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Match Two Rivals – Competitive Matching Game – soft launch

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Match Two Rivals – Competitive Matching Game

Game Launch News [Android]

Match Two Rivals – Competitive Matching Game – is soft launching on the App Store. Match your spotting skills with other players globally. This is the fourth collaboration with Richard Gale from A proper Job Games. It’s nice to work with people you enjoy – their approach, their ideas, and their games.

Match Two Rivals

Matched with a similar level player, you will have the same pieces in the same positions. Both rivals will have the same boosts and time. Score points by dragging matching pieces onto the collector. Keep a streak going for winning scores. Clear them all for a time bonus.

Strategy – keep similar objects together!
Efficiency – maintain a streak for high scores!
Speed – make the time count!

Skillz Support

Challenge people around the world with Skillz, a competition platform complete with leaderboards, trophies, Cash or virtual currency prizes, and an amazing loyalty program that rewards you for playing!

For this project, I had a lot of stock art to incorporate into the look and feel. It would have been too time-consuming to create it all from scratch. As an indie-developer time is money – and you are usually in constant short supply of both.
The art style had to match the last two games ‘Farm Rivals’ and ‘Safaria Merge Rivals’. Working in Affinity Designer [with animations done in Spine] allowed for fast asset and UI creation. Falling back on existing styles for the title screen and logo helped as well.

2Dgameartguru - Match Two Rivals title design

Building on past experiences

The title design uses parts of a tutorial I wrote in 2017 as a foundation – Creating a game title. Consequently, using similar effects allows for faster creation. Additionally, it also helps to build a recognizable brand for the client.
The character design approach was very similar. Previously, [starting with Farm Rivals] games featured characters on the title screen and during in-game messages. I kept the proportions of the setup. Using the old characters as a template for the next games. I went as far as keeping the file names. This made it very easy to replace the assets for animation. As the body parts were identical, spine would instantly show the setup with the new art. Usually, tweaking and positioning are a lot faster than a whole new rig and bones setup. Ultimately, it’s about saving time.

2Dgameartguru - Match Two Rivals character design

Check it out on the app store!

Polishing older tutorial assets in Inkscape

Polishing older tutorial assets in Inkscape

Assets revisited

While playing with Inkscape, I decided to take some older tutorial assets and try polishing them. The newest version of Inkscape has a lot to offer and runs more stable when dealing with the things I enjoy. Blurs, blend modes, and layers run fine now. I had a look at the files of this site [in access of 1000 images] and there is no shortage of assets that could use some love.
One of the oldest tutorials is the creation of a dinosaur. It was a basic Inkscape tutorial for an external site back in the days. Dino briefly featured on the screens for the character animation tutorial. I did mean to rework the tutorial to match this site for a while. So, today was a ‘sit back and have some fun’ day.

2dgameartguru - Inkscape rework of older assets

I took the original parts and adding some shading shapes, blurs, and more detail to them. There are a lot of clips to keep the blurs in check. I also added a little bit of texture with some random, semi-transparent circles.

Would there be interest in tutorials on this? I could go through some of the older assets and bring them in line with the current abilities of Inkscape. Explaining the process of shading, adding detail, and reworking the art. Maybe I could add some basic animation tutorials in Spine or Spriter as well.

2dgameartguru - Inkscape rework of older assets

It’s up to you!

Please let me know in the comments below if there is interest and what you would like to see revisited. Thanks!

2Dgameartguru basics - circles
2Dgameartguru basics - squares
2Dgameartguru basics - shading
2Dgameartguru basics - align
2Dgameartguru basics - picking colours

Pupey – Reach New Heights – Android Action Game

2dgameartguru pupey2dgameartguru pupey

Pupey – Reach New Heights

Game Launch News [Android]

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.

2Dgameartguru - Pupey Action Game

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!

Check it out on GooglePlay!

Farm Rivals – Android Puzzle Game

2dgameartguru farm rivals

Farm Rivals – a competitive puzzle game

Game Launch News [Android]

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.

2Dgameartguru - Farm Rivals Puzzle Game

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.

2dgameartguru - gradients

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.

It helps to see a game like Farm Rivals received very positively, winning at the 2020 Skillz Kickoff challenge.

Check it out on GooglePlay!

Merge Cafe – Facebook Instant Game

2Dgameartguru - cafe merge mockup - facebook instantgames

Merge Cafe – Facebook Instantgame

Game Launch News

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.

cafe merge - facebook instantgame

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.

Merge Cafe - facebook instantgame

Check it out on Facebook/ Instantgames!

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.

Helpful features

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.

cafe merge - facebook instantgame

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.

I might take one or two of those cakes and write a tutorial about the approach and creation. 

Check it out on Facebook/ Instantgames!

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