It wasn’t long before we realized making this game would have its own unique set of challenges due to the medium. Challenges we’ve never had to take into consideration before. Things such as: what type, or types, of pens, brushes, markers, etc should we use? What size should we be drawing at? What paper do we use? What finish should that paper have? What color is the paper? How are we going to digitize all of this? How do we control the boil of the ink in our animations? Should we even control the boil? You get the idea.
So beginneth the logistical side of our game challenge. We had to ask ourselves a few important questions.
Our Game is…
This was one of, if not the earliest questions asked: is our game a platformer, a puzzler, a runner, or a something else-er? We explored a few game ideas and ultimately landed on a platform-shooter. A simple story establishing who the playable character is, who the enemies are, and what the situation is, influenced the gameplay to structure itself around the concept of dark = protective and light = vulnerable. This will likely evolve as the game design is flushed out but it was a critical starting point.
What’s Our Tile Size
Some of you may be asking what tile size is. Good question. Here’s a fantastic article by Yuriy Sivers on Gamasutra explaining tiles and scale in depth. For us, locking down a tile size early was hugely important because it impacted everything moving forward.
“…without a plan, we realized there are no means to control consistency with art production.”
Because this game is to be drawn on paper, we don’t have the same flexibility as if it were digital. Sure we can make minor adjustments once everything is digitized, but without a plan, we realized there are no means to control consistency with art production. For example, our in-game tile size of 72 x 72 px is irrelevant when thinking in terms of physical paper. Nonetheless, a paper tile size has to exist. Otherwise, one artist could work large while the other small. This difference in paper scale would affect things like line weight and detail. Agreeing to work at a predetermined paper tile size, that shares the digital tile size ratio, reduces the risk of having inconsistent art.
Scan resolution also quickly came into discussions. A test at 72 ppi vs 600 ppi resulted in subtle differences in tactile appearance from the same physical art once scaled to the same size.
The last order of business was outlining a strict set of criteria for the team. InkTober = 31 drawings and we wanted to stay true to this, so a hard line in the sand was drawn. Our game must be complete with 31 total assets. We realize animation cycles = multiple frames. However, for our purposes, 1 animation cycle = 1 asset each.
So that’s that. A quick look into a few of the logistical challenges we faced coming into this thing. To hit our daily posts for InkTober we knew these pre-production challenges had to be resolved before October 1st.
We’ll be continuing to provide a more in-depth look at the making of Luminky each week so make sure to check back for updates!