We start out adventure into creating Meliths Plane with a period of creating thumb nails and basic concepts as assets to create a big picture for me and richard
to work out a style we can both agree with.
I am going to be design our antagonist Melith, Enemy characters, the first level and general assets.
I started with designs for Melith and getting to grips with certain aspects of her design such as hair, clothing and posture.
Using my Ipad I created a 2 default female head poses to then I could easily start scribbling and design hair styles facial feature etc.
Using this easily accessible way of development i had fun and have a rough idea of how I would like Meliths hair to look.
Using the same idea I also applied the technique of quick thumbnails for creating clothing and accessories towards a rough example of Melith’s design. I liked the design of Melith having features in her clothing that would resemble a crow or a bird like animal. As Meltih is a type of witch she is also a shape shifter so I wanted the crow to perhaps be her preferred animal of transformation.
I began on some brief ideas for levels in the game. Again just trying to capture what sort of style me and my partner would be happy with before producing anything we are unsure about in the Design stages of creating Meliths Plane.
I then began to draw up some idea for enemy or creature designs. As Melith Plane takes place in diffrent worlds within the Plane “Raul” our protaganist gets thrown into along with his men. this is an oppatunity to create some unique designs which will make this game our own.
Im looking forward to creating more designs and creating enemy characters that will compliment the stage there in and being designed dynamic enough to mix up the combat in the game.
I drew up a REALLY quick sketch of how I imagine the transitions between scenes progessing though the tutorial stage of Meliths Plane.
I have began to think about the first scenes in the game. me and richard have agreed to fully design a level but we think the intro to the game will be important as an introduction and to cut scenes and trailers we will be producing. I have thought about the first tuttorial level where Raul and his men will arrive by boat on a coast with Melith’s keep in the distance. The player would then walk from the beach area into a wood.
Raul will slip into a Ditch where ambushing soldiers would approach from both sides. This being an optionality to complete the melee combat tutorial, Then being helped out of the hole by a fellow solider then continue out of the cave and onwards towards Meliths keep going into a cut-scene.
Using these images I experimented with layers and how i Image the seens working as gameplay.
Here is a combat flow chart and controller layouts I have been working on for the fighting mechanics.
The aim is to have the player feel like they have alot of control to divide the enemy (Divide and Conquer) but also Raul our protagonist also needs to appear to know his way around a sword. Rauls combat style is stylish and almost arrogant in his movement as he is from a nobel background so baring this in mind I developed the battle mechanics and controls to best suit his personality and combat technique.
I have been looking into 2D engines that could potentially work for Melith’s Plane. and this is the info I have found.
Torque 2D features :
- Cross Platform- windows, mac, wii, xbox, iphone
- powerful rendering for 2D artistic styles
- script behavour easily shared
- fast and easy Scripting
- open source phsics engine
- sound library
here is an example of a game built in the Torque 2D engine.
Game Develop features :
- Easy to use, no Programming needed
- includes tutorials
- fully featured game development environment
- FREE! for any use
info on the engine from Indie DB http://www.indiedb.com/engines/game-develop
The editor is designed to be simple but powerful :
* Use of a Ribbon to allow easy access to features. ( Game Develop uses wxRibbon )
* Can be used on Windows and Ubuntu 11.04
* Extension system so as to enhance the features of Game Develop.
* Entirely visual scene editor, so as to see directly the aspect of the game ( WYSIWYG ).
* Layers system.
* Visual Event editor, allowing simple and efficient creation.
* Preview directly integrated to the editor. No need to wait to test games.
* Powerful integrated Debugger, allowing to verify the properties and the values of the objects or of the variables and to modify them.
* Customizable skin.
* Use of variable lists to easily find the variables used in your game.
A lot of features are available for game creation :
* Animated sprites, composed of animations with directions.
* Text object, so as to display easily text on the screen.
* 3D Box object, so as to create 3D Building for example.
* Features allowing to manipulate objects on the scene.
* Support for keyboard and mouse.
* Object allowing to draw directly shapes on screen.
* Support for joysticks.
* Timers and time manipulation, allowing to create slowdown.
* Ability to play sounds and music, and manipulate them.
