the monsters and am taking a break before finishing the last two zones, and one secret zone.

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Also featuring a chocolate yeti which is actually a color-inverted of the original. Gave me idea for a new “Candy-land” themed area. I should experiment on inverting my other graphics.

Also, Items!

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The items I’ve drawn for the game are extremely high-res, 818 x 818px each!!! I have no idea why I drew them at such crazy sizes when they appear so small in the game. For comparison, my backgrounds take up an entire screen and are 2048 x 2048.  For such HD graphics, you’d expect these items to make a significant appearance in the game, but the truth is they only appear for a fraction of a second. They drop as loot items from monsters, and you probably loot them in a second. I realised that as I was playing the game myself.

Also, I have been working on characters as well. Here are some concept art as well as a touched up animation of one of the characters: Rogue.

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The game has multiple characters, and that’s one of the challenges of developing this game. I don’t know if I can publish it actually, because having one character already requires LOTS of work and each character has quite some depth – upgrades, skills, class advancements…

Aside from characters, I also worked a lot on their Skills, something that is very VERY challenging to do in games. I did make OldStory previously, an RPG. It was great fun, but to do it in Unity would be quite a different story. Get it? OldStory, different story? Ah never mind.

Anyway, here’s one of the skill animations I drew recently. It’s called “Wisdom”, and increases party EXP gain for a short duration.

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Unfortunately, I don’t really have any special tools for creating animations, so a lot of it has to be done manually. TexturePacker, which I used for OldStory doesn’t help at all in this game. The animation above took about an hour to make, and much more including the time taken to form ideas and research on existing skill effects used in other games. Oh, and don’t underestimate the time taken to draw skill icons either.

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As you can see from the picture, the game’s skill icons above are about 50% done. Some of the repeated icons are placeholders. Collectively, they took half a day to draw. If I didn’t stop, it would have been one entire day spent on just skill icons.

So this week has been pretty amazing.

On the programming side, I managed to code:

– Random item drop mechanic and loot system

– Multiple character feature

– Skills system

On the art side, I whipped up

– Several new Theme areas and monsters

– New character art

– Character equipment items

– Roughly 50% of the game’s skill icons

– A few skill animations

I guess it’s been a pretty productive week so far. This is partially thanks to the long weekend from Labour Day, which gave me 3 long days to play with.

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