Hey everyone, and welcome to another exciting week of Juicy Development! It's been yet another full on week of engagement for not just the game, but for everything else that's been going on around me. I've picked up a bit more contract work over the Christmas break, so development has been a little slower than normal. But, nevertheless, I've still managed to work on a bit during the downtime.
So the main focus this week was to refine the game play. Previously it seemed to exponentially get harder and harder, which didn't really give each mechanic enough time to impact the player (it felt like it went from 0 to extreme too soon). So, most of my time went into refining, and testing... And testing some more... And refining some more... Having some food of course, and then finally some more testing. The current build seems to be in a better place, but there is still a bit more refinement needed, so hopefully this next week I will be focusing purely on that.
The 'pause' actions and menus are working correctly, which I'm happy about. I've also added my 'Juicy Beetle Games' pre-loader to the initial launch of the game, so I can also scratch that off my list of things to do. And I've also added a little 'hand' icon to help new players understand how to start playing the game.
I've still yet to implement the social buttons to the main menu, as well as the controls for sound and music. And I still haven't tweaked the medal transitions which I said I would have done this week, so naughty me! But these implementations wont take too long to do though, so there's no problem there. I've still yet to find and implement music and sound effects, so I will probably start looking for a sound designers within the next few weeks to get that ball rolling as well.
Overall, there's really not much left to do for the game. Mainly polish, sound and music, and a few tweaks here and there, and then we're good to go!
Next week will probably be my last week of Juicy Dev since there really isn't much else to show. I will probably have some final game play before Beta Testing, but that's about it. If you are interested in Beta Testing, then throw a message below!
Until next week,
Thanks for reading!
Hey everyone, and welcome back to another exciting Juicy Dev week! This week I've been hard at work finishing off the Main Menu screen as well as the Credits screen. On top of that, I've also managed to implement a 'pre-loading' screen which helps each screen load and transition correctly. But, before I get into "nitty-gritty" of things, I would like to mention again about all of the helpful feedback I've received, particularly about my UI designs. Yes, I did say this last week, but since then, I have refined the UI EVEN further with the suggestions mentioned. At this stage, I am really happy with how it is looking, and I hope you do as well.
Left is the first refined UI and Right is the Final UI Design
The hardest part of this week was to balance this game's development with other personal commitments. It's been a pretty hectic week with both jobs wrapping up for the year, and with more work coming in over the Christmas break. On top of that, I really wanted to get the UI right, so coming up with designs which thematically made sense, fit the game style, fit the design goals, and had clear readability was a bit of a challenge. However, after all that, everything else seemed to have worked pretty well for me. The buttons implemented nicely, the animations came up better than I expected, the menu screens Illustrations came up nicely, and the 'pre-loading' screen worked quite well.
On the topic of the 'Pre-loader', I wanted to show you what it basically looks like in and out of the game itself. I decided to add a simple animation rather than a loading bar, since, I feel makes it more personal and a little bit more 'thematic'.
Another element I worked on this week was the main menu, although not much of it. I basically tweaked some of the elements in the foreground to obstruct less of the menu UI (Bomb shifted slightly more to the left).
I really enjoyed coming up with a design for the credits screen, and i think it has turned out pretty well considering the time constraint.
Besides these implementations, I don't think I have done much else this week. I know I've still yet to fix the in-game system (such as the reward placement, and the actual game-play), but all in all i'm happy with the progress. I'm hoping next week that I will be able to finish all of the Menu and UI implementations, and hopefully focus on the game itself. Then I need to think about sound.... fun.
Until next week,
Thanks for reading!
Welcome back to another Juicy Development Blog! I'm going to keep it relatively short this week since all I have been working on is the background for the main menu screen, which, took a lot longer than I thought.
I really liked the concept idea I had last week, so I decided to refine it even further. During the development process, I asked for a number of opinions about the layout, composition, and balance of the game menu, and I have to say, I received A LOT of good feedback. The feedback was less directed at the image itself, but more in terms of the UI design. I had a lot of comments about the buttons being hard to read, and that the 'high score' word was very difficult to understand. The placement of the buttons could be adjusted as well, such as a horizontal row, rather than a vertical one. I also had an interesting suggestion to remove the text completely and rely more on icons. This, I think, is a really good idea since icons are a lot more universal than any particular language. Rather than accommodating multiple languages which all read 'start/play/begin', I could use a universal icon such as 'play' (that funny little triangle).
I did get one comment about the readability of the overall composition. Someone suggested to essentially 'reverse' the image since people read from left to right, and since the buttons are the most important, then it would make sense to have them the last thing the player sees. I also found this comment interesting, so I tried a few ways to make this work (reversing the image, changing the characters pose, changing the concept, etc.), but no matter what I did, it still felt disconnected. I wanted the UI to feel as if it was a part of the overall scene, so having the character looking at the main 'bill board' made it feel as though the character was ready for battle, and didn't care about what options the player chose. Don't get me wrong, the suggestion was good, but for what I'm aiming for didn't really suit that particular composition idea.
