Gotta Start Somewhere

There it is.  The image above is the current starting screen for Legend of Gigatron.  Gigatron is the small green dragon-turtle in the middle of the screen.  No enemies are shown, nor are items or UI (or effects/etc).

It’s scary to reveal the art style for a game when the art style is unusual and (as with all my games) it looks better in motion.  With no motion or other objects of interest, the screen looks too barren.  I’ll be adding a few minor things to this screen and refining the shadows, but if you look at the start screen of Zelda, not much is going on there either.  Either way, I’ll post another starting screen image when the game is done to see how it compares.

I’m trying for a mix of hard geometric shapes and organic colors, along with stylized camera choices (offset perspective, tilt-shift blur, and edge shading).  The color palette varies based on the region of the world you’re in, and you’re seeing the beach palette.  Regardless of whether you love or hate the style in the image above, I hope it at least makes Gigatron screenshots recognizable while remaining reminiscent of the inspiration.

How Big Is Too Big?

Work has begun on the overworld map, and it’s made me realize that a 17×11 set of screens might be too massive.  Zelda has an overworld map of 16×8 screens (128 total), and 187 feels like too many.  I’m leaning towards having fewer screens packed with secrets and unique layouts rather than more screens, some of which are obviously filler.  At the same time, the style of the game doesn’t require constant stimulation, so I’m not set on doing any particular amount until more of the world is fleshed out.

I have a rough layout planned for dungeon entrances and a progression list of when the upgrades and equipment will be unlocked.  As I go along building the world, I’m constantly finding little things that need special items or block types.  At this point, I find it works better just to make something when I need it, rather than adding it to a list.  Many of the hard parts of the game engine are done, and adding new stuff (items, blocks, or enemies) is usually not too difficult or time-consuming.

I’m obviously not near the end of development yet, but features are getting added/tweaked as fast as I usually do at the end of the game.  I can’t worry about how much there is left to do or not, I just have to do it.  The polish and balance will come along the way.

Aside from adding more “stuff” and building the world (and refining it), the major task remaining is audio.  I’m going to try to find a decent synthetic/organic mix for the music.  That may include a bit FM synthesis, though as with art, I’ll keep flailing away at music until I find something that works.  For sound FX, Sideswype is pretty close to what I’ll be going for, so hopefully that goes smoothly.

Next time I’ll show off some enemies and talk about the animation system (and editor) that drives them.

PS. Incorporation?

Still no word about the incorporation from Illinois (it’s now been a little over a month).  Hopefully it won’t be much longer and Inferno 2 will come to Steam sooner than later.  Sorry about the wait.

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