We have talked briefly about the story and narrative for Backworlds on previous occasions but I thought I would try to further extend our thoughts in this post. The most impactful decision we have made regarding this topic is that the story and narrative structure completely takes a backseat to our gameplay.
Something that I’ve always agreed with is the sentiment that if you try to please everybody, you end up pleasing nobody. Perhaps this applies to many things but specifically within games it something I often hear and read, mostly voiced by developers and enthusiasts.
Those are mostly opinions but I would like to share how I came to find it applies to Backworlds.
I thought I’d try something new for the blog so I recorded a video where I talk about Backworlds design while playing it rather than just write about it. The test case for this is our demo levels, I hope the format works!
Note: I have some issues with framerate while recording, sorry about that. Also the coloring for the levels are off, sorry again!
Time for another art creation video! Here we are showing the process of creating a HSLE art asset, a pattern and finally it’s implementation in the game. If you’ve seen our previous videos or blog entries you might be familiar with the HSLE-object, if not you will hopefully understand by the end of the video.
Music: Super Mario Bros. Jazz Plumber Trio OC Remix
I have posted a number of videos from the editor for Backworlds so I thought I would mix it up a bit by showing you how we create an art asset. There are a few basic things I do for every art asset I build, which you will see in the video:
I recorded a little video showing of some of the editor features Anders has added that we will use for bringing some life into the levels of Backworlds by adding motion in different ways. The video shows of a few of them and it is more a demonstration of the things we can do than a artistic showcase. Enjoy!
Battletoads – BirdGuyJam OC Remic by Zelig
Donkey Kong Country 2 – Set Sail OC Remix by Blizihizake
In previous posts we have talked about certain design issues on a higher level. Such as the general world design or rules that our level design should apply. However I thought I would bring up a few examples of design issues that have come up during the development that are more specific and also explain the solution for them.
I have recorded myself working with the editor to show you all how a level comes from simply being lines and boxes of physics into the water-color world of Backworlds. It is a time-lapse running at a brisk pace and should give you a good idea of the process. Note that I did not prepare in any way making this, I just came up with something as I went along, however I did work with this particular theme for the demo. By the end of the video the level is in a “first-pass” state and is missing smaller details, particle effects and so on.
Today I will show you something from the game-play scripting for Backworlds. In other words, what we do (partly) to make stuff happen in the game. We use a scripting language called Lua which we write in external text files that are loaded into the game. The advantage of this is that we can write functionality without having to recompile the game, reloading the level is enough.
I will begin by saying that Anders has moved a lot of the things we used to do with this into the engine and tied it to objects in the editor, making life a little easier for us when creating levels. But it is great for testing new ideas and we still have to use Lua in a lot of special cases and custom events. But enough explaining, let me demonstrate in this two part video!
Note: I make a mistake in the video by sampling the statue position every frame rather than only once in the OnCreate function, causing the object to move down very fast.