Below is the initial concept, and the final design (minus the UI and background, which I'm thinking of revisiting soon). If you have any suggestions yourself, I would love to hear them!
This week was less about quantity and more about quality, so apologies for the lack of content. Hopefully next week I'll have the UI done, the medal changes as I mentioned last week, and some video footage. Oh! I'm also keen to show you an idea I have for the credit screen... Well, when I get around to it that is. So stay tuned for that as well!
Until next week,
Thanks for reading!
Welcome back to another jam-packed week of Juicy Development! This week I have been hard at work implementing the medal system as well as mocking up a few Main menu concepts. The medal system took a little longer than expected since I couldn't decide what design idea I liked. As you can see below, there were a few iterations of the medal designs before staying with a design i liked.
The second design is the final design.
Once I finalized the design in Flash, I then moved on to implement each one. While implementing these, I soon realized that I would need to make more room on my 'Game Over' banner, so rather than trying to squish it all in, I reorganized the banner yet again (third times the charm). I ended up removing the 'what happened' text and just kept the character centered to the banner, above the 'Score' text. I also increased the size of the 'High-Score' score text to better balance the banner. Lastly I added a display showing where the medals would be inserted if the player were to receive one. Overall, this design feels even more balanced and organised then the previous one.
Once I had implemented these changes, I gave the game a test run. While playing, I noticed that the medals lacked something. At the time, it didn't really feel that I had achieved anything and felt like another mechanic without a reward. After a while, I realized what was missing... Some Juiciness! I needed more effects and aesthetics to really give my medals more impact, so I added a shine behind the medal, and some fancy sparkles, and for the harder rewards, I added a camera shake. While playing the game, I felt a lot more involved and overall good about achieving these rewards. I still need to add a few tweaks here and there for the effects, but overall, I'm happy with the result. Below is what each medal reward looks like in game. Let me know what you think!
There are six medal to collect; Wooden Spoon, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Onyx
The scores you see aren't the final for these rewards. They are just for testing purposes. Also, i realized that the video still has smaller text for the high score rather than the implied size above... Which I will also fix... I'll just add that to the list of things to do.
Any way, after implementing these, I then started thinking about what the main menu should look like. Initially I wanted the player to stand on these rocks with fire all around him, but after fleshing out the idea, I realized that it didn't really fit well with the game design. It felt a little disconnected and misleading... So back to the drawing board I went. I enjoyed the initial character idea with him standing on this rock/rubble mound, and wanted to see how I could incorporate that into a more suitable design. I sketched up a few more ideas and ended up with this...
He's basically standing in the middle of the arena with -for a lack of a better term- "shit" going crazy around him. The title and buttons are merely placeholders for now, but I will be refining these next week. I had managed to animate the character and implement him into the game (not yet hooked up). This is his current animation in Spine2D. Let me know what you think!
Besides that, I think that is basically it! So next week I plan to not only tweak a few aesthetics with the medal system, but also plow ahead with the main menu screen. Hopefully I will have all this up and running by then, but we shall see!
Until next week,
Thanks for reading!
Hey everyone, and welcome to yet another exciting Juicy Dev week! Yes, I am a little late this week, but for good reason. I figured that since I'm releasing these blog updates so close to Saturday, why not incorporate them into a Saturday post? That would save duplicate images being splattered all over the #ScreenshotSaturday pages. So, from now on I'll probably start doing these blogs on Saturday rather than the Friday night.
Now then, on to the dev talk! This week I have managed to implement the 'Game Over' elements as well as 're-implementing' the power-up system (basically just plugging them back into my code). I'm super excited to show you some game-play footage of the 'Game Over' screen. I can't tell you how good it is to be able to finally replay the game straight away. Before, I had to exit out of the game completely and then start it back up again... it was very painful.
As you may have noticed, the UI elements have been adjusted slightly so that now I'm utilizing more of the 'Game Over' banner's real estate rather than just the middle of it. This change feels a lot less cluttered and a lot more comfortable. Again, let me know what you think!
Originally, I had been tossing up between separate animated elements (i.e. the 'Game Over' text, the 'Score' text and the 'What Happened' text to spring into existence one at a time), and having everything on the one static image. I ended up keeping these elements within the one image, since having them all animated made it feel busy and too slow for the 'in and out' game-play.
Next week I'm hoping to implement the Medal designs, as well as fix a few small bugs here and there (aesthetic as well as programmatic). I'm also hoping to begin work on the actual main menu page, which I cannot wait for! I have a design in mind which I hope you all will enjoy.
But besides that I think that's it for this week. I can see it's getting to the point of an actual finished game. It's definitely coming close to a close... Close to a close... wow, that's a weird sentence. Anyway,
Until next week!
Thanks for reading!