Awesome project. Just followed you on Twitter. Keep up the good work!
Awesome project. Just followed you on Twitter. Keep up the good work!
Thanks JimJam! It's always good to connect with other members of the community
The time and effort you must have put into this project! Any ideas on a possible Demo?
Thank you both very much for the nice words
As far as a demo goes, not at the moment! I might pull things together for a demo for the Kickstarter, but I'm currently un-decided. I think it would be cool, but I'm not 100% sure what the scope of it should be for a tight gameplay experience. There's also a few corners that aren't slick yet and wouldn't want to show people!
update #016 - 13/05/16
Hello again everyone!
I've been working hard on the design, layout, and content of the Kickstarter for the last couple of weeks. This has included a lot of research and a lot of reading. I'm really happy to say that I think I've nailed the reward structure now, I've got 12 planned tiers that are a bit different to my last budget post, I'm excited to share those soon! That will be the content of my next blog post, so stay tuned!
With that simmering away nicely, here's what I've been cooking up recently... (OK, kitchen metaphors for some reason?? i don't know)
In one section of my Kickstarter pitch, I want to talk about various aspects of the gameplay. I thought it would be nice to include some sparkly graphics to represent the various implemented power-ups, and what they do. I decided to re-design them, as the old designs were supposed to be place-holders. They previously were very similar in design to those in Llamatron, which whilst a key inspiration I'd like to make sure I'm distancing myself a little from visually.
After a little play in GIMP I came up with these interesting swirling graphics, I thought they matched the psychedelic feel I'm leaning towards, and the dual colour palette lended itself well to having multiple swirl types, so a consistently readable 'power-up item' base that I could add symbols to to represent different things.
As I said, I was making these with Kickstarter in mind, so here's a sneak preview of the artwork I'm going to use on the Kickstarter page to describe them. The font I use is my custom one that I've designed for this project. I created it to look readable on low resolutions, with a base letter size of 3x5 pixels, though some larger letters (M, W) are 5x5 pixels.
The new 'speed up' power-up design
The new 'damage up' power-up design
I realised that perhaps the scale of the re-designed icons were perhaps a little large for the game, so decided to mix it up a little with the other power-up illustrations, and decided to be a little illustrative, just for the Kickstarter. I think the best design process is one with mixed experimentation and iteration, and so I'm happy to just push things about a little before refining them for the perfect in-game result. I often stumble across more interesting designs this way, so sometimes it's OK to make something that isn't perfect the first time. That said, I think these look pretty good and am very happy with them as assets for the Kickstarter.
bomba bomba bomba
i love u
ricochet!! oh, yes i drew that bullet animation by hand frame by frame, yes it was probably not the best way to do it, yes i didn't realise how many frames it was going to take (like 60 or something), no i don't mind cause i like it
Whilst planning out and drafting the Kickstarter, I found it difficult to create the text content without the imagery to both inspire me and also frame what I was writing. Instead of spending a lot of time creating high quality image content straight away, I made and used quick sketch versions to pad out my writing. This was great because it meant I could quickly change my mind after seeing that a certain image/text combination wouldn't be that great, and helped me push forward much faster. Plus it was super fun to draw like that. Here's a two examples:
Everything is slowly but surely coming together, I'm starting to get pretty excited about running the Kickstarter soon! I plan to follow this up in the next few days with some more detail about my decisions on the Kickstarter reward structure, and my reasons for changing quite a lot about it. In the meantime, I hope this was an interesting insight into what's going on with the project right now!
As ever, post here or catch me on Twitter if you'd like to message me about anything!
A tiny progress update:
Things are going well in the Kickstarter preparation, as always everything takes time
I've continued making some more animated images for the Kickstarter this morning on my fortnightly commute to London.
I'm super pleased with how well this GIF loop turned out!
That GIF is looping quite well! It also looks pretty good!
If there's one thing I've definitely spent too long doing this year, it's been making gifs that loop a little too well!
I spent a little time earlier this week re-designing the logo for the game, when I was producing assets for the Kickstarter the old version didn't quite look sharp and crisp enough at different resolutions.
Here is the original title:
And here is the new version!
I took the opportunity to also add 2 little details that fit better with the vision I have for the project.
A great suggestion from Phil Duncan of Ghost Town Games (working on the wonderful looking Overcooked) was to let the hanging 'p' in 'super' cut through the border with a little spacing, and Matt Luard (creator of The Cat Machine/) made the eye opening point that "it's a title that needs to be shouted", which made me think of adding the playful three exclamation marks at the end.
And then of course I made it flash and stuff
Over the last couple of weeks, I've been continuing to work on the assets for Kickstarter. I've been finalising the banners to go in my 'story' (essentially the project description). These are great for brightening up what might otherwise seem a big chunk of text, and allows me to really inject some life into the page. Here's a flavour of how the look of one graphic evolved from a rough sketch into the final design.
As I was writing my first draft of the Kickstarter, I found it super helpful to put some sketchy placeholder headers into the text to give me a clearer idea of the flow of what I was saying. I'm a visual person, so doing things like that helps keep me focused. I didn't want to spend too much time on these, the idea was just for it to be a visual aid and I wasn't planning on showing it to anyone! (oh)
After a while, it came the time to replace the crude but functional design above with a shiny super-mega-best version. The design aesthetic of SMBCA could be summarised as 'All the colours, all the time', so I set about realising the animated rainbow background that I had in mind.
My first design, complete with scrolling background and high contrast black and white text chosen so as to pop-out from the background. A good start, but I wanted to add a bit more pizazz to it, with some nice 'on-brand' strobing effects.
I wanted to try a subtle flashing pale highlight around the black text, as I thought the high contrast in the black text and white out line looked good and I wanted to preserve it. I also took out every other frame of the rainbow animation to reduce the size of the GIF by 50% as it was already over 1.3MB and I don't want the Kickstarter page to load too slowly. My target for images on the page is between 0.5-0.8MB per image maximum. I could have reduced the framerate of the animation by 50% so that it scrolled at the same speed as before, but I preferred the faster movement.
Added a similar, but darker, hue shift on the black text. This was my 'vision' for this graphic, but I felt it didn't pack enough punch.
Following the design principles Super Mega Best Cat Adventures a bit more closely, I pushed the colours to max-saturation and my favourite 6 step palette, with the 'opposite' colours used for the outlines of the text. To explain what I mean about the colour palette, I've made this little diagram..
The UI and in game text uses these six colours, rapidly switching between them. It's an old trick, but using the complementary colour opposite in the colour wheel to the chosen colour really makes the text pop out of the screen.
Added a border to frame the image. Lovely! I'm going to make all the headers for the descriptive sections of my project look like this!
I'm slowly but surely making some progress on the Kickstarter front - I can share the draft here soon if people would like an early preview!
Thanks for reading, let me know if you've got any thoughts, comments or questions!