The Look Dev
Over the past month I have been working on a city environment for The Waste. My main goal here was to build out a look dev (look development) to nail down the graphical look of the game.
Overall this was successful. I am happy with the style I have built here. I do need to work more on the little details, like street lamps, damage and grunge. But as a starting point I am happy with these results. There is one little problem though with this approach.
Graphics First Game Later
Everything I have read about game development talks about nailing down the gameplay before worrying about final assets and graphics and in theory I agree with this. While I know that it can be extremely costly to work out the graphics first, since it is my strength I tend to want to do this first.
I wanted to know the final look before I moved on. Since the game will be in 2D I can get a very clear idea of what the final look will be. Now I feel I can move onto game development.
If I make this game and it turns out to be boring to play, will I have wasted my time? I don't think so. I learned a lot about my artistic ability with this look dev. It also taught me about how to finish a piece of art and bring it into the game engine.
On top of that it provided a very clear timeline for how long the art of this game will take. I now have a very good idea of how long a building, or a vehicle will take in this style. That is valuable information moving forward as it allows me to budget my time. I can't image getting to the end of programming a game and suddenly realizing that the chosen art style it going to take 2 years to complete.
So What's Next?
The next update will include more game coding. I'll be working on the character controls and the robot crafting framework. This will probably take a month or two to complete, and may put off another development update. That being said these next couple of months are the most important part of development.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! Thank for reading.
There were a bunch of updates made to The Waste this week. Those updates can be broken down into three main categories. You can try out the update here.
In Story Graphics
The main UI update is the splash screen at the beginning of the story. This has a couple of buttons and options and a little help menu to show the controls.
In story a mech character and a battery charging station were added. These were really fun to work on. As the graphics get more complicated file size is already becoming an issue.
The main character Faceless can now interact with the Mech and the Battery station. There will be more and more things to interact with as more props are added.
Somethings I learned from this update:
• Optimize graphics while working. Sure I can always go back and update all the graphics. But as a project becomes larger this task can become daunting. It is always better to fix and clean as things are created and added to the story.
• Optimize code while working. This is the same with code. As I worked I quickly added code just to get everything working. Now I have to go back and clean a bunch fo the code before I move on. I should have designed what I wanted to happen before I moved on to the next steps.
• Make all inputs keyboard based. Right now the UI and Buttons are mouse based and the character movement plus interaction is keyboard based. I think this might cause confusion. In the future I will be converting all inputs to keyboard inputs.
As always let me know if you have any questions or comments.
As mentioned in the video The Waste is an interactive story/world that we at Level Pixel Level are building.
This story will be updated continuously with the latest content. Everything will be live. There will be no official releases, no Alphas or Betas. Once something is ready it will be posted.
Here are some goals we hope to accomplish with The Waste:
There is a ton of work to do, but we cannot wait to build this world and share it with all of you!
Leave a comment if you have any questions, we would love to hear from you!