Lava Walk - devlog #2

May 26, 2015

Even more graphic fixes.

Made some small improvements to the graphics - switched the positioning of the gui a bit, added a gradient to the rock background so it doesn’t look so flat, changed the coins to silver ones and made a simple animation, I’ve also fixed the lava tiles a little bit, so they would be more consistent with the normal tiles… All of this was pretty easy to do. The hard parts were making the grass and finally trying to do some real player sprites. The grass was even harder to make properly than I thought. After a few hours of trying to do some tiles I just gave up and left a simple gradient in the background. Fortunately for me, while the other project I have is also a tiled game, it will not require grass at all, so I can just skip this one and maybe come back to it at some other time. It’s really hard to do, especially if it supposed to be in a pseudo isometric view, rather than the typical rpg 3/4 projection.

Player animations were, uh, hard as well, but not as much, and I definitely had a lot of fun doing them. I’ve spent about an hour trying to do the walk cycle by myself, and then I remembered that the game “Gods Will Be Watching” was also done in Impact, so I’ve looked to the player sprite of that game for inspiration. This went much better, even though the character still seems a bit stiff and the hands are a bit weird. I’ve made a small animation for his death as well, and the jump is just one frame with some vertical variance, since the player moves too fast around to have a full animation for this.

Sounds

Sounds were easy. I played a bit with bfxr to get a coin pickup sound that was pretty nice, and downloaded a cc0 click sound from opengameart.org. I had to use Audacity (which together with Gimp is a prime example of everything that I hate about open source software - I mean, it definitely works and does pretty well what it’s supposed to do, but every time I have to do something in it I can’t help to wonder if the authors even heard of stuff like user experience and interface design) to export them to mp3/ogg, which ImpactJS uses, but that’s about it.

Promotional stuff

Well, that’s a big word for a few gifs and images, but yeah, whatever. Since I was putting the game up on GameJolt, I needed some additional graphics like the page header or a thumbnail. For this I modified the game a bit, since I was too lazy to grab the tiles and arrange them around in Photoshop (and if something can be solved with Programming, M***er, then it obviously should be done that way). So I made a quick copy of the scene and set it up so it works for 950 pixels of width, after which it was just a matter of grabbing the screenshot. I actually had to do this twice, since GameJolt adds a little info box on the left side, which initially obscured the player sprite.

Cutting the features

Even on a project this small, there’s some feature creep. In the previous post I’ve mentioned rain and night effects, which I promptly dropped altogether after some experimenting with code and graphics. While this would be definitely nice to have, it’s not something that really adds to the game, and I’d have to spend much too long on making it just right. So - while it was a cool idea - it needs to find its place in the trash bin.

Some gameplay