Critique => Devlogs & Projects => Topic started by: falcon167 on April 23, 2018, 05:30:09 pm

Title: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on April 23, 2018, 05:30:09 pm
Hi, I'm Falcon. I am the author of the amazon best-selling series The Slime Dungeon and head of development for the game Slime:Evo based on the main monster of my game.

I've been working on the game since January, but only have gotten more serious in March and April. Pixelation has allowed me to find some very talented artists to work with, and I'm proud to start this log of our progress.

Game Plot:
  You are a slime. Your brethren have all been captured or killed by enemy monsters. Defeat, devour, and evolve your way through the various worlds to rescue any survivors and take vengeance on them.

Game mechanics:
  Choose how you want to play. As a slime, you adapt and evolve based on what you eat. Become a fire slime and continue down it's path to stronger versions, or add in the grey slime for bludgeoning power. Each evolution will unlock a new ability that you can choose to switch out with your current line up; never play the same way twice!

(https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/433738931717275651/437295926898327565/image.gif) (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/433738931717275651/437295902399528960/image.gif) (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/433738931717275651/435539973991825432/unknown.png) (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/433738931717275651/435278583573774363/gobl.png)

  T0 have a playable demo ready for a Kick-starter campaign this September, 2018.

For the moment, that's the dream anyway.

Latest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWcnGCUKeoE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWcnGCUKeoE)

Every week or two, I make a short video of the game's progress and upload it to my youtube channel. Thanks to my small team of talent, the art style has been more or less balanced back together. Mechanically, almost everything a demo should have is complete as well.

I'll likely be updating this devlog everytime I upload a video, so stick around and enjoy the journey with me!
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on April 26, 2018, 02:25:51 am
Got the animated waterfall tiles working. Looks nice
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on April 27, 2018, 01:31:01 am

Sorry it's a link, but I can't post vids directly :p
Alright, I don't want to force download anything, so I'll just go with youtube.

https://youtu.be/Drou_GQE2S4 (https://youtu.be/Drou_GQE2S4)

Here is the newly completed waterfall room featuring those beautiful animated waterfall tiles.
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on May 07, 2018, 03:05:13 am
https://youtu.be/9qwhk52ds_o (https://youtu.be/9qwhk52ds_o)
And here we have the latest video update. Lots of cool visuals here, including the first glimpse of the mini-boss I have planned.

Beyond that, here are some more images both concept and reality.



Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on May 16, 2018, 12:10:04 am
Hey guys, Falcon here.

Alright, we've got some new art work for areas and new concept art too.


So, ingame, there won't be any cutscenes of dialogue. Rather, there will be comic panel style cutscenes that tell the story through images.
Here's the first one for instance, for the opening game. Not final mind you, but certainly good for the demo.

So, here's also some musci for the twinkling caves part of the game. Let me know what you think.
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on June 04, 2018, 11:54:46 pm
Vid Update
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkBnPEt-ddU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkBnPEt-ddU)

Music update
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5OOlg5rXbg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5OOlg5rXbg)

Alright guys, it's time for another devlog update. As you can see above, The entrance into the undead area has been completed for the alpha. You can see the sleeping boss, the undead town, which has the best parralax effect so far, and the sewers leading into the castle.
Now, something not in the video that I've done is create the proper torches like so
In game, it possess the same lighting effect as the slime mc. In the future, I'd like to get the light effect moving with the flame, as well as a slight hazy effect just above it.

Here are a few more rooms from the castle:



Finally, here is some concept art for the other elemental slime evolutions:




As the project moves ahead, I find myself entering the level design and more advanced programming issues. Still, art wise, the project is ahead of schedule for a Kickstarter release. Hope you guys are enjoying this too.
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: eishiya on June 05, 2018, 02:17:37 am
It's hard to tell with the images so small and blurry, but the rooms look dull (no sense of atmosphere or lighting), and the top and bottom ones look very busy (too much contrast in the background, poor background/foreground separation). The dullness is a problem in the areas you posted earlier, too. It all feels very grey and boring. If your goal is to create a dull and dreary atmosphere, you can do that without making the art itself dull and dreary, through low contrast and cool colours.
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on June 05, 2018, 01:55:42 pm
Ahem, "Ah hero of candor, I've been expecting you"

Putting aside the sample pics aside from just being samples made without consideration,
I'm curious to understand what you see as a better form. You say dull, but since I'm going for an undead, falling apart castle, is dull not a good word to use?

