Wednesday, October 31, 2012

...And We're Back!

Game development is a long long process! -  But we've been busy bee's - here's a long overdue update...

Volcano Environment - with bubbling lava!

Game development is a long process especially when it's just a couple of bedroom programming brothers (OK I'm graphic-ing not programming!) plus the much appreciated help of our talented artists, but it took a lot more time than we expected, we are proud of what we have achieved so far, but damn it's been a long haul!

Over this past year we have improved, revamped and rewritten many parts of Organic Panic. We have added a bunch of new features, creating what we hope will be a immersive and deeply satisfying 'fun' game, this was recently confirmed when we had friends over to play-test Organic Panic, everyone had lots of fun, and the feedback was very helpful, in the next post I'll go into more detail about the feedback.

Here are some key improvements we have done since our last post -
  • The particle system has been completely revamped, Damon wanted to do this so we could have much more water, now a large part of the game area can be filled with pure physics based water.
Old (sections of Water) vs New (the whole playable level can be filled with water)
  •  Levels are now 3Dified! Depth perspective has been added to the playable map, which looks much more like a 3D platform game, it is still a 2D game but with a kind of hybrid feel, the focus will still be on 2D, but all characters are exported in 3D, and all textures have normal maps and lighting is in 3d space!
Levels are now 3D platforms, the perspective changes and bevels are lit and normal mapped
  • UI - We now have a new User Interface! instead of the basic UI interface we had previously, we have a more colorful and dynamic UI. Also the underlying structure for the whole game has been reworked, including, level select, level unlock, score sheet, progress, and story development - more on these changes, especially the story part in a following post.

  • Backgrounds - Our illustrious freelance artist Silvia has really jumped in and created some beautiful background environments scenes: Volcano, Jungle and Industrial, she is also going to revamp our original Sunny Hills background to more stylistically match the new backgrounds, we plan to add a number of extra backgrounds after the alpha stage including a scary lab setting...We are both excited to see what crazed creations she come's up with next!

The Lab at concept stage, The lab is where poor Fruits and Veg's are experimented on to extract their powers!
  • Backgrounds - Damon has made the backgrounds much more dynamic, now the hills bob, the trees and branches bend, the vines swing and smoke rises and expands, he has built a dynamic background editor, that enables control of many background animations, and allows for bending, transforming, and rotating almost all background elements.
Industrial Level, still a work in progress and we hope to pollutify everything more!
  • Textures - with the help of our talented freelance graphic artist Patt we have completely revamped our textures, they are now much more stylized. We have also added new grasses, new metals, new spiky materials, and new layers to materials so the texture can be mixed top to bottom, now we can make metal platforms with molten lava tops.
Some examples of new textures - each texture has a normal map, shininess map, cutout map and a light map!
  •  Sounds - Thanks to Luca and Ra for their great work creating tons of cool sounds fx. I also put on my multitasking hat and worked  on the sound design, mostly for characters voices. We had to create a whole range of sound reactions for the fruits and Veg's and Meats n Cheese's, from falling, being hit, to grunts and cheers, there was a lot more work involved in this than I expected. Cherry's voice was recorded with the help of Damon's 3 year old son, and was one of the more interesting voice overs.
  • Objects - We added many new in game objects including; lazer turrets, mines, portal disruptors, level portals, barrels, sea mines, mushrooms, water generators, levers, pistons, pathing tool, cogs etc - these help us make much more diverse and interesting levels.

Levers, Pistons, Mines, Spikes, and a bamboo rope that doubles as a pole volt
  •  Pickups - For characters to use their powers, they must collect magic orbs to refill their reserves. Healing, invincibility shields, speed, star pickups and power crystals are now part of the game dynamic and give level designers much more to play with in level creation.
  • Character animations - I have also been busy filling out many more character animations, from climbing, scrabbling, shooting and swimming to dancing. There is more to do, but we have a good base now for alpha. 
 I'm pretty sure this is not everything but it covers the core changes, oh and there was also millions of bugs that needed to be hunted down and mercilessly destroyed but bugs are devious little fellows and have a way of spawning more each time they are killed, so credit to Damon the great bug destroyer.