A Rat Betwixt Blog Post #2 – Additional Characters

Hello again!

It’s been quite some time, but now I’m back to further give you the story of how I was involved in the creation of the game “A Rat Betwixt”!

In the last post I told you about how I first got introduced with the project, me getting accepted into the group and the work I was first assigned going into it all. In this post I will give further details on my work as well as other things going on in the background.

What I’ve done

So, after I provided the group with the design for the game’s main big enemy – The Troll – I also got assigned the job of designing the game’s minor enemy. Which in development has been called “The Mole People”.

This is the image I was given to start my work V

Moleman.png

What I was told about the character before doing the design was that these “Mole People” are ones who have inhabited the game’s bunkers for quite some time. So they have gathered stuff they found in the bunker such as old army clothing and weapons as well as equipping themselves with different things they seemed useful.

They can carry weapons, have lamps attatched to their helmets or carried around with them. I was also told that they really wanted to have a typewriter thrown in there somewhere.

As for the gender of the enemy. One big part of the game’s characters at this stage was that they need to be androgynous – not clearly male or female.

The Results

Here’s the basic design for how these enemy characters will look V

Rat Betwixt FIende Turnarounds.png

One of my first ideas when creating the design for the enemies was “How can I fit the typewriter into their design?”

I had different ideas such as them having parts of typewriters added onto their clothing or them carrying one around on their back.

Then it hit me. How could I have the typewriter in the design and further make the enemy look androgynous? Cover up the chest area. With this in mind and them carrying around typewriters on their backs I switched it around. I’d have them carry them on ther chest instead! But why stop at typewriters? With this new hanging contraption they could hang whatever they want up front! Such as typewriters, filing cabinets, work tables, you name it. This design decision opened up for a more modular approach – meaning that we can use the same design multiple times but change some minor things around in order to make each of them seem different. In turn also giving them different roles in the bunkers depending how high ranks they have as an example.

Summary

With this new enemy design as well as the modular approach I feel like I managed to give them I have now created a new set of characters that can be used in many different ways to further develop the world of A Rat Betwixt. With multiple different ideas and figuring out how to use them in multiple different ways you can make a lot of variety with minimal efforts put into it. Which is perfect for a short 10 week game project such as ours!

Hope this has been insightful, take care! 😀

Group 4 – Mermaid River Blog Post #4

Hoowee! Back up in the saddle I go because this week I am getting stuff done again!

The last two weeks I feel like I have not made much progress due to sickness, personal reasons and a forced trip to Berlin to celebrate my dad’s 51th birthday (yeah, poor me, right) To make up for this I’ve turned up my working capacity to 11. I’ve managed to finish all school work we have so far as well as finializing the design of our Pirateahna enemy that was roughed out by the others, planned and created 5 animations and even tried clean lining one of them!

So in preperation for the beta we needed a few new enemies to give the player some more challenges, because right now just having an enemy that goes mostly forward is pretty easy to avoid, especially as you only have to stay at the top of the screen to basically avoid all enemies as well as keeping your health at maximum. Sure, the player have to go down if they want to collect points, but if the main point is seen as just getting to the end of the level, just avoiding everything would be the optimal strategy, and that’s no fun.

So what enemies did we choose and why? In the original document there were perticular enemies that were quite different from the Swordfish enemy, and those are the pirate pirahna “Pirateahna” and the pirate jellyfish “Jelly Roger”. So to mix up the challenges a bit more those enemies seemed to be the perfect candidates. However the jellyfish was basically a mindless floaty version of the pirahna, so we changed it to a projectile based one that shoots as Skip, making it one of the more differing challenges in the game.

So now more on the animations, this week I have included multiple parts of the animation process. So we have the enemy designs given to me, my first drawings of said enemy, shape animations, sketched animations, some clean lined animations as well as some animations in action!

First off we have the design for the pirahna rough design that was sent to me.

So with this rough design I could create a design more akin to the rest of the game. I went over the notes that were given to me by the others, what parts of the designs were most important as well as a final decision for how the enemy would work. It goes up and down in a mindless manner trying to bite everything that’s in front of it. Going off of this I knew that the most important aspect of the design had to be the face and jaw.

So here we see some sketches made for a more finalized version of the pirahna enemy. The original sketches that I made have not been scanned however, but these ones basically reflect those. A lot of the designs I feel looked more like the faces of crocodiles or aligators rather than a pirahna, thanks to the shifting teeth as well as the fact that I made the face a bit too long with the jaw being a bit too small. With these sketches you can also see more of some rough planning for the animations. Some things were deemed not necessary when it actually came to the animation, but that’s par for the course little buddy, par for the course.

Next up we have the shape animation planning for the animation alongside the sketched out versions ready to be linearted.

As I have talked about in earlier blog posts these shape animations that I make really allows you to quickly check if the animation will look like it is going to work or not. To really make the jaw stand out and to make it look big and sturdy I drew it as a big block that connects to the body. It is the one shape that is different from the rest of the design, whereas it is mostly made up of triangles. The face, the eyes to extent, the body and fin all share the triangular shapes. As soon as the shape animations were done and looked good all I had to do was sketch out the lines more exact on top of them so that it corresponds to the design, which also goes a lot faster due to the shapes showing most of what is there. I added some shadows to when the fin goes away from the screen to quickly and easily show more depth.

Lastly, as I have not been able to finish all of them, here we have the first frame of the swimming animation linearted.

I decided to put some color in to hide the face that some of the lines go through one another between the upper jaw area with the lower jaw area as well as the “brow” and the pirate hat 😛 This will also make it easy for the color artist to get some of the local colors down as you only have to choose the colored layer and then fill with the wanted color. If you have problems with filling with the bucket tool what I do is that istead of drawing the outline for the fill with a brush I draw it with a pen instead which leaves no dirty pixels around the edges.

The animated version is the featured image of this post, so just look at that one to see what this boils down to.

Hopefully I can keep the pace up in the future, I am learning so much and I hope that the rest of you do as well! Take care you guys, best of luck, have fun and I’m looking forward to seeing your betas! 😀