Wandering around game dev

Wandering around game dev

So this stream of conscious game project has been continuing at a pretty steady and relaxed pace. I've come to the point where I have to design the outdoors and the original idea was to have the gameplay change as well as the art style. This was the correct Idea I feel.

This took 3 hours.

Continuing with this scale of pixel art will cause me to spend about 5-6 hours per house. If I was only doing a block this would be fine, but I plan to essentially make the entire area I used to wander around when I was younger. Not to mention the insides of abandoned buildings (which will maintain the more large-scale detailed maps) which I have to create to explore.

So, digging further into my younger self I recall my delinquent ways. I want to use that, but stylize it with stuff I liked then and for the most part still like now. Basically I want to use an element of good old fashioned bancho style. The idea was to either shift into River City Ransom style or pull the view further out into an isometric top-down angle.

The main question with isometric is what do I do with the gameplay then? I could do the turn based thing but I don't really want this project to get too bogged down in complex systems. Then I have old 2D zelda combat or Tactics combat. Tactics is basically turn based with more systems on top so... probably not. I guess I could go play Terranigma or something, get some ideas. There's also Diablo style combat I guess.

Then there's the RCR style, this one requires me to make sprites with light and heavy combos, blocks, throws. This is quite a lot of work. I do like the style of game though, feels good to play. It's quite a bit of sprite work unless I really keep the sprites simple, I guess I could just open up a sprite rip of RCR and sprite over the original animations that I need, it would keep the feel I like at least and prevent me from doing the usual overcomplicated pixel art.

Then we've got the third option that occured to me as a sort of middle ground. Basically castlevania. The combat is a bit simpler than the RCR style but would require the camera being shifted a bit down to go full side-scroller. This doesn't work so well for outdoor areas unless I have roof-tops and street levels which is kinda weird in a residential area.

I don't know really. I am kinda leaning toward the RCR Style but I would also have to think of a way to denote safe zoned vs areas where it's just an allout brawl. Figuring out the style of the sprites is a little weird. I had a beat em up character I made a while ago and considered adapting it but I think I would rather simplify a bit. I will start out with a basic River City Ransom style sprite and see where I go from there.

If it feels like it's going to be too much I will switch it to the isometric style and consider the combat afterward, just focus on getting the exploration in there, which is kinda the main point of the whole thing. If it feels like this will take too long or stray me too far off the path I will know by the end of the day. For now I will see how it feels to make a sprite in the RCR style and how it animates. If I can see it taking me a hundred hours to make a sprite I will probably go with the Isometric style.

Edit of an old sprite I made
Jet, the old sprite.
Basically, a river city ransom sprite.

So let's see how it goes from here.

So the original RCR sprites seem to have a static upper body during the walk animation, I decided to see what it would look like if I added a little bit of a more natural body turning to the sprite...

Fat boy wobble!

While I kinda like it there's a few problems. Primarily, my dude here looks like a cylinder getting wobbled back and forth. I could add a little squish for when he takes a step I guess... let's see how that looks?

Got somewhere to be.

I find there are a lot of places I naturally want to modify animations in the way the RCR sprite moves. I also added a bit more dynamism to the way the right jab works.


I kinda want to add a bit of a twist to the arm but I think that would be better done in shading.

I actually think this style might work out, Once I have this base done I can just style the sprite in any number of ways. I will need a few more attack animations, though. As well as some idle animations and various other sorts of interaction.  The main thing is I have a sprite whose form I have a pretty good grasp on in order to properly animate those actions.

Alright, it's the next day. I was planning to cut the lawn today but I slept weird so my leg is jacked. This is going to suck as it's going to rain until Tuesday at which point the grass will be very hard to cut. I don't use a power mower so it's gonna get real tough but I will get it done of course, always do.

Anyway... I am going to focus on finishing the sprite animations and start tweaking it a bit today. I've basically been staring at the RCR sprite sheet and following how it works but adding more dynamic movement to it and a few extra frames here and there. I'm going to be adding more animations to it as I go but a lot of the ones in the RCR sprite sheet are kinda what I need and want.

The reason for the RCR-like sprites is I have a vivid memory of the game as a kid. There are not many games that I recall from this time but this one really stuck in there. I could remember playing it at my babysitter's house after school on the NES. I didn't have my own console at the time and they had a bunch of games over there. I was pretty young and not very good at it but I did really like it, though I didn't know the name of it. I just knew how it looked and played.

Of course eventually I looked it up as the imagery really just kinda stuck in the back of my head for 20+ years. Now I am privy to an entire library of games with the sprite style that stood out to me as a kid so much that it burned into my mind.

Coming along. 32 frames now.

Today I set about adding it into Godot. So far I have the ability to walk, sprint and do the heavy and light combos coded and working as far as I can tell.

The combo system is pretty simple.

You fire an attack which sets the cooldown on the combat system and starts a timer depending on which combo you fire. This increases a tally of total attacks in the combo and each time will fire a different move from the combo.

The timer will set the combo move number back to 0 on timeout so you start the combo over again.

# Light attack combos.
func light_attack():
	#print("Light attack!")
	if not in_cooldown:
		if light_combo_num > 2:
			light_combo_num = 0
		match light_combo_num:
		in_cooldown = true
		light_combo_num += 1

func right_jab():

func right_hook():

func left_upper():

Given that most of the attack animations in the combo are 0.5s or less, I set the combo timer to just a tenth of a second longer. I will probably tune this more as I introduce enemies and get damage states and whatnot in there, but for now I think I want to work on getting an area for this to happen in. It will help to have reference in the background so I can tune the amount of momentum attacks have and how far knockback on heavy hits should be, etc.

This post took place over 3 days and I think it will get way too long if I don't just post it now.