A Small Robot Story (DEMO AVAILABLE) | Dev Log

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Post » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:59 pm

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Did some customizing on the dialogue system and got it where I want it. Shout out to @blackhornet and their Sprite Font Generator which was immensely helpful. My game is pretty lo-res (256x144) so getting the font to look right was tricky. Had to do some manual width setting of certain letters. I made this gif on a windowed version of chrome, so the spacing is a bit off compared to full-screen.

And now I get to move on to level design for level 2. Excited!

Quick workflow/noob advice: In using the dialogue template and Spite Font generator, I ran in to a lot of walls. Nearly all of them were due to my lack of understanding and/or experience. All of the answers were there, or provided; I just had to find them. I got frustrated a few times and thought about giving up but I pushed through and eventually everything worked out fine. Examples:
  • I didn't know the portraits were all stored in one sprite. After an hour of digging through the code to find where the portraits were called, I discovered the system called different animations in the sprite object for different portraits. It actually makes perfect sense and is really easy to use.
  • Sprite Font Generator spits out a .txt file with your sprite font .png that tells you what to set the character width and height to. It also includes what groups of letters to manually set the width of. Had I read the whole .txt file, I would've saved myself an hour last night.

So take your time, dig through all parts of everything (not just code!), and don't give up too quickly. If you're still stuck, turn to the forums.

See you when I start posting one of my favorite things: <3 level tilemaps <3
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Post » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:15 pm

cool dialogue system..

keep the good work! :)
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Post » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:46 pm

Congratulations with the new dialogue system! :) How is it going with the 2nd level? Almost done?
Have a happy day!
- Markus Lappalainen, Composer & Audio Engineer
Open for commissions!

For Hire Thread | LinkedIn | SoundCloud
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Post » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:32 pm

Started in on level design. My process goes like this:
  • Draw the flow/direction of each screen
  • Draw a rough layout of each screen. This mean the jumps, obstacles, barriers, enemies, triggers, etc.
  • Over in Construct, place the ground, walls, and obstacles. Do a test playthrough. Revise as needed.
  • Place enemies, triggers, and powerups. Do a test playthrough. Revise as needed.
  • Place all art tiles.

Here is a sketch of the "flow" of the level. It's a pretty linear platformer, but I do like to have little off-paths.
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Post » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:44 pm

I've thought about getting graph paper for this very reason. But I have so much paper in this den of Hell that is my parent's home... it's like an episode of Hoarders.

Are there any digital means of accomplishing this that are available online for free to use?
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Post » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:43 pm

@YoHoho You could use something like Illustrator/Inkspace and turn on the grid. Then just place points using the pen tool. Maybe there are some other programs aimed at sketching but I'm not aware of them. A quick google search revealed this: http://tommaitland.net/graphpaper/

I'm a 50% digital / 50% analog person. I was taught as a graphic designer to always start with thumbnail sketches and I find paper and pencil to be very relaxing and much, much quicker. I've learned that I need a way to immediately write down ideas and visit them later so I have a planner that I carry everywhere (that's where the grid paper comes from!). You can find composition books of grid paper pretty cheap. Throw it in your back pack, write down everything in it, and go from there.
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Post » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:34 pm

As for me, the game is really climate. :D
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Post » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:51 pm

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Level 2-1 tilemap! Such a satisfying and rewarding point to be at.

The backgrounds on the bottom have parallax scrolling and following the player through the level (that's why they don't cover the whole background). I'll be doing 4 screens total for level 2. I'll post them as they're completed.
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Post » Mon May 02, 2016 1:53 pm

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Level 2-3 (backgrounds and decorations hidden)

This uses the cave tileset as seen in the gifs above. One more map and I'm set for Level 2. Then I just need to set up dialogue triggers and the boss room.
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Post » Tue May 24, 2016 1:51 pm

It's been a few weeks but I've been hard at work!

Last weekend I showed off my demo at the Buffalo Game Space Showcase. Got great feedback and hung out with a bunch of other great WNY game devs. Here was my setup: Image

Looks like another week or two and I should wrap up Level 2. Currently I'm scripting all dialogue events and working on cutscenes. I made the decision to try and do still-frame cutscenes especially since the game is quickly getting story heavy.

Made some huge progress this weekend. As I have mentioned, I've been using @Magistross 's dialogue asset. Over the weekend I realized and learned how to use the text commands which lets me script events from within the dialogue. So basically I can type the dialogue and then type something like {BossActivate} which calls a function or any other event. This is incredibly handy. I cannot recommend this asset enough. It's a steal for the price.

Here is the Level 2 Boss reveal. Don't worry; it'll be more difficult than pictured in the gif :lol:

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Up next is drawing up the cutscenes, finishing the dialogue script, and setting up all keycard / door functions in the layouts for Level 2. Then on to Greenlight!
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