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Raise Hell and a Glass in Reverence

For week four and our first prototype is done! Its hard to believe that the semester is pretty much 1/4 the way done… this really kinda blows my mind, it feels like last we we were just got our group assignments.  But here it is Starving Artist Game Play.



As you can see this is a prototype still in very alpha stages of game play. We made another video to help illustrate what’s going on in the game a bit more and you can find that here. Be careful its kinda fast. In this video you can see the player lines up 4 green balls to make them burst, as that is the major game play mechanic in the game. In the first video the same thing happens the balls just art animated. With all this talk of who and such I haven’t even introduced the team!

IMG_20130918_192508 (1)

Some damn good looking dev’s

Behold the mighty team for Starving Artist! from left to right Me (handsome right?), PeijunTravis , Owen, and Siddarth. Everyone on the team worked their hardest and helped develop the game into what it is today. In our final meeting as an official team, more work will be done on starving artist in our free time, we decided to cover the good and the bad.

Starving Artist Postmortem
In the pic we put the the good we did on the top and the bad on the bottom. This is a good exercise to see on al time line when things were done and how to improve on them in the future. A few of the larger issues we faced as a team was having no understanding on the platform that we built the game on, MOAI. This offered some early challenges but was overcome by our very awesome engineers. The biggest turning point, and the cause of most of the art redos, was the big box marked Pivot. This event was the point where we changed the game from the over played swapping mechanic to the full on slider one. This brought us to re do the UI as well as a good portion of the code and how it worked. The biggest boon that the team had going for us though was the use of Skype IM services to keep us in contact quickly and effectively.

I love this team and this game. Both awesome! But next week we move forward with a new team and a new game! Be sure to check back to see what’s going to be coming up in the future as well as a starting to design a weapon step by step! Till next time.



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We’ve got the biggest balls of them all

What a week! This is quite possibly the greatest job on earth!

Last we talked i was talking about the UI and that’s there could be some change. Well there were… A lot of them.


Ballsy isn’t it?

So design number two! as you can see the big changes are the UI is now on the left side and a slider bar is now on the bottom. We got rid of wasted space that was on the slider bar ui in the shape of arrows, intended to help the user understand they can scroll the sliders. Why the major changes? We moved in a direction with the game that is more focused on being a sliding puzzle rather than that just being a fun added feature. So Now you make your matches by sliding the rows and columns into position, a very smart player can set up huge combos this way.  With the change there was no more need for the sliders to be in the map, sooo…


A bit more sketchy than before no?

In this design the wood was clearly removed as it no longer served much of a purpose, and the ui was fleshed out more for the new game direction. And yes the board would be full of balls at the start this is just the demo. With the wood out of the way the ui now has sound control in the bottom left that were missing before. Instead of time to limit the puzzle we now have a  move counter, So be sure you’re careful and set up some awesome mega combos! The place for powers was also added left of the power bar, once it’s full you can see the power to pick from. The overall theme is kept intact with the feeling of the canvas and the thumb nail boxes. This design was carried through to the games logo.


starving has never looked so good!

and more still into the main menu


psa: Don’t eat paint it can kill you!

But UI makes a game look neat and all but what happens when you line those little balls up! WE BURST THEM! 


Don’t be dumb and Google ball bursting like it did… just… just don’t


Here is the sprite sheet of the balls bursting. The tiny bit of light you can see come out as they burst is the complimentary color to each color, just a fun fact. Well that covers the basis of the game. Next time we will have a full game play video available so be sure to check back soon!

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You won’t know your worth now, son, until you take a hit

These first two weeks were as wonderful as winning your first fight, and as frightening as getting into the ring for your first fight. Admittedly when i sat down to do the concept art for the first game I have ever worked on “AHHHHHHHHHHH I FORGOT HOW TO ART!” was going threw my head more that pretty much anything else.  Not the most manly thing to admit but hey this is a safe place right? … right!?  After my slapped myself a few times i started to get to work. And i came up with the first few sketches of our UI for the game “Starving Artist”

the basic idea behind the game was to be a linear puzzle game with interactive sliders on the sides that would help you make matches and as you lined up the “paint balls” they would burst painting the canvas behind the game board. After the game was done you could have the option to share or save your work of art and show how much it was worth, in lieu of point we chose for the game to count up a monetary value for the work of art. The concept art that was submitted for my teams presentation is the following:



Neat right! The design here has a few differences than the first few sketches. Mainly the head UI information across the top and the grid. The UI area was originally going to look like a office desk drawer divider. But when in design it didn’t look appealing at all. So there is now a cool sketch style UI that is meant to echo the idea of artistic thumbnails. I repeated the same idea for the grid. Arrows on the side were meant to help new users know they could shift the sliders. so in action the game would look a little like this:


Unnnnnlimited POOOWER!

You can see changes with the splattered ink on the board as well and the power bar being filled. But the most noticeable changes would be the power ups on the upper left and right hand sides. The wood areas on here were meant to feel like artistic pallets and those were the thumb holes. They are separated from each other on the board so it could be clear what one you would be hitting as you only get to chose one or the other from what ever ones are active at the time. In this stage of the design there was one major thing that bothered me, those balls. They look like they should be in the game candy crush, and i really didn’t like the feel of them so after a lot of experimenting, even making some “paint blobs” in the style of Van Gogh, i got these:



Admit it you like um.


The above is a simple comparison the new on top the old on the bottom. Clearly the balls have a flatter and brighter feel, and when shirked down to the 80×80 pixel size that our game requires they look really good. The change in colors and definition were inspired by Windows 8 and Apple iOS7. These OS have icons with a flat feel to give a UI a simple and comfortable feel and that is the idea that these new balls support.

But if there’s one thing i have learned so far there’s still plenty of change that can happen when planning and making a game, like the waist of screen space from those arrows on the sides. But that’s for next time!




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