Sunday, March 18, 2012

Designing a Character based Game

I have written a lot of published games in my time. Having been a hobbyist game creator and then doing it professionally. Now i get so much satisfaction from both my Indie development as well as my daytime job. Yet they give me different satisfaction. My Indie stuff is MINE, all MINE! and I make all the decisions.

Well i have now been creating these games for the last several years and I have a number of games created. They are all different and I like what I have created. Recently I realised that I needed to add more character into my games. This epiphony came about due to the reskinning of Cards on Fire into Hot chicks the Card game. I would say the makeover to Hot Chicks improved the game by adding more charactercohesive theme to various screens. More Character is what is needed.... yeah!

So I have been working on my next design called Bob the Frog, well it has changed severaa times from Eternal and other variations. Now I am just calling the game bob the Frog for now as HE has become the real focus of my next designs. I have in fact now got 3 designs all featuring Bob, and yes, they are all different. However they have one thing in common, they all have bob featured in them being a character, a Fleshed out character with emotions and facial features and maybe comic timing and even.. I have a voice for him.

So what i have done in the last 2 months or so is mostly design how Bob will work. How technically his eyes and mouth will work in the game. I will be starting to program this game fairly soon I hope, and the first thing I will code will be Bob and his animations. And the way his parts are going to work together. Things like Blinking or head bobbing, or maybe looking where he is going with his eyes etc.

This made me realise that my first couple of designs were not quite right to introduce the world to bob. I needed something where he was dominant on screen. I didn;t want you to see Bob bouncing around the screen the size of Mario in Donkey Kong for example. That isn't enough of a size (especially on a phone) to really show off the work I intend to put into him.

Why am I so stuck on adding this much character depth into my next game? Well I really believe that this is my next step. I have written so many games, yet I want to give people more connection to my games. To care more about the games I give them to play. I think this kind of thing will help a lot. My inspiration for some of this is the game 'Where's my water'. Gotaa love that croc, and yet he hardly does anything. Angry Birds are popular, though I don't find them exciting, a lot of people connect with cute characters. So i am hopeful I can get more people interested.

Now i just need to find ways to get virally connected to as many people as possible through Bob the Frog.

As you can see from the above picture, taken from my Desktop. Bob is in and I have several mouths for him and he is in his separate parts. I really need to get a texture packer for this game. Cos he will be made up a large number of pieces. Yes, i am doing my own art, and when it works, I will get a real artist to redo it all and make it nice.

I was looking into Texture Packer itself, maybe that will ouput something useful for me. I don't know at this time of writing, i only just installed the trial copy.

Laters all,
Da Voodoochief

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