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The Adventures of Bubble Boy

 

  • 1. Overall Vision
    • Summary: Bubble Boy is an adventure game whose main goal is to save his planet from the ev-
      StartingPage

      Figure 1. Splash Page 

      il monsters attacking it. In order to do this, he must collect all necessary materials, kill the first boss, go through the door to the next level and defeat the Bat King who is causing all this destruction. The only way to kill the Bat King is by jumping on top of him.

    • Genre: Single Player, Competitive
    • Target Audience: Anyone can play this game (rated E for Everyone). Need a computer to play.
  • 2. Mechanics: rules of the game world
    • Character Goals:
      • Collect the necessary items in order to pass to the next level.
      • Kill both bosses on level 1 and level 2
      • Collect coins to boost score
      • Collect Health Gems to gain health
      • Make it to the next level without losing all health
    • Abilities:
      • Character can move left to rig
      • ht with the keyboard arrows
      • Character can jump/double jump with the keyboard arrows
      • Character can Duck (used to dodge bees)
      • Character can kill boss once he has sword & shield
      • Character can collect health gems to boost health by +10
      • Character can collect coins to boost score by +1
      • Character can pass through doors after completing the level.
    • Obstacles
      • Level 1:
        • Bees cannot be killed and take away health as long as you are overlapping them.
        • Snakes can only be killed by jumping on them, however, if the player runs into them, the player will lose health.

          LevelOne

          Figure 2. Level One

        • Lava will instantly kill the player and restart the game.
        • Slime Guys cannot be killed and will also  take away health so long as the player is in contact with them. The player must double jump over these guys.
        • The player must jump from platform to platform while collecting the sword and the shield in order to kill the last boss guarding the door to level 2.
        • The player must also collect the key in order to pass on to the next level. The key is right before the first boss.
      • Level 2:
        • Avoid all spikes which will kill the player instantly.
        • The laser gun shoots every 5 seconds and if it hits the player he loses health.
        • The only way to turn off the laser and shifting gear is by reaching the lever. (You do no
          LevelTwo

          Figure 3. Level Two

          t have to switch the lever to complete the level but it is recommended)

        • The last boss can only be killed by jumping on him. This means the player has to jump to the very top platform and time his jump onto the boss perfectly.
    • Items
      • Health Gems: Only appear on level 1 because level 2 is a boss fight. These appear throughout level one. Boost health by +10
      • Coins: Also on level 1 only for the same reason as the health gems. Boost score by +1.
      • Key: Collect on level one before the boss to pass onto the next level.
      • Sword & Shield: Specifically grouped together to not cause any confusion for the player. Character only needs to collect these on level one because it would be unnecessary for the character to re-collect these items again.
    • Resources: The character starts out with 200 health but be wary as the health goes down fast if the player is constantly overlapping other monsters. The character also begins with 0 points and can get a max total of 10.
  • 3. Dynamics: Interaction between player and the game
    • User Interaction
      • Keyboard controls: to move, jump, and duck use the arrows. Since the game is not complex, there is no manual for controls.
    • Proficiency
      • The player will need to know when to double jump and when not to double jump.
      • The player will also need to be good at timing his jumps and avoiding obstacles as described above.
      • The game is simple which is why the controls are so basic.
    • Game play Data
      • Health is displayed on the players’ top left portion of the screen and goes up or down depending on whether the player is overlapping with enemies or if the player collected health gems.
      • Score is also displayed on the players’ top left portion of the screen right next to the player health. Score goes up when the player collects coins.
    • Controlling the Game
      • Starting Page – the starting page is where the player begins Bubble Boy Adventure. Player clicks the left mouse button to start the game.
      • Game Over Page – when the game is over the player will be directed to the game over screen. The player has the option to restart by pressing R on the keyboard.
      • Level One – once the game begins, the player starts out on level one in the bottom left corner. The final part of level one is in the top right class.
      • Level Two – once the player beats level one, the player will begin level two.
  • 4. Aesthetics
    • Overall: The game is supposed to have a Mario feel to it in the sense that the player is constantly jumping from platform to platform while also dodging monsters. All obstacles designed are similar to Mario in essence such as the lava or ice spikes.
    • Game Art: the game uses pixel art throughout the entire platform. Level 1 colors are designed to be bright as all the colors jump out at the player. The level 2 background was made green so that the ice platforms stick out more.
    • Sound: there is no background music but there are a bunch of sound effects. For example, when the player gets hit by a monster, a hurt sound is played. When the player kills a monster, the squish sound is played.
    • Plot: Evil monsters have invaded the planet of Bubbletopia and there is only one person who can stop them. That person is……BUBBLE BOY! Bubble Boy must fight through the evil monsters and defeat the Bat King monster who is the leader of this monstrous attack. If Bubble Boy can handle the Bat King, he can save his planet!
    • Emotional State: the game seeks to provoke the player to want to win and beat both levels. The game was designed to be hard, specifically the last boss, so it should provoke an adrenaline rush.
    • Fun: this game is about overcoming challenges and obstacles. It is not so much focused on the story as it is on completing the levels. Collecting coins is gratifying because the player can see his score go up but the main focus remains on collecting the “necessary” items to pass onto the next level.
  • 5. Credits: Pretty much all assets were created by a Netherlands-based game design studio called “Kenney”. I used multiple packages within the Kenney studio. I relied heavily on the “Platformer Pack Redux”, “Platformer Pack Industrial”, and lastly the “Platformer Art: Extended Enemies”. For sound, I used this website to create sounds by clicking buttons.
  • 6. Reflection:

