Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Bulletromancer - Building a Scene

"Wow," you say! "Amazing," you say! That's right; I love making progress updates and what better way than posting a video that even happens to contain a (albeit small) portion of gameplay!

So What is This?

In The Bulletromancer, Sir Kugal and the gang visit many strange and interesting places. Early on in development, I needed to make a system to handle dozens of different locations, casually dubbed "Scenes." A Scene is composed of any number of elements that all rush in when a level is started and shake when Absorbs and Kills are scored.

Process and Aim

Part of what I want to do with Bulletromaner is push my skills and abilities to make games to the limit. Everything in the game is "hand pixeled," meaning that I don't rely on too many programmatic effects to animate or arrange different elements. Although Scenes don't generally call for non-hand-pixeled elements, they aren't exempt; some scenes have complex elements, such as Hydraulics and NPCs. DO note, the Hydraulics in that .gif are initially hand pixeled, but then rotated as a procedure asks them to; I do break my rule when it makes sense.

I'm also pushing myself to elevate the amount of detail that is crammed into the game, and this is where Scenes are going to shine. My process in creating pixel art has evolved a great deal over time, and I'm really amazed that I'm still getting better. In the latest Scene in the video, I use (I think) six different colors, and that's about it. Generally, I would go with only four, but I'm finding that I'm skilled enough to require a couple more colors in order to convey soft-edges and some extra lighting. I say "skilled enough" in the sense that when you're a beginner, you tend to use more colors than you really should. (I hope I'm not being wasteful using the extra two ;P)

Visible Progress

Finally, in honor of The Bulletromancer "Vacation" and the original prototype's One Year Birthday, here are some (previously posted, but gathered specially for you!) Scene screenshots with mini-blurbs about them!

The infamous Pub of the Realm! Here, spirits of the Afterlife indulge in the spirits of the Real World, bizarrely causing them to be just as intoxicated as they would be if they were living. Vice is rampant in the Afterlife; why not, right? You can't die, so let's get wasted!

Nobody knows why the Sun sets in the Afterlife, this world is just a plane in space for what they can tell. They can't reach the "Sun," (believe me, they've tried) but for some reason, it's there and it sets.
In any case, Sir Kugal von Pulya and "???" take the opportunity to talk about this world's immortality and the old world's mortality. If we can't die, is there no other plane to ascend to? Why can we remember everything that happened to us in our previous life, but not the names or faces of the people who were a part of it?

Are you intrigued? I certainly am... ;)