November 14, 2012 - Meet the cast
I’m happy (for now) with the performance I’m getting on all tested devices, and so I’ve spent the last few days on the units and visual tweaks. The coloured background is now back in (and more subtle, like the original concepts I posted before) and I’ve painstakingly redrawn each of the original creatures from the game, keeping as true to the originals as I can while injecting a bit more detail and colour variation.
One of the important factors for me is to give every unit a distinct presence. I’ve kept myself within a relatively small palette of colours, but tried to ensure that every unit is easily discernible. My first test had Hydras, Green Dragons, Gooey Blobs and to a lesser extent Crocodiles all looking very similar due to them using the same green. I’ve now varied the colours a bit to make the Hydra more yellowish, and given the Crocodile a tan belly. This will help when the board gets cluttered with units – especially given the isometric perspective which serves to make the board look even more hectic.
There are a few units I’m not entirely happy with at the moment – the Gryphon looks a little bit like a big goose or something, and needs to look more eagle-like. The Wall presented an interesting challenge and I decided it’d be best if I rendered it isometrically. I may yet do the same for the other large structural units too (i.e. Dark Citadel and Magic Castle).
The ‘classic’ unit set comprises 286 separate sprites, with separate sprites for left and right (because of the edge lighting always being on the right) although some units end up with duplicates for various reasons; the Gorilla for instance, which looks the same from either direction – or the Vampire, whose cape blowing in the wind should always go in the same direction. An absolute godsend during this process has been TexturePacker – which has meant I’ve been able to quickly create, change and update a very optimised single sprite sheet with ease.
As well as these visual bits and bobs, the client now connects to the proper server (rather than a quickly hacked together server) and it can now manage multiple games. This means that I’m closing in on that first big milestone: a properly playable alpha version . Shortly after the game reaches playable alpha, I’ll be announcing my plans for beta testing.