After creating and completing my platform game, I realized the importance of how much time game designers must put into designing the layout and environment of the game. To me, this part took much longer than the coding part of the game. I think this is because I already knew what I wanted my player to do and therefore had a general idea of what I wanted my code to portray. On the other hand, esigning the layout was much harder because it was fairly difficult to visualize what you want your game to look like when the starting page is just a blank white screen. I know it is all about imagination and what not but just figuring out where everything needs to be placed was extremely hard. Even with my experience playing video games, I struggled figuring out where to hide or put objects. If I were to restart my project, I would do a few things differently. The first thing I would do different would be to make my layout horizontally longer and vertically shorter. I would implement this change because I could make the level look much smoother by continuing the game in a straight line instead of having to jump and go back the other way. Not only would the game look better, but it would also make the overall design easier to create which was the next thing I would change. I would keep the monsters and so on but I would defiantly change the design by finding better obstacles and puzzles to put certain objects such as the sword & shield.

Overall, the game creation process went smoothly for me. That being said, I did have a few specific problems with my code that I hope to learn about soon. The first problem I had was getting all my code from level 2 to work. I had this code on a separate event sheet so I copied it all and pasted the code into my level 1 event sheet. This ended up working just fine. The next problem I had was getting the turret on level 2 to shoot. After through the “Asteroids” portion of the Construct 2 book, I think I may have figured this out. Lastly I had problems getting my monster animations to work. I had the code filled in and they would still never work. That being said, I am confident and excited about the final game project. I plan on doing a game similar to tower defense and will be using the Construct 2 book manual to help me along the way.

 

GameOver

Figure 4. Game Over Page

 

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Hubert the Honey Hunter

Figure 1. The splash page displays the general environment and objects of the game.

 Overall Vision

  1. Summary. Hubert the Honey Hunter is a game where the player is challenged by collecting bee hives and killing those pesky bees without being killed by the bees. The second level is a boss fight, where the player must avoid fireballs, deadly spears, and an angry Shrek.
  2. Genre. The game is rather random, but is categorized as a comedic parody game in the form of a platform.
  3. Target Audience. The target audience is males and females 16-25. The reason for this demographic is because this age group likely watched Shrek and Winnie the Pooh growing up, so they should understand the corny voices used in the game. All that is required for the game is a computer and a keyboard.

Mechanics: Rules of the game world

  1. Character Goals. The overall goal for the character is to get his beloved honey, and rid the earth of those who oppose him from that honey.
  2. Abilities. Hubert has the ability to run and jump, but once he collects the jar of honey he becomes invincible to bees.  The honey jar power up gives him the ability to kill the bees and the ability to kill Shrek by jumping on top of his head.
  3. Obstacles. The player must figure out how to kill the bees on Level 1. On Level 2 the character is challenged with the task of figuring out how to kill Shrek.
  4. Items. There are items on the map such as apples that replenish one point of health for each apple. There are five bee hives that must be collected to allow access to the second level.  Lastly, there is a jar of honey on each level that grants Hubert special powers.
  5. Resources. In regards to the health, the player has 100 points of health to manage before losing.
Level 1

Figure 2. A screenshot of Level 1 displays the bees the player must avoid, and the bee hives that need to be collected in order to advance to the second level.

Dynamics: Interaction between players and the game

  1. User Interaction. The user needs a keyboard in order to control the character. The important keys on the keyboard are the arrow keys.  The character can move left, right, and jump.  The user is not informed of this in the game, but the Game Over page informs the user of the “reset level” buttons.  To reset Level 1, the user presses “ENTER” and to reset Level 2, the user should press “2”.
  2. Proficiency. The game is difficult enough to give the user a good challenge where they might fail several times, but the levels are quick, so the user can learn from their mistakes and make adjustments quickly.
  3. Gameplay Data. In terms of gameplay, health is the only data displayed to the user. It is displayed in a text box as a number in the upper left hand corner of the user window.
  4. Controlling the Game. Lastly, the user starts the game by pressing “ENTER” on the splash page, which will send the player to Level 1. There is no pause in the current version of the game, but the game will end when the player dies or wins.

Aesthetics

  1. Overall. The style of the game is vibrant, almost as if it came out of a children’s coloring book.
  2. Game Art. The game uses line art for the animations, the colors of the first level are bright as it is based outside, but the second level has dark colors because it is inside a cave. The characters are animated, but the game does not contain any special effects.
  3. Sound. The sound effects include character death, bee death, Shrek’s death, collecting honey jars, collecting bee hives, and lastly for the fire balls.  There is a background song on level one that is light and cheery, which captivates the mood of the level.
  4. Plot. In this game, Hubert is collecting his honey for hibernation, but when he goes into a cave to sleep, none other than Shrek is in Hubert’s way. Shrek is not happy that Hubert enters his swamp, so it’s a showdown for territorial rights.
  5. Emotional State. Though there are dark underlying tones with the battles and death in the game, the intention is to provoke the player to enjoy the humor of the game.
  6. Fun. This game was sent to over 50 people, which received some feedback, and from what can be understood is players are gratified by solving the puzzle of the first level and the boss challenge in the second level.
Level 2

Figure 3. A screenshot of Level 2 shows that upon entering the cave, the player is challenged by Shrek the mighty ogre, spears, and torches that shoot fireballs. 