* Simple handling of files: Saving, Loading, Removing files…
* Encryption functions.
the website also includes a list of game engines, 2D and 3D
Love 2D game frame work from reviews sounds like an effective engine. http://www.love2d.org/wiki/love
Towards Meliths design I have been collecting research and references for woman’s 12th – 13th century clothing for more historical accuracy in Meliths design. within the game Melith is a drude and a shape shifter and her character is going to be portrayed as a character who has been around the world, perhaps to different times in history so I feel open with her design but references to the time period the game is set in would only help the world feel pieced together and believable to the plot and to the world.
I found these images from various sites and the photo images from www.medievaldesign.com and as i found out from looking into the fashion of the 12th centuary. I am lucky I am able to be open with Meliths design as I found 12th century fashion is not very exciting but i will try and include the style as and where i can in the design of Melith.
I have began to think of more pratical and developed peices for Meliths Design.
I am enjoying the design process and now have more idea of what I do and don’t want to include in Meliths design.
Looking into level design work flows and procedures I came across this webpage which shows a certain way of putting together a platform level (http://devmag.org.za/2011/07/04/how-to-design-levels-for-a-platformer/) baring in mind key points of the player experience.
Furnace Level I. Player sees A. Furnaces B. Fire C. Machinery D. Chains II. Player learns A. Flip feature B. Escape techniques C. Side quest opportunity III. Player hears A. Swinging chains B. Subtle screams C. Flames IV. Player encounters A. Enemies B. Flip puzzle C. Side Mission D. Locked doors V. Specific items A. Flip accessory VI. General items
- A. Potions X 4
- B. Keys X 3
Laying down the Key features and experiences of the stage made it easier for me to construct the level and easier to think of the designated route the player must take to find the end.
Once I finished the Path of the level which me and Richard decided to start Meliths plane in somewhere, Raul would find horrifying and know, immediately what sort of danger he is in. so we decided to call the level the Furnace as its were he was sent to his doom and the idea would be for him to burn!.
I created a type of mood scene for Richard to see how I image the level to look like, including parts of the mind map I created previously. I also added an image of Richards in the windows because he had created a peice of art work appropriate to what i wanted to include in the scene.
I have began a concept of how I image the interior of the this level based on my original idea and richards exterior piece, I have not added anything into the scene but i’m happy with the start I have made.
I created a couple of Assets towards in- game content. I’m happy with the Health potion design but I think I should tone down the design of the game cursor.
I have finished more Concepts of Melith and feel I have all the pieces now to put together a more accurate concept to how she will appear in the Game.
Out of my thumbnail concepts for Melith i have chosen one of each pose that i will develop on and begin molding a finished idea for Melith.
Using these designs I have progressed towards a more finalised design for our antagonised Melith. combining elements of each of the designs i have produced theses images.
after drawing up these designs for melith I knew i wanted something between these 2 designs something slightly closer to 13th centuary clothing (the best i can without it being borering) and something showing melith being appealing specially to men as this would be her way of getting her way.
As we develop more towards the game we need to tweak and consider new things such as combat and the puzzle element. the focus of the game is Combat. I developed the Furnace level to keep the players at this early point in the game to consider trying different combos and techniques and to find there feet when it comes to combat. I left the player with enough opportunity to understand combat with small waves of enemies before butting the player against alot of enemies. I hoped by this point the player would feel confident enough to take on much more enemies at once.
in discussions with Richard as he is developing our protagonist we have developed examples within our design document of examples of combo’s and how combos, the flail and movement works in combat.
we also took this opportunity to refine of buttons to better fit our new ideas of combat.
I have began work on the first level of Melith’s Plane by starting with some basic texture I would use as repeat patters that can be easliy applied to produce the level more quickly and efficiently.
Now I need to think about how im going to fill the space to make it look dynamic and believable so I have started on assets towards filling the blank space.
I have now produced assets towards the level design. I have been concentrating on what me and Richard have discussed about the theme of the level and produced more pieces of the design.
I’m happy to see how putting together all the objects ive been working on together to produce a scene and being able to to produce screen shots is definitely on the cards now. i just need to produce a few more assets and then I will then beadle to produce Screens of the game to put towards the Game design document.
Since working on the final design for Melith I have began to work on the In game imagery for Melith.
Im still in progress of adding shading and details before i call he In-Game design finished but im happy with the outcome.
