I created a system for applying a fade to black and fade from black transition system when going between screens. While the transition is in effect, buttons are also disabled from being interacted with, instead requiring the transition to be complete before moving onto yet another transition to the next screen. This fading makes movements between menu screens less jarring and smoother. The fading is also useful to mask some viewing angle inconsistencies when moving between screens in the character introduction sequence as described.
There is also a lower priority possibility of adapting the same code later on to allow an alternate transitioning type where instead of a full screen fade to black, items from the first screen will fade out then the new ones on the second screen will move into position, allowing for the same background to be used, and creating the illusion of being part of the same screen.
R.H. [head artist on Downhill]- Created a health bar in photoshop, I wanted the health bar to start to chip away each time the player got hurt in the game.
A sprite sheet showing step by step of the health bar, disappearing.
[not actual speed]
After receiving basic sprite outlines for the character introduction sequence as well as some other sprites used later on for the rest of a level, I began implementing them into the game and allowing the displayed character sprite to change according to the state of the character. This also required me to develop the intro sequence within the game itself. Doing this allowed me to preview an approximation of how the animation would look in-game once completed, and also gave an opportunity to provide any feedback if necessary on any potential changes, before extra time spent is on needlessly shading frames that may need to be changed or removed.
The process also provided me with a greater understanding of some of the individual character mechanics, and so from the visual depiction of what was wanted to be achieved, I was better able to tweak and polish the feel of the character movement in order to better fit with the animations and the ideas as formed by the animator, improving the feel of the character from the more simplified movement previously used as a placeholder.
The shop’s pixel assets are coming along well, with the skill section completely finished. The remaining aspects of the shop left are the cosmetic icons for the cosmetic sections, buttons, and more importantly; The background of the shop.
We were discussing the layout of the shop’s user interface, we wanted something not too complicated and easy to understand. Because the game is planned to have different tiers of skills, we wanted to find an easy way of showing each tiers and their progress.
Now with everything sketched and planned out, it’s only a matter of creating the appropriate assets for the shop.
With the basic game flow from the title screen, to the map screen, to individual levels gameplay completed, I am now waiting for additional progress to be made on deciding upon the actual gameplay mechanics and their specifics which will be used within the levels before I am able to program any more gameplay content. As such, I begun to work on any additional areas that would need to be completed at some point regardless.
The first of these was creating a settings menu accessible from the main menu. Currently, I have just included buttons for clearing the save data, and controlling the volume levels, although more may be added later as and when features are added which require a setting changeable by the player.
I only had some place holder audio to test with at this phase, but once sound and music has been produced, they will be incorporated into the game and will be affected by these buttons.
I programmed the game to create separate profiles for saving data related to this, storing it to an external file stored on the user’s device, which can then be read from when loading up the game for a second time ensuring that the player’s progress across sessions is maintained. I decided to create separate profiles for the settings just created, as well as one for the level stats created previously. At this moment in time the game uses .ini files, which while efficient, are also easily readable and can be manipulated by the player in order to cheat their level of progression in the game. In the future this may be changed to a more secure alternative, or have security layers added to encrypt the user data before storage. This will be of particular importance when incorporating a similar system for IAPs, which if otherwise not protected may allow a player to bypass the games monetary system.
With a greater understanding of the elements expected to be recorded about level progression, I also begun incorporating basic level elements such as the max distance travelled and end flag, as well as medals into each level, so that progress when playing the level could also be stored.
Every shop needs someone running the place, so we had to think up a design for the shopkeeper.
Our final result with a pig-based character to represent to term “Greedy Pig”. Of course, there’s a little bit more behind the character’s concept, even if most of it is silly.
The character’s name is “Merch” to represent his job as a Merchant, full name being “Merch B. Ant”, the B standing for “Buy Something”. You were warned of the silly concept.
He also represents the typical store clerk who is a little bored and tired of their job, his attitude is brought on by the lack of business in his shop, however, his attitude is planned to change as more successful purchases are made.