Archive for the ‘ Game Design ’ Category

Twitter milestone – 400

400bot 4x

Started this robot as a character for my Sub-Luminal project and turned it into a little thank you to my twitter followers.

Expanded C64 palette.

Giant Blob Game Mockup

Mockup 02 2x
I like games about managing disaster. This mockup is about dealing with a carnivorous expanding blob. You can directly take control of each squad member individually and then leave them with a simple task which they will maintain until you take control of them again. So it would be a mix of puzzle-solving and action.

Temporus Shmup Background Debris

Space Rubble hex ring 2x

Temporus Nebula Backdrops Process

ClNebula WIP Jan18 2016

Click for big.


I’m building up the background fluff for Temporus.  This is a rough series of snapshots of a pair of nebulae that can either be shown together or separately.  Trying to paint something in a small number of opaque colours that still appears to be fluid and permeable is challenging.  I’m happy with how these two turned out.

The Kelly Engine – Revisiting the Player Token

Player Bust Sprite mockup with enemies dec24 2015 2x

I have run through all sorts of iterations of the player’s representation and decided to try a new angle over the holidays.  I have always attempted to distinguish the player’s sprite/token from enemies through visual language.  The player’s sprite receives a broader colour palette, while the enemies use very few colours.  Enemy tokens are depicted standing on square bases, and I had tried placing the player token on a large, round base.  Again to offer a subtle cue to the player’s eye that helps filter the hierarchy.

An issue I ran into was how to illustrate various equipment mixes that the player would utilize.  If the player sprite was a complete standing figure, I was left with less room to illustrate said equipment.  I was also left with perhaps a too-literal visual story of the player’s token being largely depicted on too-equal terms with the threats encountered, and that felt as though it would be harder for the player to establish a thematic connection to the character they controlled.

The idea I’m running with now is to depict the player as a token of the character’s bust.  Armour would be overlaid like a paper doll, and handheld equipment would simply be shown without regard for realistic limb posing, saving space and allowing for any sprite I like to be placed in front provided it remains within space limitations.

Because the sprite now has a large percentage of its pixels devoted to a face, it immediately takes on a higher importance in the player’s eye.  It is obvious at a glance that this token represents a player and cannot be misplaced in a horde of monsters.

I’m going to move away from this iron-age aesthetic for equipment.  It made a convenient shorthand for the purposes of this test and mockup.

Player Bust Sprite Paperdoll Demo 01 4x

Skin Tones

Skintone Gradient Dec 2015 01 4x

Variety is cool.  Achieving it with a small palette feels good.

Temporus Buggy Mech Drone – Rumble animation demo

Buggy Drone Animation Demo 01 4x twitter

Grid Gangs now features butts

Booty Tentacle 01 2x

Temporus Heavy Battle Robot Sketches

Erik (@firebellys) asked me to come up with some robust looking robot designs for Temporus.  The references were very blocky, utilitarian in appearance, and the sprites will be large so I aimed for slab sides and the look of large metal castings like a tank.

Heavy Drones 01

Sub-Luminal Habitat Wrecker

Heavy Habitat Ranged Wrecker 2x

I needed to work on a big pixel piece again and decided revisited Sub-Luminal.  My thinking behind this machine is that it could operate in transitional gravity environments, or even walk in corridors lacking gravity or up/down vertical shafts with it’s redundant legs.  It would be a good unit for blocking escape avenues.

Mega Man

Mega Man for Hunter Callan 002 4x

My nephew asked me to draw him a picture of Mega Man.  I used my palette from The Kelly Engine.

Bugout Mockup

Bugout Mockup 02

Lay down tetris-style floor sections to create an escape path away from nasty critters.  Made with an expanded C64 palette in pyxel edit with a couple shadow and lighting layers.  I made this both for fun but also to sketch out some ideas I’ve had for a board game.

Temporus Tutorial Brainstorm

Relay Tower Level Concept Thumbnail

A quick, very loose sketch that was part of an afternoon conversation with Erik Umenhofer from Firebelly.  We were working out an idea for a tutorial level that carries the player through the platforming controls and basic combat.  The player will have to enter a relay tower that has been torn from a planet, and climb to the top in order to access the communications system.  Along the way an asteroid will collide, spilling out basic enemies for the player to deal with.

Grid Gangs – Late Winter Leftovers

Wealthy Android 01 2x

Amputated Mutant 2x

Firebelly 02 2x