Dev Diary #13: A Big Transition
Around 6 months ago, those of us at Deckpoint had an extremely long conversation about the presentation of our game world. As early screenshots of our game reveal, our initial overworld was constructed of pixel graphics. After extensively reading about how to create 3D worlds, Jesse felt confident that we could make a 3D game world with realistic lighting and reflections.
For weeks, we experimented with creating the world using 3D assets. Constructing the world in 3D was definitely a more time-consuming process; we would most certainly not be able to release the game at our initially planned date. Besides that, basic functions such as player pathing, AI, and animations would be much more complex.
Caption: New directions.
Another change that we would have to make would be with our character portraits. With more realistic looking graphics, the cartoony style that we had would not blend well with the rest of the game. We would have to come up with another art style for almost everything. When we eventually had a piece of the game world built in 3D, all those concerns evaporated. We realized that we might just be able to pull it off... and if we could do it, our game would look much closer to the dream game we've always envisioned.
The decision was made harder by the fact that we already have parts of the game world already built. Many existing assets had to be put aside. Although it was slightly sad that so many things became unusable, we were extremely exhilarated at how our game was shaping up. One of the most rewarding things about game design is completing an objective you set for yourself. Perhaps an even more rewarding feeling is when you find that you can surpass your initial vision.
Caption: Small beginnings.
Designing the world became much more interesting with our new dimension, but it also became way more complicated. Suddenly, we had to become much more conscious of the amount of resources our game would require to run. With our pixel graphics, we did not have to worry nearly as much about pathing, lighting/shadows, and animations.
For the past 6 months, we've been working on updating and changing all the visual aspects of our game to suit the new graphics. Almost everything, from character portraits, to the menus, to the title screen, will be or have been changed. The only aspect of the game that is still visually familiar would be the battle screen, but even that has seen significant changes (mainly the new particle effects and background). We have also spent much time streamlining the AI.
Caption: As we all know, flashy explosions improve almost everything.
In the next several weeks, we will have a flood of new content to show the cool things we've been working on that we haven't yet shown on our Twitter/TIG dev logs. Our dialogue system has gone through many refinements, our inventory system is close to completion, and we've finalized the art style for our character portraits. We're working on implementing these in our demo, so expect to see at least one of these features within the next few alpha builds.
See you guys soon!
Captions: R.I.P. title screen. You will be missed.