 Credits

I actually created all the aspects of my game from the sprites, background, sound effects, animations, etc.  The only part of the game that I took from an outside source was the background song in level one.  The song is called “Teddy Bear Waltz” and it was created by Kevin MacLeod, he is a music artist who posts his songs on YouTube.

Reflection

The game development process was fairly simple.  I tried to keep my game simple enough to be quality with few bugs.  Dreaming up a game too big for my experience level was something I had to be cautious of.  Luckily I did not run into too many problems, the only problem of major significance, and is still a problem I am working on is the Game Over layout.  When the character runs out of health, the game freezes, and the reset button does not restart the first level.  For future games I think I want to make a game that is based off of player pursuing a high score.  I was surprised at all the positive feedback I received on my game, many friends are looking forward to me making another game.  Many requests have been to make a game where players can compete for a high score, hence why I want to pursue that type of game. Another thing I’d be interested in learning is how to make a game for smart phones.

 

http://transmedia.trinity.edu/~bframpto/HubertTheHoneyHunter/

Game Over

Figure 4. This is the Game Over screen displayed on screen once the player dies.

AngCity

Game Design Document: AngCity

Overall Vision

  1. Summary. Four ghost homies stay in Ang City. Enter the scary door to find each ghost homie and throw them a bone to release them from their suffering.
  2. Genre. An uncomfortable puzzle platformer.
  3. Target audience. Skilled platform gamers or players unopposed to trial and error. Rated T for teen; includes dark themes and anxiety simulation. (Some graphics might be too spooky for small children.)
    1. Computer and internet access, (ability to read [maybe])
      1. Also a keyboard with arrow keys and space bar are required
      2. Mouse to click start

Mechanics: Rules of the game world

  1. Character goals. Release at least 3 ghost friends and one ghost boss from their suffering, by collecting the four bones hidden throughout the two levels and throwing them at the ghosts.
  2. Abilities. Moving, jumping, double-jumping, collecting bones, throwing bones, releasing homies, collecting homies, crouching.
  3. Obstacles. Platforms, spinning wheels, toxic water, trick spinning wheels.
    1. No health, the player is either alive or dead.
    2. No harmful enemies in the game other than the player herself.
  4. Items. There are only two bones in each of the two levels, however the bones will reset when the player dies and choses “yes” to continue. There is one blue ghost to save in the first level. In the second level there is three ghosts to save total: one red, one green, and one boss ghost.
  5. Resources. Bones are collected and exchanged for the suffering souls of the homies. Homies are collected.

Dynamics: Interaction between player and the game

  1. User interaction. There is a button labeled “Ready player one” that the player must click on to be taken to the tutorial page. Being dropped into a flat plane, the player is left to figure out the following arrow key controls.
    1. Up: jump
    2. Down: crouch
    3. Up-Up: double jump
    4. Right: move right
    5. Left: move left
      1. The anxiety of not knowing what to do is part of the games charm. Once the player figures out the right arrow there is a sign telling them to press space to throw a bone. Upon pressing space the player will find that it doesn’t work. That is because you have to collect the ammunition. The last sign on the tutorial page finishes cryptically “press space to throw a bone… to release them from their suffering.”
  2. Proficiency. Basic platforming skills are required to achieve proficiency, the first being when to jump once versus when to double jump. Also revealing the traps and hidden bones is important for survival.
  3. Gameplay data. Only the bone count is displayed on the first level through text. On the second level the number of homies the player has helped is shown through another text box.
  4. Controlling the game. The player starts her adventure through AngCity through clicking the button labeled “Ready player one” with the left mouse button on the splash page.
  1. Aesthetics
    1. Overall. A busy surreal landscape resembling the outskirts of an almost dead city with many dark neutral tones. Aside from the contrasting bright colored ghosts, the game feels very dull and empty.
    2. Game art. The colors are fairly dark, dull, and monochromatic; most are some variation of grey, blue, or black. The game is composed of mostly pixel art.
    3. Sound. The song playing in the background of my game is Karma Police by Radiohead. There also is a sound effect of a door opening anytime the scary door is opened. When the boss ghost homie is created there is a monster growl that is looped in the background, so the player will hear the ghost before they see it. When the player gets in view of the final ghost the growling increases in volume.
    4. Plot. The skelehero adventures through the scary door to seek friendship. While in AngCity he collects bones to throw at his homies in an attempt to release them from their troubles.
    5. Emotional state. AngCity attempts to simulate anxiety, angst, and discomfort. This game is not supposed to be fun.
    6. Fun. AngCity provides the gratification of compassion as you save everyone you come across instead of harm them. Also the gratification of overcoming challenges, as there is no health, only life or death and then you go back to the beginning.
  2. Credits

Most of my sprites were found on OpenGameArt and designed by individual artists for other games. First, my skeleton player sprites were created by Mike Miller. My boss ghost sprite was created by Cookiez. The other ghosts were created by Agustín Balmer. The bone was created by Bart Kelsey.

The monster growling sound effect was made by n Beats. The creaky door was made possible by Partners in Rhyme. The background song “Karma Police” was made by one of my favorite bands Radiohead. 

The background ruined buildings and sky were made by an artist called TokyoGeisha. The front lit up buildings were from an artist called Alucard. Clouds are old ancient pixel art and the the original artist is unknown. The tilemap was created by Carl Olsson. Finally the cobblestone textures were made by OgreofWart.  The fog was made my a group called LFA. All other graphics were created for this game by myself.

