Welp, I realized my devlog last week failed to, uh, include any actual updates. This is some of the work I’ve done so far over the last couple months as I’ve learned new tools and skills.
I’m still working through this awesome ARPG GMS2 course, so there’s that. (Last I checked, I was at 40%!). Luckily, it’s probably about 70-80% of what I need to rig the demo, though I’m sure the rest will be a right-pain-in-the-butt.
I’ve found GMS2 pretty easy to use – I totally grok finite state machines and scripting object behaviors, and it manages all of the crap I’m not good at, like actually managing resources and the nitty-gritty stuff. I still have a hard time with, say, recursion and more complex behaviors, but there’s a ton of scripts freely-shared by the community and lots and lots and lots of great tutorials.
(throwing the rest behind a Read More tag because there’s a lot!)
I’ve also finished these 2 assignments so far for this also-awesome game music composition course :
Having no musical background, I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve been enjoying the composition. Game music has always been one of my favorite parts of games, so it’s kind of nice to try and emulate my favorite composers.
At the moment, I’m using Logic Pro X and manually laying notes down on the piano roll (I have a midi keyboard, but have a hard time remembering combinations I like when it comes to recording. Maybe I’ll get better at that?).
Additionally, I’ve done a couple iterations of my player character sprite:
I’ve been using Aseprite, which is the bomb-diggity, y’all. I’ll admit that I hate dealing with layers, but they are super-useful here when it comes to managing different limbs and her hair animation, even though I keep accidentally forgetting to switch between them and leave stray pixels e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.
I also put a bunch of time into creating a color palette – ultimately merging a combination of a (tweaked) Google Material Design palette & the Dawnbringer 32 color palette, which is more than enough to suit my needs.
I’ve also been designing my own objects & tilesets using Pyxel Edit.
I’m finding pixel art rewarding in general – practice leads to rapid, noticeable improvement. This is nowhere near finished, but I feel confident that I can bang out some acceptable assets for my demo, once I can settle on a rough style for my sprites (so they can match…ish…)
While I’ve got a pretty straightforward goal (building a prototype/demo of the opening scenes and first dungeon), one of the things I’m struggling with right now is figuring out the exact mechanics I want to lean into that make this game unique, and where I strike the balance between melee and puzzles. I know some of that shakes out as a part of the prototyping process – which I’m already in – so I’m not as worried, but I wish had a clearer picture already.
I should probably also comment on the fact that I could – and perhaps should – be way more laser-focused on finishing up the prototype than I am on making assets, but I’m not for 2 reasons:
- Part of establishing the feasibility of this project for me has been figuring out whether I can ultimately make the assets and – more importantly – whether I actually want to make them.
- Dude, making assets is fun. I find bouncing around helps me maintain enthusiasm.
Honestly, that’s why I’m only finally now posting my first devblog entry after several months of working: I needed to see whether I enjoyed doing this and thought I could maintain momentum. Not making any promises, but I’m hoping I can get somewhere with this thing. (Also, at the very least, I wanted to share my experiences from gathering so much freaking information! I’ll be posting a list of everything I’ve found that’s been helpful so far, soon!)
Anyway, that’s all, folks! ‘Til next time…