I admit I'm not a color person when it comes to art, so what do you mean by low contrast and cool colors?
Appreciate the feedback
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: eishiya on June 05, 2018, 03:43:37 pm
When thinking about the tone you want to convey, don't stop at the first thing you think of, expand on it. What do you mean when you think the place should be "dull"? I'm guessing you don't mean "boring", but something else - desolate, dreary, ruined, empty, melancholy, etc. As I mentioned in my post, you can communicate those without being boring.
Don't stop at adjectives, either. What colours and shapes do you associate with those adjectives? What in the scene could produce those colours and shapes? When thinking about the colours and light, you need to balance plausibility (what light sources and objects make sense in this scene, etc) with artistic needs (what colours and composition would be most effective, etc).

Low contrast: small difference between the colours.
Colour consists of three components: hue (green, red, orange, aquamarine, violet, etc), saturation (how intense the colour is; the lower the saturation, the greyer the colour), and value/brightness (how light or dark the colour is). Contrast is the difference between colours in any of these components.
In your case, the value contrast is the bigger contributor to making the scenes look very busy, there's too much difference between the darks and lights of unimportant elements.

Cool colours: colours are commonly split into groups of "warm" and "cool" colours. Red, orange, yellow, yellow-greens, red-violet are usually considered warm, while blue, blue-green, blue-violet are considered "cool". As the names suggest, these colours suggest physical temperature, but they're also associated with different feelings, especially when combined with saturation. Warm environments usually feel welcoming, while cool environments often feel foreboding or melancholy. Of course, there's a huge range of tone/feeling you can communicate with colour, it's not just a simple spectrum between welcoming and unwelcoming.

Although lower-saturation ("duller") colours help create a feeling of abandonment, dreariness, melancholy, etc, you usually shouldn't go completely grey (0 saturation), because grey has no hue, so you're missing out on subtle mood cues by using it. Having even just a little bit of hue in your "greys" helps a lot. Plus, in real life, objects are almost never pure grey, even "grey" ones.

If you're willing to post a 1:1 image of one of your scenes, I could try to do an edit to show you what I mean more clearly.
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on June 06, 2018, 02:11:45 am

Well, I'll do my best, but honestly someone else made this. Best I can do is take a screenshot; but let's see if this works.



this work?
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: eishiya on June 06, 2018, 03:07:31 pm
Sorry, they're still very blurry, so I can't easily replace the colours ): Does your editor not have a pixel-perfect mode?
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on June 20, 2018, 12:13:47 am
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: eishiya on June 20, 2018, 02:36:04 am
Here's the colour-tweak I promised.

Before tweaking the colours, I removed the highlights from the bricks, as they were adding needless, distracting noise and making the foreground harder to discern. I also darkened the background and some of the non-interactive(?) background elements such as the mounted heads to make the foreground elements stand out better.

Your tiles have a very high colour count, which made editing the colours difficult, so I ended up doing what I could with some overlay layers. Since the castle is meant to be "undead" and falling apart, I went for a green cast over most of it, with a bit of blue. I kept the wood reddish in comparison, so that it stands out well, making it easy for the player to know where they can go. I didn't want to add more colours or change your pixel work too much, but here are some ideas for additional changes you could make:
- have the vines on the table also creep along the floor. Those colours would make the floor pop better and give the castle more of an abandoned feel. Even if you just do some colour tweaks along the top few pixels of the floor instead of drawing out the vines in detail, it could look good.
- Make the map(?) at the top contrast less from the wall, unless it's interactive. Even with my colour tweaks, it's still distracting.
- Have some glow on the bricks from the window(?) and around other light sources, like the candles. Not full circles of light, just some highlights.