Thanks to all of these content creators for letting me use their assets for my game.

  1. Reflection

The biggest problem I had for this project was getting all of the pieces onto the appropriate layers as each one moved at a different speed due to the parallax effect I employed. Labeling everything clearly helped eliminate some confusion however sometimes a sprite would be created on the wrong layer and would move at a different speed or just not show up altogether. On this game I would like to implement more sounds and possibly more songs. Additionally I would like to display the deathCount on the continue page. I could also even generate the amount of bodies used in the dirt each time the player dies. I really enjoyed the aspect where all of the NPCs always face the character, I might end up doing a spooky Tempest tunnel game, with little creatures running toward the player. I would like to learn about particles as objects.

Captudddre

Official splash page of Ang City.

tutorial

Tutorial level showing the player to use space bar to throw bone.

lvl1

First level of Ang City.

lvl2

Second level of Ang City.

Capture

Game over screen. Up to continue, down to lay your player to rest.

Capture3

Win page, doubles as secret splash page.

Pigeon Slayer

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 5.22.03 PM

Pigeon Slayer Level 1. In the foreground you can notice a pigeon ready to attack. The player might decide to escape of jump on her enemy. 

Game Design Document: Pigeon Slayer

  1. Overall vision
    •  Summary. I was inspired to create this game because the thing that scares me the most in life are pigeons. I thought it would be therapeutic to have a game where my character could defeat my sworn enemies, so I created a game where the main character (that looks a lot like me) has to kill pigeons.
    •        Genre. this game falls under the category of ‘Hero slay Monster’ (= Carlotta slay pigeons).  
    •         Target audience. This game is mainly targeted towards those who are affected by ornithophobia, even more so towards those who are terrified by pigeons. People who are also interested in defeating flying enemies might enjoy this game.
  2. Mechanics: Rules of the game world
    •         Character goals. The player’s main goal is to kill pigeons. In the first level, you mainly focus on escape and can only kill the pigeons by jumping on them. In the second level, you can use the axe that you collected previously to kill the pigeons and eventually defeat the boss pigeon.
    •        Abilities. The character can stand, walk, jump and use her axe.
    •         ObstaclesThe main obstacles of the game are the pigeons. They follow you as soon as you enter in their line of sight, which is quite terrifying, if you don’t kill them they will kill you.
    •        Items. The only objects you can collect are flowers that have been blown off the trees in the far bottom, if you collect these objects you get a point for each one. You can also collect an axe that you will use in the second level, and a potion that will change your size and help you defeat the final ginormous pigeon.
    •    Resources. You have only 5 lives and each flower gives you one point. If you pick-up the potion you grow in size and are able to defeat the final pigeon.
  1. Dynamics: Interaction between player and the game
    •         User interaction. There is no tutorial, so they player will have to discover on his own how to play. Thankfully it is pretty straightforward as the arrow keys are used for movement and the spacebar is used to operate the axe.     
    •    Proficiency. Practice is one of the proficiencies you need for progressing in this game.
    •         Gameplay data. Texts display gameplay data like lives at the right of the screen, score at the left and in the first level there is the ‘survival objects’ box at the bottom.
    •        Controlling the game. Conveniently, you can stop the game anytime by pressing Esc. There are also handy keys that you can press to restart the level (R) or (P) to start the 1st level.
  2. Aesthetics
    •         Overall. In no more than two sentences, describe the style and feel of the game.
    •        Game artThe feel of the game is fairly realistic, but with cartoonish graphics. All of the colors are pretty bright and there aren’t many shadows as the game is primarily 2D.
    •         Sound. There are different sounds played during the game. Only one ambient sound is present at the winner page: Since it is a serene tone (sound of nature), it helps reinforce the idea that you, the player, as a winner of Pigeon Slayer, have made the world a better place now. The other tones are a yell, which occurs every time a pigeon touches my character, and a gentle plucking tone that occurs when the character picks up the flowers.
    •        Plot. The backstory of this game is the hard truth that pigeons are evil and chase you while you are simply walking past them because of their sadistic nature. This game will teach you to never trust pigeons.
    •         Emotional state. If you are easily impressionable this game can be an emotional roller-coaster. The emotional states that this game provokes are: anxiety at the beginning as all the pigeons are suddenly following you, and then relief when you finally defeat both levels.
    •         Fun. Gratifications like destroying your enemies and competition are provided in this game.
  3. Credits

I created most of the things I used in my game, such as my character, thanks to separate assets I found on Kenney under the name “Modular Character”. Using pre-existing assets that I ‘simply’ had to modify was a r

 

eally good compromise, as I wanted to create some of the game art myself but also did not have that much time to do so. Using the vector files of premade arms, faces and body shapes. I still probably spent too much time on creating my character and all of its movements. I also recycled some of the assets I created for my previous animation project “Spinning on Repeat.” All the other assets I found by searching on google sprites for the objects I wanted and going to the image’s sites. I found the pigeon in chapmanworld.com . The backgrounds are simple images from google and the little crates I found in this great game packet on opengameart.com. The sounds is courtesy of the site  www.freesound.org and some also come from the same opengameart packet.

  1.  

    Reflection

The hardest part of creating Pigeon Slayer was probably making the pigeons follow my character. I will admit that I did not budget my time well enough for this game. I spent too much time on the graphics and on the 1st level. Also at the beginning, I was trying to build the second level vertically. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do so because the 

 

window options are the same for the whole project and not for the single layouts. I will try to discover if it is possible and I might integrate this feature in my final game.

