Pupey – Reach New Heights – a tricky little action game – is out on GooglePlay now. Those of you who know this blog might have seen the ‘before/ after’ image in the frontpage. It’s been a while since I worked on this one with Algerian coder Mohammed Islam Hadjoudj. He has ported it to Android now and it’s out for you to grab and give it a spin.
PUPEY is a colourful litte arcade game. Your main aim is fly upwards in a sky filled with obstacles. Keep away from those. Avoid crashing into any of the traps – all while collecting coins scattered all over the screen.
Controls are very intuitive. Swipe your finger to guide your player. Plan ahead so you won’t be caught off guard by any of the stationary, rotating or moving elements out to end your flight.
The difference art makes
Pupey is a good example how a game can be transformed with consistent and contrasting art. It’s not about the complexity of game art. The main characters in this game are very simple. We tried to keep the level of detail simple but make it easy to distinguish elements and keep the player’s focus on the essential elements.
Keeping things simple is my main advice when you are starting your indie game and are overwhelmed by the tasks ahead. Rather than spend a ton of time on ‘the most awesome looking’ character, keep things consistently simple. Make sure the game works and feels right. Eventually, you can improve the art elements, refine and add details.
It should be fun…
I am a firm believer in ‘fun shows in your work’. It should be fun to create the game. It won’t be all the time. We all know that. Overall it should be a great (yet sometimes stressful) experience that you enjoy. Your passion will show in the game, the art or the music!
Farm Rivals – a competitive puzzle game – is out on GooglePlay. Plant, place and compete with other players globally. This is the second collaboration with Richard Gale from A proper Job Games. After the initial game with ‘A proper Job Games’ [ ‘Merge Cafe’ ], it was a joy to work with Richard again.
Move blocks on to the board, fill rows or columns to harvest, score points and win! It takes just seconds to learn, but only the most seasoned farmer will harvest the most!
Skillz – making a puzzle game globally competitive
Hone your skills in head to head practice leagues or compete in the Pro Leagues. Win real world prizes (where available). Challenge people from around the world with Skillz, a competition platform complete with leaderboards, trophies, cash or virtual currency prizes. Skillz also offers an amazing loyalty program that rewards you for playing.
He asked for an art style that was right down my alley. It allowed for fast asset creationg and let me to reuse some objects from earlier test and tutorials. Most of the art was created in Affinity Designer with the addition of some CorelDraw elements [e.g. for the title as it required some deformation].
The pumpkin I used in the game derived from one of my very first tutorials. A tutorial I wrote back in 2011. Yet, the style and the approach worked nicely here.
Have fun – make games
I enjoy working on puzzle games like Farm Rivals. There is managable scope. You get time to polish the look and work a developer that is willing to spend the extra time on making the game better. Ultimately, it’s that rewarding feeling to see a game go through the stages. From developing the ideas and initial sketches, to placeholder art, to the final polish and eventually the release.
Even after years and years of making games it’s still a special moment when a game is completed.
Merge Cafe has been launched on Facebook Instantgames [a while back … ]. I had quite a bit of catching up as far as posting on the blog goes… I had the pleasure of working with Richard Gale again. Now he’s the solo-developer of of ‘a proper job games’ and we created some mouthwatering cake goodness.
I switched from my usual tool for graphic design to Affinity Designer for the cafe merge artwork. The idea was to create a very glossy, smooth, a tad over the top look. I needed a good and easy to handle transparency tool and the ability to blur things. This would give me the extra smooth look.
It worked out a lot better than I expected. Affinity Designer allowed me to create the art for the facebook instantgame Merge Cafe in a stable and fast fashion. I would create the highlight or shadow shapes, blur them and keep modifying them while the effect was updated in realtime.
Another great feature I used quite a bit is the ‘pixel persona’. You can mix vector art and bitmap/ pixel elements seamlessly. E.g. rather than try and create a crumbled cake texture, I would just paint it with a soft brush as a bitmap layer. These elements can be clipped, masked, recoloured, and scaled without problems in Affinity Designer. Working with them as an editable part of the illustration made it a lot easier to achieve the desired look. Symbols are another nice addition to the toolbox. I created rough shapes of e.g. strawberries as symbols, dublicate them and place them on the cakes. Later on, I would edit the symbol and update all berries with more detail.
Exporting the art to ingame pngs was a breeze thanks to the ‘export persona’ and the output quality was just fine. I will continue using Affinity Designer for tasks like these that require a high level of polish, shine and smoothness. Overall, it was a very pleasurable experience.
Note: I might take one or two of those cakes and write a tutorial about the approach and creation.
The New Year is well underway and I haven’t posted in a while. The problems have been pretty much the usual. My health is an ongoing worry. I changed the approach. Some new tools helped me cope with the chronic pain [some of the time]. Around Christmas and New Year it wasn’t quite working too well… but hey… not letting it stop me.
So, rather than have the creative energy flowing, I did the ‘not so fun’ things. I am still working on bringing all the blog posts into wordpress. At the moment there’s about 25 tutorials left to do. That’s a good step up from the initialy daunting task of 150+.
Lately, sellfy.com the site I chose as a platform for my assets has changed it’s pricing structure. I took it as a reason to finally get off it and make all the assets free. I edited the post [hopefully all of them] with assets. More assets from later/ newer tutorials will be added as I go. They are all up on opengameart.org now. Check it out if you want some of the source files of the tutorial.
Next up will be a step-by-step tutorial and a video currently in the planning stage. The artwork for both has been done and I just need to get into the right mindset to write and record.
Basically, even though I have not posted in a while – the blog is still alive and I will continue to work on wordpress, more FREE assets and new tutorials. I hope to be more active in the future and get into a regular posting routine.
I hope you all have a good, peaceful and happy holiday season. Spending my Christmas in tropical Australia still feels weird. There are the presents, a lot of time spent on dolls’ house figurines and furniture for my grandkid, and a wooden Christmas I painted for a charity sale, it’s hard to get into the right spirit. Coming from Germany, Christmas is about cold, a real tree, wax candles, the smell of cookies and the fireplace burning. It’s not quite the same as summer, sun, and beach at 30C.
It’s scary to see how little I posted this year but other things had priority and took up a lot of my time and energy. I do feel bad about it and (as usual) would like to change it. 2019 threw a few nasty punches at me and it looks like the year is ending on that note as well. My neural pains have been a problem the past few days and I taking it easy. There are a few new approaches to battle the aches I am trying at the moment. The first results are quite promising therefor I hope for a better run in the next year!