I thought seeing as this development blog is starting after already a lot of development I’d play catchup and go over the story of Sarah’s Run development so far:
ok then, where to start… how about the BEGINNING!? 😀
its February 28th 2010, and I’m working on my game Phantasmal, things are going pretty well, but I like to take breaks every now and then to keep my work feeling fresh, so I do a doodle with the thought: “what if Mario and Peaches actually had sex”
Super Maria, in all her potentially copyright infringing glory was how I met Sarah
Ok, so its a pretty cool doodle, time to get back to my main project… but wouldnt it be cool if I made a 3D model of this character, I do need practice making models from my concepts after all, thats some skills that will help me make phantasmal too!
I made a model, unwrapped her, might as well paint her next...
Pretty good, one of my better models and textures I think...
ok, not bad for a days work, tommorow surely I’ll be all fired up to work on Phantasmal some more!
but tommorow came, and I found myself thinking… well what good is the model if it isn’t rigged and animated, and maybe if I do that, I can drop it into the phantasmal engine and maybe tweak it a little to play like super mario, just for fun. but these ideas were just passing thoughts, surely…
...now she's animated...
...well I guess I made a super maria version of phantasmal after all >__>
So it turns out I kind of had already taken 2 days off phantasmal and I already had the begginings of what felt like a pretty solid platformer and a cool looking character. (this version is playable here by the way)
the next day I just feel its probably best to work on this game some more, it shouldnt take me too long to finish after all… but by the end of the day (after adding moving platforms and conveyor belts) I make the following tweet:
“things that are good but actually make me want to kill myself #1:
something I’ve spent 3 days on is way more fun than my main project”
and thats the point where phantasmal takes a backseat, at heart I want to make the best games I can, and besides, the last time I stopped working on on Phantasmal to do another project, it went down pretty well.
so with my resolve to take on super maria, and the desire to make a new Mario/Sonic/Crash/Spyro type game that doesen’t suck.
First off I spend some time playing around with effects I could use for a power up/invincible mode.
doesn't have a purpose yet, but an effect this cool? I'll find a place for it!
next thing I do is see if I cant get ‘Maria’ to stand at an angle on slopes like mario and sonic do, I always wanted to see if I could pull that off, and it turns out I can, but ‘standing’ on slopes is no fun on its own, you gotta be able to run along them too. though I hadn’t quite thought “check that the slope isnt too steep to stand on”. I had a build where I could run up near vertical surfaces, and that got me thinking, and then tinkering:
Con: Quitting work on phantasmal to make a game about fucking with gravity is somewhere I've been before
Pro: HOLYFUCKAWESOME RUNNING ALONG WALLS IS FUUUN
Here’s a game design tip for you; if any of your pro list items contain ‘holyfuckawesome’ your con list doesent matter.
so that was it, running up walls is cool, and it turns out if you limit the ability some it can make for a pretty interesting navigational and puzzle mechanic. I spent the rest of march pretty much planning how levels in the game could work and how I could put them together quickly. I even put together a test preview with five levels which was pretty well recieved by my friends and internet lovers, and worked with my e-brother Logan on an original story, title and name for the character so I wouldnt get hit in a drive by from a Nintendo van.
"Green Hill Zone called, they want their textures back" - I find checker textures are perfect during prototyping/early dev
I think that’s us more or less caught up, I’ll make a ‘what is sarah’s run’ post soon and I’ll go into much more exciting detail about design deciscions, coding approaches and stuff in the next few posts. 😀