Finally, thanks to this project I have discovered and learned a variety of things that are useful in construct 2 just by experimenting. For example, the most exciting thing I found is that if you use different layers and alternate their parallaxes’ you can create depth in your game. This really enhances your game’s aesthetics. I will surely use this technique for my final project, and many other things that I have learned simply thanks to trial and error. I am incredibly excited for what is to come in the next month! The next game I would like to do would be a story based game. Another fun option would be a multi task game where every level the game asks you to do something different in order to reach your final goal.

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 5.15.33 PM

UI You Win Page of Pigeon Slayer. After playing such a strenuous battle the game offers  to the winner a quite rewarding final page. 

 

Here’s the link: http://transmedia.trinity.edu/~cdebelli/PigeonSlayer/

PS: I wasn’t able to export the debugged version. Every time I tried Construct would freeze and I had to do “end task.”

Also, if you are thinking that this is not a real phobia here’s a post by another person who’s affected that proves that this is a REAL phobia!

 

 

 

 

Hammer, Grenade and… Splash

Old Fashioned Pixel Graphic games may become much more enjoyable because there are way more creative freedom for game makers, while our mobile phone or tablet devices are fully capable of running them. This is the reason I make a pixel style platform game here.

The design of this project starts as a follow-up toward the Animation Project. The plot of this game is simple. The protagonist walks through the forest, and helps the viligers to defeat monsters on her way.

The Development Start with a list of things needs to be performed:

  1. A character with smooth walking animation.
  2. A jumping animation for the character
  3. Character attack smoothly while attack animation being played
  4. Character can throw an explosive projectile toward enemy
  5. Enemy has AI system, which allows a bit more complex movement
  6. HP, MP, and EXP system for character.
1

Figure 1, Splash Page of the Game

As you can see, The Splash page is composed of a fading sky (you can see it fading in such a crude way) background, a title and a brief tutorial for starting the game.

 

 

 

For a Pixel platform game, it’s a good idea to let people know what key to use before they even start the game. The control can’t be hard, so it’s better that way. Other than the tutorial, I put flashing behavior on the “Press Anywhere to Start” as a tradition.

You may be wondering why I said “Never mind if you are on Mobile Device”. I will show you this so you know what really happens on Mobile Device.

Yep, there is a Touch Control panel! I don’t think people need tutorial for that.

2

Figure 2, The game play screen on mobile devices

The mechanism of character attack has two types: Close Combat Weapon: Hammer, and a ranged weapon: Grenade.

The grenade will be thrown in a 60 degree angle so it will only hit far target, if enemy is too close the grenade will explode and harm the character as well. While the grenades explode upon impact, they will roll on the ground and wait for the 2.5 seconds then explode causing the same damage. The explosion is done with particle effect, which has a 360 degree spray. The square rocks can be destroyed by grenades too.

3

Figure 3, Shows Monster, Grenade, Stone Object and Potions.

Enemies Drop a red potion which reduce the difficulty in the game (because they will heal). They are designed with an AI that has two behavior conditions:

  1. If the enemy does not see the player, they will go from one marked road section to another, then walk back the same way.
  2. If the enemy sees the player, they will disregard the road section and chase the player instead.

Enemies are generated by a spawner on top of the screen. Enemy will be generated and fall from the sky every 3 seconds from the closest spawner to the player.

4

Figure 4, UI and Game Character display

UI design has two parts, One is the tablet design already shown, the other is the character information and mission display.

Character information is topped by a character head, a level meter, a HP meter (Green Bar), an EXP meter (Blue progress bar) and a charge meter (red fancy bar). The mission progress hang right on top of the character. The red charge bar isn’t very necessary, I made that bar in order to prevent player from throwing 5 grenade/second and limit the frequency to 1 per second. On mission start, it will show how many monsters need to be killed, and the score will update and flash for a second every time a monster is removed from the scene.

5

Figure 5, Finishing Screen Display

The End Screen has two components, A player comment and a command that you can touch anywhere to continue to replay the game, however I don’t recommend that since that’s the only few content I have.

 

 

Anyone can access the game at:

http://transmedia.trinity.edu/~xbu/Game%20Publish/

I will be glad if anyone likes my game.

By the way, the character design is basically the same as my previous project.

Annie Hellblaze

Figure 6, Original Character Design

Gravitas

StartingScreen

Figure 1: The Gravitas splash page.

Click here to play Gravitas – are you up for the challenge?

Overall Vision

Gravitas aims to provide a platform game experience that is different from the norm. Platform games are commonly thought of as games where the player goes on a journey from the far left to the far right side of the screen, crossing several enemies and obstacles along the way, and ultimately making their way to the objective at the end. Gravitas makes the player run around in every direction, backtrack, and avoid threats that can’t always be simply destroyed. The name actually came before anything else; and from it, the levels’ tendency to go downward, which is why both levels of the game start at the player at the maximum altitude and end at the minimum. In spite of the real definition of its title, Gravitas is not a solemn or heavy game to play, instead offering a light-hearted (yet still rather unforgiving) platformer experience. It assumes a moderate level of familiarity and skill in platform games, and can be played on any computer with a keyboard.

