Upon reading many other dev blogs, I’ve decided that I should start writing regular little update blog posts for any projects I’m working on.
More than anything I think they will be useful in years to come both for me to look back at where things went right or wrong, but also just for the sake of nostalgia.
So without further ado, here’s the first update post for a comedic 2D pixel art game with demonic undertones. Code name: A Bad Day at Work.
I started working on ABDAW around Easter 2018, as I was finishing up my 2nd year at university. It started out as me just mucking about trying to draw pixel art characters in Paint; I’ve never been particularly good at art, so it meant a lot when I showed friends what I was working on and they said “hey, that’s pretty good”.
Each character I drew went through multiple iterations to refine their designs, this also involved me dragging friends over to my screen and asking which iteration they liked most.
After refining the characters, I started animating. This was relatively easy, but rather time consuming as just one pixel being off can ruin the look. After that came the normal mapping, or ‘light mapping’ – essentially drawing every frame of the animation again, pixel by pixel, to tell the game how light should act for certain parts of each sprite. The results can be seen in the above gif – The ceiling light is only illuminating the back of the player, as they are not facing it.
After making a player character that could walk around, I started making the other systems, including the dialogue system, and event system. Recently the bulk of the work has been just creating more sprites and slapping them in engine.
Having said that, over the last 2 days I’ve been experimenting with Android builds of the game. I planned it to be a PC game, but if I can get it running smoothly on Android without too much hassle, I’ll continue development forward with both Android and PC support. The biggest problem that I’ve run into so far with that is having the game run without lag on phones whilst still keeping the nice lighting. – I’ll probably write more about this in further blog posts as I experiment.
Other than that, a lot of the heavy workload will be in creating bespoke events. By this I mean events where lots is happening in the level without player input, for example when the player heads up the office elevator, then comes down, the level has totally changed. I think it adds to the fun though, so I’ll continue doing it.