A Vivid Dream
Last weekend was an adventure. An adventure into dream land making games for Ludum Dare #32 with Scriptor & Artist, Caleb B; Pixel Artist and Programmer, Ben J. of Peach Pie Productions; and Sound Engineer Kurt E. I was put in charge of level art and design. This was also my first expedition into the world of Pixel Art, and I have to admit, it was rough to get used to at first. Going from large canvases with resolutions that are 1080P+ and vector art from Lab Escape to a minimal canvas of only 32x32 (pixels), my brain couldn't comprehend what was going on for the first few hours! But, I loved the experience, I've always wanted to do pixel art, so timing couldn't have been better.
Friday night was brainstorming and the whole team pretty much agreed on one idea from the get-go: A kid turning his nightmare into a dream, using a flashlight as the "Unconventional Weapon" (LD #32 theme). After we've confirmed the idea, I started sketching the characters while simultaneously referencing pixel arts from opengameart.org. The first few art assets were to create seamless dirt and grass tiles. I'd never thought that I would have such a hard time creating seamless 32x32 bit tiles, but I did! About an hour into it, I finally found my mojo and then comes the seamless walls and foliages. By the time I got into the groove of pixel art, it was 2 AM and I was already tired from my day job and topped it with seasonal allergies, I wasn't really productive at all. A-choo!
I came back Saturday's morning feeling refreshed, redrew and added more trees and cranked out a bunch of art assets like I was the foreman of Pixel Art Factory! It was Thunder Over Louisville's weekend and that means the fireworks were going off Saturday night. All the game devs took a break and walked a close distance (our workspace was located downtown where the fireworks were being fired) to an overpass at 9:30 to watch real-life particle effects. It was nice.
On Sunday, Ben J. stayed up all night until 7 am to fix some of the game play and added some very cool features! Caleb put together the awesome intro and ending screens in a painterly style using his Intuos Cintiq 22, while Kurt gave the finishing sound waves to our awesome looking game. I spent most of Sunday polishing artworks, added bullet shapes and rendered whatever else the team needed. Honestly, I had a pretty easy job. Right before presentation, we dubbed ourselves "Black Ink Studios", "Black" for each one of our first initials, added the "a" vowel and reusing some fo the in-game artworks, I've created a quick animation for our game's intro as you see on the left. Then it was presentation time at 7 pm, where everyone's works was demoed and shown.
Anyway, here's a brief description of our game written by Caleb and the link to play it! I'd highly recommend installing the game on your personal computer for smooth game play.
"A procedurally generated Roguelike inspired by games like Zelda and Binding of Isaac. The Boss lurks deep in the heart of a bleak, colorless dungeon. With modular light based weapons and animal companions, restore life and hope to a world overtaken by darkness."
**Post Update: April 27** Larry Chupacabra did a ten minute play through/review of our game on YouTube. He was saddened by the fact that Mr. Fanny Moon did not make an appearance on this Ludum Dare entry, but it couldn't really be helped. Mainly because this was a collaboration project with only half of team Roaring Cat Games involved. Next time for sure! Thanks. Larry!
**Post Update: May 15** The results are in! Here's how we're ranked amongst 2k+ entries. I honestly thought we would be ranked a lot higher in the "overall" ratings, at least in the mid 100s. As for the Graphics rating, the compeition was stiff, SO MANY pixel art entries, I had no chance to fair well with some of the great masters on there. I do, however, look forward to creating pixel art again. Regardless, I am happy to have had the chance to create a fun little game with other talented local devs.
#146 Fun (Jam) 3.64
#191 Mood (Jam) 3.53
#215 Overall (Jam) 3.59
#221 Audio (Jam) 3.40
#286 Graphics (Jam) 3.75
#313 Theme (Jam) 3.66
#432 Innovation (Jam) 3.21
#613 Humor (Jam) 2.65