Mechanics

There are tasks the player must carry out beyond simply dodging or killing enemies and collecting coins in order to beat the game. In each level, there is a locked door at the bottom right of the play area, marked by an “exit” sign. In order to unlock the door and beat the level, the player must retrieve a green key. The key is locked away behind a stone barrier, which is moved out of the way when the player finds and triggers a lever. All of these actions are made more difficult by the enemies present in the level. The player will face a great number of pink slime creatures inching along the ground and large, angry flies that hover up and down.

Level one requires the player to retrace their steps back to an earlier part of the level to retrieve the key once it is available. Even if they have already killed the enemies in that section, the deadly spikes around that area remain and must be dodged again. Level two requires the player to plan ahead – the key is suspended in a chute that the player must jump down in order to acquire it. At the bottom of the chute is a horde of enemies that will mean certain death; the player has a choice to either clear these enemies or pass them by earlier in the level, and may learn the hard way that they should have been proactive (see Figure 2).

There is one power-up available in each level. Once it is picked up, the player is given three seconds of invincibility and free movement in all directions. In level one, this can be used to more easily grab the gold coin or to avoid the spike challenge. In level two, a player who moves efficiently enough can bypass a great portion of the enemies defending the lever. The power-up does regenerate if the player loses a life, so it can be used more than once if you’re willing to make a sacrifice for it. The player is victorious once they make it out of level two alive.

Level2_InGame

Figure 2: The center of level 2. On the left is the key the player needs to escape the level.

There are two metrics by which players can measure their success (or lack thereof) in Gravitas. The first is lives, three of which are provided to the player. There is no way to pick up additional lives, and the player loses a life upon taking damage from an enemy (which happens on collision). Early in the first level, after successfully dodging three enemies, the player can pick up a sword to defeat later, unavoidable enemies. Upon losing a life, the player is sent back to the beginning of the level, and the layout is completely reset, restoring enemies and objects – with the exception of coins – to their place. If the player loses all three lives, the game is over. This is more consequential if you have reached level two than if all three lives are lost on level one; however, it can still be a source of frustration as the player’s score is reset as well.

Player score is the second objective, and is increased as the player collects coins placed around the levels. In each level there is one bronze, one silver, and one gold coin worth one, two, and three points, respectively. This allows for a maximum score of 12 by the end of the game. Once picked up, these coins are permanently consumed and do not need to be retrieved again if the player loses a life. This, of course, is negated if the player loses all three lives and has to restart (see Figure 3).

DefeatScreen.png

Figure 3: The defeat screen sure to be faced several times by players.

Dynamics

Gravitas is a fairly straightforward game that only requires a computer with a keyboard and a browser that can handle basic events. There is no in-game tutorial as the game assumes a certain level of proficiency; the player uses the left and right arrow keys to move, the up arrow key to jump, and the space bar to attack. While the game cannot be paused in the interest of preserving difficulty, the player will not die if they stand still in a clear area.

UI

Figure 4: The UI sidebar.

The player can keep track of their score, lives left, and items in hand by checking the user interface on the right of the screen, which uses the dead space created by the far wall to display everything the player needs at a glance (see Figure 4). The score is displayed numerically, lives are displayed through heart icons, and items have shell icons that light up when the item is obtained. This user interface is the only help that Gravitas provides to the player – everything else depends on the player’s mechanical and problem solving skills, and ability to think quickly.

Aesthetics

In short, Gravitas seeks to create an atmosphere that is as cartoonish and cute as it is punishingly difficult. The game does its best to show, rather than tell, the player what they need to do. The static elements of the game (the floors, walls, spikes, and doors) are rigid, sharp, dark-colored, and unmoving. The dynamic elements of the game (the key, the lever, the sword, the player, the coins, the enemies, the power-up, and the platforms that break or move) are all lighter-colored, have motion (whether constant or intermittent), are generally not perfect polygons, and make noise when the player interacts with them. (The one exception to this is the breakable platform, which is mean to surprise the player if they do not take notice of the visual cue provided by the cracked stone texture.)

For example: A player might get to the door at the end of level one and find out it’s locked, but they’ll look behind them and see a floating key behind an off-color barrier, and a lever that they hadn’t used up to that point, guarded by an enemy to signify its importance (see Figure 5). The background music used was specifically described as a piece that “does nothing and goes nowhere,” which is perfect for making the game feel fast-paced and lighthearted without being distracting.

Level1_InGame2

Figure 5: Near the end of Level 1, the player will realize some back-tracking is required.

Storyline is not the focus of the game, but a brief introduction does welcome the player to their new home. Upon starting the game you’ll be informed that you’ve just landed on a new planet, and there’s a bit more life than you expected. These creatures sure are cute – but they’re mean, too. And the further down you go, the meaner they get. Jump in and see if you can solve their puzzles, overcome their numbers, and escape with their treasure! This challenge is purely a test of skill and quick thinking, and is satisfying on many levels – the player can go for a high score, for a complete wipe out of all enemies, for a speed run, or any other measure of success they choose. The possibilities are vast.

VictoryScreen

Figure 6: The greatest possible outcome – victory with the maximum score.

Credits

Visuals: This project would not have been possible without the nearly-endless visual resources made available to me by Kenney Game Assets, a Netherlands-based website with thousands of assets available for games of all kinds, from isometric to top-down to platformers and others. They provided me with tile maps, the game background, platforms, and early-draft character and enemy art, as well as the final characters and enemies I used.

