11/9/2019 – Art Influencing Gameplay

Before anyone lynches me for the somewhat pretentious and “My game is clearly important to society as a whole” title decision, allow me to just say that I wasn’t quite sure how to explain my thought process in regards to what’s happening here.

So I mentioned in my last couple of posts that I started a new project (Which I have been streaming on Twitch) and I seem to be spending more time making art assets than programming gameplay. That’s the stark opposite of what was happening when I was working on Bullet Hell Lane Shooter.

I’m making sprites for stuff, figure out how I want it to animate or move, and then just making the game based around that. It’s an interesting approach, because of which BHLS, I used generic shapes and then built the gameplay before doing anything art related. I’m not sure if the reasoning for this is due to the switch from 3D to 2D, or maybe my disdain for how shit BHLS looked. Everytime I showed off the game in Demo Days, it looked like programmer art; and the lack of artistic cohesiveness mixed with a low effort presentation just made it look like crap. Even though the gameplay was decent enough, the absence of “juice” just made everything feel unresponsive or uninteresting.

In this new game, because I’m done some of the art before hand, I can feel a closer attachment to the playable ship. It feels reactive, more natural, grounded even. It’s hard to describe.

But getting back to the title. When I started this project, I had the idea of a “Kart Racer in Space”. Therefore I went about making a basic ship sprite and had it move around Unity a bit. Then I made the ship rotate. After that I made it shoot stuff. Following that I decided to animate some exhausts for the ship to have it feel right, because otherwise the player ship just felt floaty and loose. At that point, I realised that trying to make a tightly controlled and responsive kart racer in space using the controls and movement that I had made; was a terrible idea.

Once I realised that, I decided to start goofing around and ended up deciding that having an open area was the best strategy going forward.

Subsequently, I’m still in a brainstorming phase where I’m trying to figure out if I want to make a top-down/side-on shooter similar to stuff like Galaga or Thunder Force, or make a Space Trucking Sim sticking to the over world entirely. To be frank, I’m leaning towards to latter as it might require less art.

So that’s where I’m at. Guess we’ll see where I end up. Stay tuned to my Twitch channel for now I guess.

-Adam

P.S. I will publish an Itch.io page for this game with a demo once I’ve added a few more things. The page is there, but there’s nothing on it right now and isn’t accessible publicly.

P.P.S. Should I get a Twitter account?

About Adam Lutton

Game Designer / Programmer
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