Creation of a Video Game with No Knowledge: Upending the Tea Table
It’s been awhile since I’ve shared anything about the development of this small little game that I’m building, so here goes. I started to run into issues with animating my little robot buddy, so I threw the character out the window, thus upending the tea table. He’s not gone entirely; however, as I’ve simply taken away the robot and decided to give him back his legs. This allowed me to animate him – even if it isn’t the smoothest animation – a little easier, and to look more believable. OK, so it’s really not upending the tea table, but a change nevertheless.
Of course, this means the backstory for the character has to change. No longer will Stompy, his official name, be embarking on a quest to discover why a trap was set for him. Instead, Stompy will go on an adventure to save his sister, Stompette, from a mysterious alien ant race. Definitely a little more simplistic in nature, and also not very original, but given the game’s biggest influencers, – Super Mario Bros., Adventure Island, and Zelda II – I think it was an appropriate change.
Also, I’ve implemented a lives system similar to those found in old school games. Once all your lives are gone, it’s Game Over, and that’s the bottom line. I’m not going to be implementing an infinite lives system that holds your hand, or loads of checkpoints that encourage sloppy play, instead, I want some of the game’s difficulty to come from the pressure of holding onto every chance you’re given. For those curious, I don’t plan on adding a continue function, but there will be plenty of hidden 1-Ups.
I’ve also added some new graphics, and improved upon older ones, as seen in the screenshot below. Plus I’ve been playing around with the layout size, and character physics to find what works best for my vision. As for stage design, I’m nearly done with the physical layout of the first level. It will be short and easy to beat, giving you an opportunity to get used to playing with the game’s character. I’ve got ideas for other levels, including vertical stages, and a fortress stage that will play similar to the palaces from Zelda II. Plus, I’m thinking hard about what kinds of power-ups to include; an invincibility power is almost guaranteed.
I still have to create art like trees, bridges, enemies, etc. for the rest of the game, but I’ll also be building levels as I go. Designing levels is proving to be a little more difficult than I thought it would be. I believe that a good, fun level is hard to execute, especially when I have little to no experience doing so.
My plan is to have a 3-4 level demo by the end of April. If the feedback is good, and the consensus is that there’s potential, then I’ll continue – I do have ideas in mind for three more worlds. You’ll be able to find the game on the Scirra Arcade, plus I’ll add a link to it on this website.
Ask your questions below, and they shall be answered in the next article.