Sounds: The game’s background music is a track by Kevin MacLeod of incompetech.com titled “Tech Live.” I found many of the sound effects I used at freesound.org, where individuals can upload and showcase their own audio work. I owe credit to the following: “maxmakessounds” for the victory music; “stradie” for the loop-friendly footsteps; Cabeeno Rossley for the jumping sound; “audione” for the sword pick-up sound; “InspectorJ” for the sword “whoosh” sound; “Olichite” for the lever movement sound; “debsound” for the moving stone platform sound; and “davidsraba” for the key pickup sound. I was able to create all of the other sounds myself, with many thanks to bfxr.net, which allows for easy retro-style sound mixing and creation.

Events

Figure 7: A small preview of the programming behind the game.

Reflection

The final build of Gravitas uses 30 unique sprites, 15 sound files, two tile maps, five layouts, 13 layers, four event sheets, and 76 programmed events with roughly 220 actions, as well as dozens of unseen assets including hitboxes, objective markers, and enemy pathfinding mechanics (see Figure 7). The hard aspects of the game environment – the floors, walls, and platforms – were built with tile maps. Everything else is sprite-based.

I built the game completely from back to front: every single asset was located, programmed, and tested, and every layout was built with its final dimensions and purpose in mind before I created anything playable. Because of this, roughly 80% of the development of this game happened in a Construct 2 file that, when run, had a player running around a blank sheet with one of every asset placed around the level, to test every possible interaction. Only in the last 20% of development were the levels actually built and tested. They were, of course, designed well in advance of this.

The most challenging aspect of development was making the player, the sword, and the enemies all behave properly when interacting with each other and when moving between levels. The programmed events for these interactions made up more of the events and actions than any other single game mechanic. The solutions to these issues ended up being fairly straightforward, but I went through a process much like Thomas Edison, where I first found 2000 ways not to make a working lightbulb. I’m looking forward to use everything I learned here in a game that combines top-down combat and puzzle mechanics.

“Forest Stroll:” A Beginner’s Attempt at Creating Games

Overall Vision

Summary

This game entitled, “Forest Stroll,” follows two characters as they progress through a fantasy-based forest with skeletons, mages, voodoo monsters, and ghosts. In order to get to the end and win the game, the player must obtain each character’s power up ability: a gun and the ability to shoot for the first character, and a wand and the ability to blast away with the second character. The player must also face the final boss, the mage, who sits at the end of the second level with five hearts and uses his magic to shoot at the player.

Starting Splash Screen

Figure 1. Starting splash screen for the game, “Forest Stroll.” It features a simulated, 8-bit text box that is animated to type each line of text.

Genre

The target audience would likely focus on younger kids and young adults due to the art style of the game. All of the sprites and environment reflect a light-hearted nature, alongside the music and sound effects that make for a calming and nice experience. All that is required is a keyboard and a mouse to play this game.

Power Up Tutorial

Figure 2. Upon collecting the power up, a mini tutorial begins that features a sprite telling the player to press space to shoot while the character plays the attack animation.

Mechanics

Character Goals

In terms of mechanics, as mentioned earlier, each level focuses on a different character. The first character must collect the gun in order to shoot and kill the mini-boss on that level. In order to get to the power up, they must strategically jump onto a platform that has a trap and will harm the player if they jump onto it while it is closing (see fig. 2). Once the mini-boss is killed, a key appears to open the door that leads to the second level. Both characters can also jump along the platforms that lead to a chest on each level, of which both will replenish a single heart that the player may have lost (or grant an extra one so they can take one hit unharmed) (see fig. 4). The second level features more difficult platforming as there is moving platforms that the player must carefully cross. Here, the second character collects their magic wand that they need to kill the enemies on this level and the final boss. The final boss has to be hit five times before dying, and the player has to dodge the magic bullets that he shoots (see fig. 3).

end level

Figure 3. Moving platforms lead the player to the final boss, a mage, who shoots at the player and must lose all of his hearts before dying.

Dynamics

The controls in this game are simple: space to shoot, and arrow keys to move forwards/backwards and to jump. Movement is not explicitly taught to the player, but a blurb of text appears when they collect the power up informing them to press space  alongside each character’s shooting animation that plays while the player’s movement is temporarily paused (see fig. 2). This game is not difficult at all, though it might take a couple tries through the second level in order to master the timing of the moving platforms and not fall off the layout. Along the top of the screen, the player’s score, life, and collections is displayed. The score is a series of sprites that change in order to reflect any points gathered from killing enemies (“0000” to the sprite, “0005,” and so on), while the life is conveyed through three hearts that are either “full” (filled with a pink color) or “empty” (filled with a black color) to denote the amount of health the player has (see fig. 4). When the key or power ups are collected, those sprites are re-positioned inside of an inventory at the top right of the screen to show if the player has collected all of the necessary items. In this case, those items are: the gun and/or wand, the key for the first level, and the “transformation orb” for the second level. The game does not have a pause feature since it is primarily based on the player in terms of pacing, but a restart button does appear wherever the player dies or if the player falls off the platforms. Clicking the restart button or pressing space on the beginning splash page allows the player to move through the layouts or restart the layout (see fig. 5).

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 2.25.28 PM

Figure 4. Chests in each level allow the player to replenish one lost heart. Players can see the amount of hearts they have, their score, and the necessary items collected along the top of the screen.