Once I have finished this piece I will then need to think about creating art work of Melith that would contribute towards cut scenes meaning I need to strike her in poses so we are able to put together scenes of conversation between Melith and the Antagonist Raul.
I have began to put together all assets together and putting together the furnace level. The assets I have drawn have come together nicely and achieving the mood and feeling I envisioned.
This is the start of the level where Raul will awaken after being casted into Melith’s Plane. this is also where Raul will first encounters Tomtenisse who will Give Raul information and present him with the “Spell Breaker” that will aid him in his quest to save the king. I put together a quick animation of this scene also demostrating a flip example. (music and lighting in the scene does not necessaries reflect the final outcome)
I also took this opportunity to animate an example of the pause menu Richard had put together.
Im pleased with the results of the level but still need to draw up and add doors and extra details to each parts of the level to make the brick patter seem worn and lived in.
I have drawn a sword to add to the collection of collectable weapons in the game.
I designed this sword to resemble some of the designs and patterns I have included into my level design. this way the the player should believe that this weapon came from the surrounding world the weapon was found in.
I have began to design enemies towards the game. I would like the enemy’s of the Furnace level to be able to appear as both workers and worriors. this way the ease of a singular enemy would suggest a lack of experience.
After drawing up different facial expressions for Melith towards cutscenes that would occur in game, I have now finished designs for Melith. i hope if I have tome to produce more dynamic images of Melith but there is still alot to be done.
I have produced animated art work of how the player would progress through the tutorial section of Melith’s Plane. I reworked the previous animated artwork of the forest and cave locations and together with the beach scene gives an accurate depiction of the players jorney through the tutorial.
From producing this video I came across interesting features in After Effects that would be able to enhance some of my animated scenes of gameplay I have produces.
I tried using the particle generator using After Effects on one of my previous images of Melith.
I have completed one of the smaller rooms of the first level. this would be after Raul’s first boss battles and within this room finds the flail which the player would use to retrace his steps back to the first locked food at the levels start. Some of these scenes have not yet been completed fully.
I have been working on more assets and here is a sword that could be weapons later within the games. I also decided to re image the health potion to something more realistic and not as fantasy based the current potion appears.
I research natural pain killers remedys and after researching I chose to base the design on Willow Bark Tea as using willow bark as a pain killer dates back to 12 – 13th century. I also looked for particular glass jars or containers from the period and cam e across a crystal jar but didnt want the potion to appear too precious so decided to make it glass. this way I could portray the colour of the substance inside.
I have progressed on with my enemy design of the standard enemy soldier with the furnace level.
I have now revisited the design of the goblin/dwarf type type enemy and have continued developing his design and how he will appear in game. and started a model sheet for the character.
I have now started to complete the scenes for the first stage. In comparison to how they originally looked i’m please with the results, adding illuminating light, blood and personalising the foreground within each scene looks more of its own and more memorable for players to navigate round the stage.
also with these rooms I have condensed down and merged layers to make it easier for my self to animate the scene and with practising using particle techniques and flare of light these scene will really begin to look lively.
I thought i would try adding smoke to the tourches in the stage to make the scene seem more alive and more accurately depict gameplay. started by making a solid black layer then searched for a smoke effect. then changing the blending mode to Add to the layer it shows the smoke effect within the scene. changed setting of the effect to make sure the effect isn’t too much.
I then added a lens flare to the added more depth and a glow to the fire but also this hides the emitter where the smoke particles emerge.
I then added another blank layer to apply a particle effect to finish off the fire effect and im pleased with the result.
Here I have produced the close to finished example of a conversation in game scene.
Here are alot of my previous images up that I have polished up and prepared them to go into the Design document and our Art book.
Now that I have finished and polished most of my videos and art work we are now compiling it all into the the design document and into out art book. This is a few pages from the art book that I have typed up and position as I want them.
I am happy with the design of both the design document and the art book as richard did a good job putting it together originally and now I have entered most of my work it looks like its all coming together nicely now.
The design document and art book are now finished and including my art work and ideas. im happy with the results and think it portrays our concepts and designs accurately.
I have enjoyed this project and have learnt a lot from how to put together document, bring together research and use it effectively and productively and produce art work to a standard that is visually interesting and gets my ideas across in a presentable way.