The first step of the GameDan Team was made, this was our first work. We were novices while working on this game, learning almost all of the development process from scratch. Noisechip lead this project with great passion but with some lack of experience, it was not easy to finish the game even though it was a simple project. Taking a look back, it can be said that the project was a learning process in all the areas of development.
Let's see how everything was done, you will realize that it was a nice experience for us.
The process of designing the game was part of the experience for the Team, we aimed for a simple project to start so we chose a Kinetic Novel. Working on the transitions between the different parts of the game and managing the graphics, music and script while keeping a simple Game Design in mind was a lot of work for this project. The details about how the game is shown in terms of menus and the structure of the parts are still present in our new projects. The concept was to show the logo, the title screen, click to move through to the tutorial screen, click again and finally play just by clicking the screen. No knowledge of games is needed to play this game. We aim to maintain this structure of simplicity while trying to reach new gamers or novice ones with an easy to understand structure throughout the different sections of the games.
This was the first script by Noisechip, the story is cute, and it has a cool message at the end. It was, good enough to make the player smile and feel good. At first, some lines of the script were written, then some graphics, but when approaching the end of the story the Script Writing and the Graphic Design were done at the same time. Why was that done? The answer is easy, because Noisechip was not a good Graphic Designer at the time and he had troubles drawing some complex scenes and decided to replace them for more simple ones. Shiftypixlz did a first run into the proofreading of the text but finally DatBoiBryan was in charge of it and did a great job. He began working on this task for other projects after Covox Park. We needed to learn how manage the process for all the games done since it was not planned at the beginning.
Due to our small budget Noisechip took care of the graphics on his own, he searched the net for premade color palettes and found one with enough green, blue and red tones to be able to draw the grass and river elements. The red tones were also used for the main character. For the resolution and aspect ratio of the game we choose to go for a 256x144 resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Something small to reduce the amount of work, but big enough to show something not too small. After this choice it was time to work on the graphics, starting with a test image of the Covox Park, the one that is shown in the title screen and the first scene of the game. First of all, we need to assume that the graphics of this game are not good, but not bad, the idea was to finish the game even it was not a great quality of the graphics.
The graphics are what we see and they are important even if there are more important things in this case, the story and the characters. They are crucial in a Visual Novel, and the message of the ending that will touch the heart of the player. This feeling at the end of the game is what we aimed for. The Advertising Design was great work by Arseniquez.
Advertising Design with Logos
Noisechip was also in charge of the Music Production, he had some experience with LSDJ for the Gameboy for creating chiptune music. We aimed for this style. He decided to work with PixiTracker, the 16-bit version of a simple program to create synth music similar to the chiptunes. It was his first original soundtrack done, the result was decent enough because of his experience in music, which helped a lot with composing the songs. This program exports the songs in mono, Shiftypixlz was in charge of the Music Mastering and tried to turn the songs into stereo. We had a problem with this process because of the balance of the left and right channel so we finally decided to work with mono for the Mastering, he had previous experience with this process and the result was really good.
Noisechip decided to go in a different way to implement the music of the game. Instead of playing the music as a loop, each track is played just once when the player reaches a certain scene. We didn't used sound effects for this game as we were trying to keep the project as simple as possible and they were not needed to reach the Game Design in mind.
We used Game Maker Studio and we moved to Game Maker Studio 2 for the final version of the game. The code is really simple, even finishing a game for the first-time needed some effort from Noisechip, who was also in charge of this work. Managing the scaling of the resolution for the Html5 version was an issue due to the changes in the different updates of Game Maker, that affected some details of this task. Developing the Android version was easy because of the great export options of the engine. The game was planned to be released for web browsers in Html5 and for Android, in future the game will be published in new platforms.