Posts Tagged ‘art’
In preparation for the soon-to-be release we printed some stickers to hand out. The business cards we've had for quite a while but I believe we haven't shared them yet. If you have a game-making-related business card yourself, share it!
Meanwhile, we're solving problems that prevent Nikki and the Robots from running on various computers. If you would like to help us make sure that Nikki 0.5 will run on the operating system of your choice, feel free to drop us an email.
We added a neon pixel heart design to our shirt store. It is based on one of the first game objects that you will see when playing Episode 1 of the story mode:
One of us was at the Global Game Jam in Berlin as an organizer.
The theme was a snake biting its own tail and we made a tiny level referencing it. Too late for submission though. ;)
The video also shows the recently added game over screen menu (no more abrupt returning to the level selection) and a new, simple background for the editor.
We want to allow to preorder the storymode very soon but before talking about business plans, let's take a look at the levels in the story mode first!
We used some of the level contest entries as a basis to create story levels. Lootninja by sauer2 for example:
Some of the steps when "upgrading" a level are the addition of...
... and new content in general. Most "upgrade levels" are larger and require more time to do a 100% run than the originals.
Here is a big screen of a different, jetpack robot-heavy level, which is not based on a contest entry:
We're nearly done with all the levels for episode 1 but some bugs, the preorder website and paypal integration will probably not allow us to release before January...
Scaffolding, scaffolding, scaffolding...
46 days of no updates...
One of the decorations we use in story mode levels is a scaffolding tile set. Today, I spent some time trying to find an alternative look, which would look better in a single-row/column line of these tiles. I ended up using the original set.
I uploaded the set of alternative 64px scaffolding tiles to OpenGameArt, hoping it will serve some other purpose.
In the next blog post I will tell and show how the story mode levels differ from the freeplay ones.
Nikki and the Robots 0.3 is out! [get it here] Soon we will start a level contest which is why we gave this release the name "Edward".
We decided to abandon batteries as energy source for robots to avoid slow pace and annoyingly repetitive gameplay. Instead Nikki's targets are:
1. Collect Batteries
(as many as possible)
2. Use Robots
(they do not require ⌁energy)
3. Press Switches*
(to complete levels)
Collecting battery cells will serve high-score lists and <SPOILER>in the story mode it will allow for progression; a certain amount of batteries will be needed to enter the next part of the game</SPOILER>. We will explain the meaning of switches another time..
0.3 Changes include:
- Battery counter and timer inside levels
- High-score display in level selection and level-end screens.
- Bugfixes! One of the most horrible ones prevented linking robots to terminals in the editor.
- Player-configurable controls
- Death zone (lower limit for levels)
The level competition will start soon and it will affect the future development of Nikki greatly, so please test-ride this release [again, get it here] as hard as you can! Bugs go to Launchpad or our IndieDB forum (did we tell you we got a forum?).
Level editor tutorials will be released very soon as well!
We are currently implementing the game menus. We tried to achieve a distinct old school look, that - while being very minimalistic - doesn't look unintentionally plain. The above image is a mockup of what we came up with. We hope, you like it!
(The new menus will be deployed with one of the next updates.)
One of the first graphical details for "Nikki and the Robots" that we came up with was the style of the backgrounds for the story mode. We decided to use beautifully lit skies that at the same time have an emphasized color banding effect. In the 80s and early 90s color banding used to be a rather unwanted effect due to the limitations in color depth, but we wanted to use it as a visual feature.
Now, it is quite a lot of work to manually create all the color banded backgrounds for 12 levels, especially because there are various versions each for different screen resolutions. So, a couple of days ago Sönke came up with a simple but very useful script that produces the color banding effect. We call it skybanding. Basically, what I can do now is to paint a soft sky in Gimp using various gradients and then just let the skybanding script run over it. The script looks up the source image, takes lines with the height of 1 pixel and then uses them to create bands with a specified height. It therefore produces the color banding effect while preserving the quality of the lighting very nicely. And it is also possible to create the images for different resolutions very fast.
After running the script, there is still some more work necessary to clean up artifacts (which again are due to color depth and resolution limitations), but in the end this script should save me quite a few hours of development time. Yay!