Folo Hearts :: Pixel Arcade/Adventure Game :: Development Blog

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by WhiteSponge, May 31, 2014.

  1. WhiteSponge macrumors member

    WhiteSponge

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2014
    #1
    Hey everyone, my name is David and if you know me from before, then it is most probably because I crafted Small Chronicles.

    I am starting something new today as a way of learning and improving in the art of crafting games. I will be making a new game every month (#1GAM)!

    If you are playing Small Chronicles Chapter 1 at the moment and are wondering if this will affect the development of Chapter 2 (the supposed continuation to Small Chronicles), it won't.

    Starting with Folo Hearts, I will be making games that are simple to play but difficult to master. That means that it won't take away the time from Small Chronicles :D

    So what's Folo Hearts? Well, to answer that, let's start with Day 0 of the development blog!


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    1GAM #1 - Folo Hearts Day 0
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    Conceptualizing the idea
    As with Small Chronicles, crafting a game at WhiteSponge always starts with brainstorming ideas. A great way to do so is definitely through the use of the pencil and pieces of paper.

    [​IMG]


    As you can see, I always tend to draw and sketch random ideas all over the place which might seem messy to some. If you observe carefully though, you can notice that some of these sketches seem to indicate some sort of similarity between them.

    With 1GAM, I aim to create games with only 1 goal in mind - to make their core gameplay fun and simple to understand. In other words, I am going to reduce the entry barrier that prevents anyone from trying or playing the game, due to its complexity.

    So for a start, the first game from doing 1GAM will consist of only a single objective - getting a score as high as possible! To make things as simple as possible, it will also consist of a single gameplay mechanic - tapping!

    [​IMG]


    Referring back to the sketches, the aim is to make a game that can be played with 1 hand. Doing so will allow you to play from virtually everywhere and anywhere. This also means that the game will be in a portrait view.

    When I combined that with the simple objective of getting a high score, I arrived at the decision to make a game where you will be flying up and trying to avoid as many enemies as you can.

    As I have no intention of making a clone, it will definitely not be like Flappy Bird. The core gameplay will require you to focus your eyes on where you are. There won't be any pipes and there certainly won't be any obstacles of such. Just pure evasion of enemies raining down on you.


    The Tools
    Now while Small Chronicles Chapter 1 was crafted using a game engine called Cocos2D, I will be switching to another engine called Unity for 1GAM. If you are wondering about the differences between these 2 engines, well for one Cocos2D is free and Unity costs a lot.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    However, Unity does allow me to quickly release games for multiple platforms ( iOS, Android, Windows, Xbox and more) . Luckily, Unity does have a free and stripped down version that should suffice for the games that I will be making for 1GAM.

    On top of the game engine, I will also be making full use of my trustworthy Wacom Bamboo to create the graphics for the game.

    [​IMG]


    While some people do prefer using the mouse to do so, I certainly prefer using my tablet as it feels more natural holding a pen-like object in your hand. I have my friends to thank for that!

    For sound effects, the blue yeti will definitely come in handy as it can record in almost professional sound quality (there's a blue yeti pro version) .

    [​IMG]


    If there is one thing that I have learnt from making games till now, that is when recording sounds, stay away from the walls as far as you can. Depending on your microphone, it may be sensitive enough to pick up on the subtle echo sound that is reflected from the walls. I am fairly certain that my blue yeti does that.

    Instead, surround yourself with soft objects such as pillows, mattresses and even the sofa. These soft objects will absorb the sound projected from you so your microphone will not pick up on the echo sounds.

    And so it is

    Day zero of the first 1GAM! While there wasn't actual progress in regards to crafting the game, getting the game's core gameplay finalized is definitely important too!

    Do subscribe to this thread for regular blog updates! Cheers! :D
     
  2. WhiteSponge thread starter macrumors member

    WhiteSponge

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2014
    #2
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    1GAM #1 - Folo Hearts Day 1
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    It has only been a day since I have started #1GAM but I have already learnt many new and awesome stuff! To craft Folo Hearts, first let's jump right to how on this day I went about deciding the game's look and feel.

    [​IMG]

    To begin with, first I went back to my pencil and sketchbook. It's always better to draw or sketch your ideas out before actually creating or designing them. It is faster and you can experiment with many different ideas rapidly. It is basically one of the benefits of low fidelity prototyping.

    After having done so, this is what was finally decided on what you might first see when the game starts.

    [​IMG]

    Notice that I have the animation tab opened at the bottom of the screenshot? While I used to create animations through typing code manually, today I found a faster way to do so.

    Using Unity, I can work in a flash-like manner and insert keyframes for the sprite that I wish to animate. It was literally done within about five clicks and some dragging for the "Tap To Evade" moving animation.

    On a side note, after having done the sketching to determine the game's layout and scenes, I arrived at the decision that Folo Hearts only needs a single scene. This means that the game's size will be relatively small. So thumbs up for a faster download and smaller memory footprint!

    By now you might have noticed that the game seems empty. That's because the majority of the game's graphics aren't done yet. To do that, it is time to decide on the game's art style.

    Okay I just lied. I have actually decided on the art style days before. If you notice carefully, the screenshot above shows the game's name in a rather easily identifiable font. Do you know what it is?

    It's pixel art! Pixel art has been and is something that I have always wanted to try. Folo Hearts is definitely an opportunity for that! And as such, I went on the internet and searched for tutorials to practice on pixel art.

    [​IMG]

    Another benefit of pixel art is that it scales up really well! Using photoshop, I am able to scale the original version to x2, x4 and even x8 if I wanted to, while still maintaining the same image quality.

    So how does Folo Hearts look like now if I add a single pixel cloud?

    [​IMG]

    Definitely much better! Now I just have to make more clouds to fill up that sky!
     

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