I mentioned your high colour counts. Is there reason for those? Tiles with so many colours are harder to author, and even harder to edit.
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on June 23, 2018, 02:00:52 pm
While I'm not quite a fan of the color, reminds me of The Messenger, the contrast difference is quite striking, so that is definitely something I'll have done in the final. Demo for Kickstarter, maybe.

The green and gold on the vines and furniture is also something that looks better, though likely because of the blue huh? I'll figure something out.

Window, ignore for now. It's a placeholder for a real window eventually with moving background.

About the high color count, I'll have a talk, but I didn't see anything wrong with the original stuff.

I really appreciate the feedback
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on August 06, 2018, 12:22:00 am


While I know some of you are waiting for a game update, I'm pleased to say it'll be out next week. In the meantime, enjoy some video game music!
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on August 07, 2018, 07:29:26 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDpv2h98UHM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDpv2h98UHM)

Here's the finished lich fight!
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: Atnas on August 13, 2018, 04:06:56 am
Wow, I really love the lich. And the jump animation for the slime is superb!

I have a critique though! This will improve everything from the art to gameplay. It's tried and true: Lower the value and contrast of the background assets, optionally tone shifting away from the foreground color

This will make all the platforms pop! It will make the player pop! the boss pop! the attacks pop! that awesome organ pop!

You can even just add some layer above all the bg assets with filters applied, depending on the engine you are using.

eishiya said something similar to this. I would highly recommend listening to their advice, even if their example is not done in a way you would like, the concepts are still good. There exists an option you would like that aids the utility of darkening the background while liking it, I promise!
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on August 13, 2018, 07:58:09 pm

Here's an image of the room with added light and filters.

Honestly Atnas, and Eishiya too, I wasn't really able to follow your advise due to my inability. However, I've recently got a guy who understands these things a lot better then me, and now I can get into this contrast with him. Thanks for the advice!
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: eishiya on August 14, 2018, 01:01:03 am
Keep the contrast in the backgrounds as low as you can. For example, this newest one includes black lines in both the background and the foreground, making it harder to distinguish the two. The windows(?) include both dark colours and almost-white, making them look like foreground elements that could block the player's movement.

I feel like the lighting is going to hurt the gameplay rather than enhancing it, because the darkness between the lights makes the platforms look like background. Try to keep the lighting subtle. You can make the lighting look stronger than it is by incorporating static/baked "lighting" into the base background, e.g. by having some darker tiles beneath platforms to suggest shadows.
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on August 25, 2018, 08:55:10 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuCMIgFUPg0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuCMIgFUPg0)

New vid for your viewing pleasure

Now, I hope everyone enjoys the first slime evolutions in practice as well as the new rain.
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on August 29, 2018, 09:57:36 pm
Thoughts on these enemies?






Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: eishiya on August 29, 2018, 10:36:25 pm
The last one blends into the stone because you're using the same range of values on both the character and the background. Try eliminating the brightest colour from the background, or making that colour a little darker? As I keep saying - keep the value range on the backgrounds on the low side, so that the characters can stand out against them with their wider value range.

The sword-swinging skeleton feels rather choppy, and the swing has no weight. Is it meant to? If so, have the character lean forward more as they follow through with the attack, and linger on the terminal poses longer.
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on September 18, 2018, 06:06:52 pm
Here are some fun images from cutscene moments!



Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on September 22, 2018, 08:07:09 pm

https://youtu.be/XtQXG8oEKdg (https://youtu.be/XtQXG8oEKdg)

Enjoy the complete gargoyle fight (for now :p)

-- eishiya
Finally have the time to have those tilesets redone. I appreciate the constant push to be better.
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on October 15, 2018, 10:31:12 pm




Here we are with some of the rooms in their final form (hopefully). We are track for a complete demo the end of this month; here's hoping!
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on October 20, 2018, 07:34:18 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5isgH_jon4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5isgH_jon4)

Here's the final lich fight; looks badass!
Title: Re: Slime:Evo devlog
Post by: falcon167 on December 09, 2018, 04:55:18 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUIKk-er7H0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUIKk-er7H0)
Have a wonderful new promo vid to watch.

Game Demo is complete and is being sent out for feedback :)