Monday, January 20, 2014

Dyll's Quest - Dawn of the Development Blog

Hey guys! Welcome to the first blog post about my new game, Dyll's Quest for Funk. In this blog I will take you behind the scenes and share all sorts of neat little tidbits about the game development process.

Dyll's Quest for Funk is an idea I've had for a while now. I spent a few months nailing down the concept and writing out the design document. And recently I began to work on the prototype. This is my first time ever writing a blog about game development, and this is your first time ever reading a blog about my game. So it'll be a learning experience for all of us! I want to give you an interesting look behind the scenes as I develop Dyll's Quest, but at the same time I don't want to reveal too much information too early. So these first couple posts will be about finding that right balance.

I'll discuss the details of the gameplay a bit more in a future post. For now though, I'll give you a rundown of the basics. Dyll's Quest actually has two distinct gameplay styles: part 2D platformer, part twinstick shooter. Your progress in one portion of the game directly impacts the other half. You need to continuously build upon the momentum of the previous level to succeed in the next stage.

As I mentioned, I just recently started to really get working on the prototype, so the game is still in the very early stages. Most of the artwork and screenshots that I post now will likely look completely different by the time the game is finally released. Keeping that in mind, let's take a look at some pictures.

This is an early concept piece of the UI. Originally intended to be a sample mockup for my portfolio, this picture actually spawned the idea for the game. While I'm going for a rather over-the-top style with the art direction in this game, I want to make sure that things are also functional. Readability is an important aspect of a good UI, so some tweaking may still be in order. Some of the media player elements will likely remain for the final design, but there will need to be a few changes.

Still frame of the main character, Dyll. This was more for establishing proportions and a color palette, but this sprite may find it's way into the game in some form. Dyll is sort of a laid-back, hippy kind of fella. He runs a relatively unknown radio station, so I'm trying to convey the type of character that you'd imagine DJing  amateur radio in the middle of the night. He's quirky, he's funky, but he has a very optimistic outlook on life.

Dyll's jogging animation in progress. First I start with the sketch, then I fill in the base colors. Next comes the details and the shading.

Last, we have a screenshot of the prototype working in Unity. Beautiful, isn't it? I've managed to white-box the first level (or in this case, I guess blue-checker-box would be a more correct term). In addition we have the player character (in all his unfinished glory) running and jumping around the level for testing purposes. It may not look like much from this shot, but this is actually hours and hours of work that have laid down the foundations for the final game.

Well, that's about it for now. A lot of the basic functionality is actually done, so hopefully we'll see a lot of art posts in the near future. I will continue to update this blog as I make more progress on the game. I hope this was interesting to everyone. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, feel free to leave them below. Until next time... Adios!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Published Games and Motion Comics

I know I said my next post would be about my recent 3D work, but I just want to sneak this one in here before I get to that.

First off, The Amazing Jungle Rescue has been published on Indie City! It's not the most well known game distributor, but it's a great website and it's very easy to use. We're still exploring other distribution options as well, in order to get the game in the hands of as many people as possible. (If you're associated with such a game distribution platform and you're looking for family friendly puzzle games for your storefront, please don't hesitate to get in touch!) Anyways, we're excited that others can finally play our game, so please check it out at the link below or on our website: The game is $3, and there is a free demo as well in case you want to try it out before you buy it.

In addition to that, I've also got another project to share. A mini motion comic! It was sort of a last minute Christmas present to my sister Michelle Rakar. Some of you may know this, some of you may not, but my sister and I have a long running series of sorts that we've been working on called The Nays. It's always been kind of a "for our own enjoyment only" type of personal project, but we've posted a few things about it online in the past. We started it over 10 years ago and recently we've been working to clean things up and actually make it presentable. Since we're pretty much rewriting the story from the very beginning, we've been toying with the idea of turning it into a real web comic. Whether or not we actually do that depends on how much free time we have, but we've always thought it would be cool to share these stories with everyone.
To go along with that, I tried my hand at making a motion comic using a new program called Motion Artist. It's very crude and messy because I made it in 2 days using an unfamiliar program, but I thought it could pave the way to something kinda cool. Check it out at the link below:

The Nays Motion Comic: Volume 01 - Chapter 04
(Note that this is actually a glimpse of Chapter 4, so prepare to feel lost.)

As usual, thanks for reading. I promise my next post will be the one on 3D art that I mentioned. Adios!