15th May 2019
Work has been very busy, so haven't had as much time and energy as I'd like to work on the current projects. As of writing, both Bio Sword and Space Captain Howard have been updated to support 18:9 aspect ratio. Bio Sword in particular took three weeks, most of the work was done after I got home from work. Large portions of my weekends were also consumed, but it was time well spent.
There are three projects going on - but the focus is on Space Captain Howard 2. While the siege game is interesting, I do need a break from it. Essentially the interface of SCH2 is complete and all gameplay mechanics are done - so no more major coding. However, there were a large amount of graphics required for the levels. Having reviewed my older tile based art, I decided it would require too much time to improve the graphics and delay the game by months. To speed things up, the use of scrolling backgrounds will need to be used.
I thought I would write up on my thought process when it came to designing the look and feel of a level, which happens to be an alien military base. For a start, I felt that the base would be situated on an alien planet. Something desolate, but unusual. The colour scheme that came to mind was blue and grey - so a blue landscape with metallic grey run ways and buildings. To make the level more interesting, the base could be suspended off the ground - and a parallax scrolling effect will make the level more interesting to observe. Design by creativity must also be paired with lore - as such this level will need a role in the campaign. At least for now I had plenty of ideas to work with, and it would be a matter of experimenting with different designs until something worthy is made.
25th May 2019
After many variations the scene was taking shape, though not quite like I had imagined. The background details of the landscape were sufficient, but adding detail to the platform was proving somewhat difficult. Copying over previously design space ships didn't work well, the pixel art was a little too distinct from the basic platform. For a start the colour differences were jarring.
After some of tinkering the shading and colours of the space ships, they started to match the platform. A lot more detail was needed though, since just pasting a bunch of ships looked tacky. The base of operations had to be technical and designed with some kind of run ways and sections. The use of dashed white lines and beacon lights was enough to give the level a more refined look. Designing and adding buildings felt like too much work and wouldn't add significant improvements.
When you are playing and doding incoming bullets, who has time to admire the details?