Friday, August 31, 2018


Art for me is a real challenge.  This means that I will need to make use of art that others have done, as well as my own. Is this wrong?  No.  It is the same as if I hired someone to create the art. That is the key.  Any art that I use from others will have to follow the rules they specify for its use.  I'm good with that.  At the same time it allows me to work on the part of the artwork that I am good at.  Making the game as visually appealing as possible.  This post will focus on the Art work and the workflow that is involved.

Game art requires a great deal of work.  Games are not static so the artwork is not static.  As with all art it starts with a model.  Below is a model of "Ellen".  Ellen is the player character that comes with the 2D Game Kit, which is a free asset from Unity.  The idea was to make Ellen a United States Air Force Security Police/Forces Airman. 

To make Ellen into an SP was easy.  I just had to add a beret.  That sounds easy, it is not actually that easy.  I had to add the beret to over 100 different images of Ellen.  The goal when you have to do so many changes is to reduce the amount of work as possible.  To that end I was able to draw the beret on one model of Ellen.  Then paste it as a new layer on most of the still images that made up the model of Ellen.  I now present Erica.

Of course I couldn't leave that alone.  To make the player character mine, or at least mostly mine, I had to try to create my own "Ellen Like" character.  So here is Chuck.

Chuck needs work.  But he is a good model for future use.

Now for the question concerning copyright and the work of others.  Ellen is free.  Free from copyright, but I can not call Ellen mine.  Even if I were to plop a beret on her.  I'm good with that.  What I can call mine are some of the background art that I have added that are my creations.  Here are my additions.

The short of it...if it is a plant..I created it. 

Until next time....

Wednesday, August 22, 2018



Just as we use visual clues to understand the world around us, sound is very important to establishing an immersive effect in games.  Since a game is about building tension and eventually releasing that tension from the user sound goes a long way toward that goal.  

This is an example of background music that may be used in the development of Project Erica.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Project Erica

Project Erica

Project Erica is a new venture for me.  It is a 2D Platformer game built with the Unity Engine. At present the game has entered into the end stages of prototyping.  With that in mind I will track my progress, or lack thereof, here. 

Erica (The proposed Player Object)

Organization of this type of project is important.  Mainly due to the many parts involved.  For instance, I must consider the flow of the game, the rules, art, and code to make the game function.  In latter stages, there is the feedback from technical and non-technical users.  This will improve the overall usefulness of the program.  To that end this post will deal with the organization of the work flow.

Step 1

Create some fundamental rule sets.  These include those that affect coding and game play. For instance, Naming Conventions are important to know the difference between an Object called "PlayerIdle" and a variable called "playerIdle".  It may seem silly, but as your code becomes more complex this difference matters.  Knowing at a glance that your code is referencing "PlayerIdle" lets you know that this is an object. It saves time and heartache.

Step 2

Create on paper the actual flow of the game.  Before you write a single line of code, or draw a single character you must define the game environment.  Storyboards, or just plain text can help you define what you will need further down the line. It allows you the opportunity to work out the major flaws in the overall logic of the game.

Step 3

Do you start with the art, or start with the code?  Since this is a game, the art is what a user sees.  From the games perspective, the art is important, but so is the code that allows the user to interact with the art. I personally begin with the pseudo code.  Placeholder art, the stage I am in now, will allow you to work out the overall mechanics of the game. Of course you will be tweaking it all throughout the process.

Step 4

This is where the rubber hits the road.  As your game mechanics are being tweaked you can start to add finished (or mostly finished) artwork.  There is a lot of testing, editing, and retesting during this part of the process.  This will include creating forms of the game that can be tested by others.  Choose wisely who you allow to help with testing.  Accept all ideas you receive. 

Step 5
Finalizing the project can be the hardest part.  If, like me, you have come up with new ideas you will need to decide, can those new ideas wait until later?  Upgrades and modifications to a game are to be expected, but too many become a pain for the user.  Continual testing is a requirement.


That's it for now....more to follow.