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Early Stages of Game Graphics

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Trapper Zoid

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Early Prototype of Ice Slider Maze Graphics
Still Very much under development

I've been experimenting a bit with OpenGL to see how I can get the effect I want for Ice Slider. This prototype I've got running now is simply using two sprites for the snow ledges (a dark ground sprite and a snow sprite). The maze is stored in a tile-like grid, but I'm presently using non-standard tile sizes for the sprites and throwing in a bit of randomness to the sprite dimensions. The effect isn't too bad even with this early prototype with only two sprites - I plan to put in a couple more for variety (especially for the lone wall; it looks a bit weird if I have too many of those scattered around as they presently are), add in some icicles, put in some fake shiny specular reflections on the ice, and possibly at a late stage add in some "sparklies" for the icicles.

I've also just got the fake reflections working, although there's still some flaws I have to iron out. Given I'm working with sprites I'm not aiming for something optically accurate, but more for something that just looks a bit cool. However sometimes there's a jarring flaw with the way things are rendered that bugs me. I just wanted to see how cool it looked as an experiment, given that it looked good in a mock-up I've created in Inkscape.

The example shown in the screenshot is a grid that I've filled with a 4 by 4 lattice of straight lines, then randomly removed a few blocks from the walls as a test. I've implemented my own pseudorandom number generator class so I can regenerate exactly the same results for classes that need it, such as randomly generating the maze, without having to worry about other classes spoiling the sequence.

I've also not yet put in the code to disable the menus so they're still there in the foreground - I also wanted to see how they looked in front of the ice field. I don't think they look that bad so far, although I may need to play around with the colour scheme.

I'm also unsure as to an appropriate scale to display the grid tiles at - that's something I'll need to experiment with some more. Fortunately it's trivial to change that in my code - I just have to modify a constant.

The main problem I see with this prototype is the gaps between the ledges are too small for Tisk (acronym for The Ice Slider Kid - haven't thought of a better name for him yet) to get through unless I make him tiny. I'm going to have to think of a good way to fix that. I could clean up the sprites so Tisk can fit through. Or I could make it so that he can only fit through gaps of two or more, and use a different sort of grid for the player actions rather than display (maybe with the player going on the edges of the grid?).
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Looks ace. I really like the sort of cartoony style and the softness is very snowy. Have you considered some kind of particle-based snow effects? I reckon that would look really good.

Player on the gridlines would work I guess. I suppose it would make your maps a lot bigger and more spaced out but it would be a real shame if you had to sacrifice the current graphics for the sake of pratical reasons.

I think this is a very well timed project as well, what with Christmas upon us. Was that deliberate?

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I love the reflections (both the idea, and your implementation thus far). I'd only reccommend tuning the alpha down a little more, just to make it clear that they ARE reflections. Right now everything (both foreground and background) just seems a little bright, making the two hard to distinguish.

Additionally: great to see Ice Slider finally getting into regular (and speedy!) development. Can't wait to play another one of your interesting works. :)

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Original post by EasilyConfused
Looks ace. I really like the sort of cartoony style and the softness is very snowy. Have you considered some kind of particle-based snow effects? I reckon that would look really good.

Thanks! I've considered a snowing effect, athough I'm uncertain if it will be distracting. Once I've got the main game up and running there's a few effects I'd like to try out as an experimental exercise.

Quote:
Player on the gridlines would work I guess. I suppose it would make your maps a lot bigger and more spaced out but it would be a real shame if you had to sacrifice the current graphics for the sake of pratical reasons.

I'm planning on making the maps variable in size, although that does mean I'll need to tweak the gameplay to work across multiple screens (most games I've seen of this type allow you to see the entire board at once). I do want to keep this style though, so I'll have to think of some solution. The internal representation for the grid of snow banks is presently a big hack so I'll probably have to rework that anyway.

Quote:
I think this is a very well timed project as well, what with Christmas upon us. Was that deliberate?

Not really. I picked a snow based theme several months ago on a whim, but wasted a fair amount of time getting started. Besides, being Australian I associate Christmas with summer heatwaves rather than snow [smile].

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Original post by HopeDagger
I love the reflections (both the idea, and your implementation thus far). I'd only reccommend tuning the alpha down a little more, just to make it clear that they ARE reflections. Right now everything (both foreground and background) just seems a little bright, making the two hard to distinguish.

I'll play around with the alpha a bit more to see what works. At the moment I might have turned it a bit high because I haven't got the shine effects on the ice. I need to put something on those large patches of ice otherwise they're just a large expanse of colour.

Quote:
Additionally: great to see Ice Slider finally getting into regular (and speedy!) development. Can't wait to play another one of your interesting works. :)

Thanks - for some reason I'm finding playing around with the code a lot more fun right now so it's a lot easier to spend time working on it. I think I might be getting a bit too absorbed sometimes. I guess I'm not very good at keeping to task when I'm working on code designs, but I'm better at it when I've got something concrete to see.

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Original post by Trapper Zoid
Besides, being Australian I associate Christmas with summer heatwaves rather than snow [smile].


Oh yeah. Never thought of that. That has always really confused me, all that.

So I guess you need to have this finished ready for a nice, wintery August release then?

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