Aesthetics

The art style chosen for this game is semi-8-bit and fantasy based. The background music that plays features ambient sounds like the crushing of leaves, wind, and soft electronic beats that make the environment feel very soothing and encompassing of nature. The sprites are more reflective of an 8-bit art style, while the level backgrounds are more realistically drawn (see fig. 5). Colors are primarily bright or rich with green hues of color, again to emphasize the forest and feel of nature. The special effects center around the mini-boss, where a small explosion of sorts occurs upon death, and the final boss that spawns a rotating warp circle when killed. The collected sound effects were in attempt to fit the sound of the background music, so they are primarily more quiet or use lower pitches as to not be too off-putting with the rest of the environment. These play when an enemy dies, a power up is collected, an item is collected, and when the player succeeds or fails a level. Based on these mechanics, the game reflects fun by having the player collect items, overcome the challenge of the moving platforms, and play around with the shooting mechanics. The experience of the environment also adds to the fun of the game, as the parallax images used to create the background make for a really beautiful forest. There could have been more focus on creating an actual plot, as the current game’s state does not really tell a specific story. The only thing that the game tells the player is that there must be a connection between the two characters when they transform from the first to the second character.

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 2.26.30 PM

Figure 5. The ending splash screen that features a restart button in case the player wants to play the game again.

Click here to play my game, “Forest Stroll”

Credits

Almost all of the sprites used in the game feature sheets from The Spriter’s Resource that had an upload of sprites from the game Clannad Spelunker by the Japanese game studio, Chinchilla Software House. Outside of these sheets, also featured is a “Press Space” sprite that comes from this forum post by user, Odysseus, who included it in their very in-depth tutorial about making games using the software, Scratch (unfortunately the forum is in french, so not much information about the user was available). Other sprites in the game’s user interface include work by Facundo Gomez, an Argentina-based designer who primarily creates sprites based on the Sonic games franchise that formed the score in this game’s UI. The restart button comes from this sprite sheet, which is work originally by Facundo Gomez that was translated by user TheFancyGamer1, a US-based designer and animator active in the DeviantArt and YouTube community.

For the splash screens, featured is an animated gif from the EarthBound-based text generator programmed by Bill Eager, who works as a product engineer at Tumblr and has shared source codes for software on GitHub. Also used is a sprite generated by this speech bubble text generator, and the site this comes from, WigFlip, is a creation by Zach Beane who creates Lisp-based resources and shares them with other programmers using Lisp. The platforms come from the Pixel Platformer Art Pack by PixelProgrammer who has a couple of different asset packages available on itchi.io (their Twitter was disabled so not much is known about the creator). Other platforms came from a free version of the Misty Forest Tile Set by Anibal Casas, a 2D-art designer who sells various tile sets, UI designs, and more on his website. For the construction of the background layers, the assets came from software company, Slack Technologies Inc. (formerly known as Tiny Speck), which had been created for the game, “Glitch.” Following the company’s decision to shut down the game, they released all of the game’s assets, documentation, and more on the game’s former website that the public can now use for free.

The background music used is from a track entitled, “Enchanted Forest,” created by Poland artist, Piotr Ostrowski. The sound effects used for the power-ups, to note the transformation between characters, and for when the player dies all come from YouTube channel, SoundEffectsFactory that features Creative Commons 0 sound files for various sound effects. The enemy death sound effect was uploaded by GameSoundEffects who shares sound effects from various video game series, including Square Enix’s, Final Fantasy VIII, where the enemy death sound effect originates from. Finally, the sound effects for the opening door, collecting items, and beating the game come from various other YouTube channels that just upload collections of sound effects: All Sounds, John Tramp, and Free Sound Effects.

Reflections

Overall, I highly enjoyed using Construct to create this game. I had a lot of fun creating the layouts and using the different assets in ways to construct an original, unique platform landscape. The programming aspect of this project had me relying pretty heavily on sources like Scirra for tutorials or for community responses on the forums. By the second level, however, I found myself really trying to figure out how to program things I had not done before on my own by thinking about the things I had already learned or achieved. For example, the small segment that pauses the player when they reach the power up and plays a separate animation was one that took me awhile to figure out how to go about doing. Similarly, the transformation that occurs in the second level required me to figure out how to make an object steadily expand in size over a set amount of time before disappearing, and I was able to program this without looking to other resources by playing around with the system events. I really felt like I could follow my intuition as I got more experienced with Construct, and most of the programming I did felt like I was piecing together parts of a puzzle.

With that being said, I did have several hours of frustration with the program. The biggest issue happened when I moved on to my second layout. I re-used sprites that were stored in the project folder under objects, and I was also able to recycle a lot of the code I had created in the first event sheet for my second event sheet. However, one specific issue that I still do not understand came when I started programming for the walking/jumping cycles on my second character. I literally copied-and-pasted the code I did on the first event sheet for my first character and just made sure to replace the objects with my second character, but for whatever reason, the coding completely failed to work on the second layout. My character would get stuck in the walking animation, or would not show the jumping animation, or had issues with transitioning from one animation to the next–all with the same exact code. I even went back and did all of the code “by hand” instead, and still had the issue. I ended up fixing it by modifying the code with different sub-events, but it did not make sense why I had to do that to make it work. That was the biggest issue I ran into, as all of the other programming flaws came from me just trying to figure things out and realizing certain, small mistakes and fixing them. For my next game, I want to do a sort of continuation of the animation I created for the Animate project and make a horror, survival-based game. For now, I know that it will be set in first-person view, so I will have to learn more about programming for mouse-centered controls and programming revolving around AI behavior.