Friday, February 4, 2011

XNA Platformer Game

It has a name, but I'm not willing to share it yet. This isn't some baby name thing, where I think if I say the name out loud someone is going to suddenly give birth to a game next week that is called the same thing. I just don't know if the name fits yet.

Here's the promo: It's an old-school pixel art platformer adventure, in the style of Wonderboy 3: The Dragon's Trap. The game is set around a hub, from which you explore, kill monsters, find hidden treasure, buy upgraded weapons, and earn new powers which in turn unlock new areas or new rooms in old areas. The game design lingo would be 'microcosm adventure' I guess.

Here is the protagonist. Yes, he's a sexy, shirtless, beefcake pirate with green hair and a goatee. And a sword, for some reason. That's the Wonderboy influence. In fact, I don't think it'd be too much of a stretch to scream "PLAGIARISER!" at me and chase me out of town like the creative harridan I am. Can I call it an homage? That's what it's meant to be, though I'm not sure what the difference is.

So the basic story involves this guy, some bad guys, and some extra nasty bad guys. There's also probably going to be a lot of jumping.

There is an actual story, but at the moment it's more of a collection of ideas that need joining together, so I'll do that before I try telling it. Not that it really matters, these games were never about complicated narratives.

I took quite a long break from working on it when things got busy at work. Then when work finished, I was a bit burned out for a while. But then suddenly, one day out of the blue, I got a crazy attack of motivation so I went back to all of my code which just confused me, relearned it all, rewrote it all, and put together a level editor.

Here's a sample of the editor in action, very much work in progress:

Then... art. I have so much respect for good pixel artists. Even producing the most simple art requires masses of patience. I'm really enjoying it, and can spend hours in a day just clicking pixels, but it is slow and a few hours of work might only produce one or two sprites.

Now I'm working on a run cycle, and when that's done I can post some video of stuff in (very basic) action. As it turns out though, run cycles and pixel art combine to form one huge bitch of a pain in the ass.

Back to clicking pixels.

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