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Art/Story: The Two of Us Post Mortem

Posted by
Friday, April 27th, 2012 4:16 pm

First time entering ludum dare, first time having mostly completed what we set out to do, and first time working with someone else on a project (Eugene Paik aka Ekun on Code and Sound).

Preparing
A month ago I wasn’t even thinking I was going to enter Ludum Dare. I wasn’t much of an animator but I started practicing then and regularly. This was the first animation I did:

I was very happy with it, and enjoyed animating alot, finding that it really wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. That animation took maybe 2-3 hrs which is a full animation set of actions. I saw the possibility of actually completing a game. After I tried picking up the pace and made several animations with just the rectangle tool:

The quality didn’t matter, but having a smooth animation that translated at least, and that I could push them out fast. The rectangle tool was more of a stylistic choice as a larger brush would of been faster, I found this out during the competition :p

After a week of this, I felt I was competent enough to work with a developer and found several who were interested. Then I heard of Ludum Dare 23 coming up, and thought why not – posting in a thread if anyone would want to work with me. Ekun was the first to reply. We tested the water before LD the weekend before, and started working on a sci-fi platformer:

We didn’t get very far and decided to relax before the competition.

The Day Of

Mopping the floors I hopped on the sluggish internet at work and read the theme, which made me grin – immediately thought it was an awesome theme. The first thing that came to mind was The Borrower Arriety by Miyazaki based on the novel The Borrowers. The second thing was a world with the population of two. The hero and whoever may have been the antagonist.

The Antagonist

I opted to flesh out the second idea more on the bike ride home, the antagonist would wear various guises say the merchant which swindles him into buying a crappy sword, or the old hag that points him in questionable directions, and the various boss forms that appear in the final game. For whatever reason the design in mind for part of the antagonist looked like Ozu from the animation Tatami Galaxy, specifically his sinister smile and mischievous ways.

Dark to Light
It was a long bike ride :3 at a certain point the premised changed to instead of hindering the hero, aiding the hero. It was going to be a story about a king and his son the prince. The king kept it a secret that they were the only two people around, but the prince became curious of the outside world. The king made up his mind to lead the prince on an epic journey, playing all the characters the prince would meet and fight along the way.

Finally I made it home where Ekun was waiting on me to discuss different ideas. He’d already drafted a list which none of them he felt that strongly for. We narrowed the list down, but ultimately concluded to go with the king and prince idea.

We collaborated on a design doc on google. Initially we had a handful of characters, and bosses that would appear and levels that culminated in boss fights.

We then went to work. I’ll leave Ekun to write about the coding side of things if he chooses to. I immediately started work on the protagonist, a pantry clad hero:

I had in mind a world that looked much like the set of a highschool play.

12hr mark: Back to Dark again
Feeling uninspired the next morning, I spent mulling over the details of the world. I tried mockups, but nothing felt right. Ekun had a school project to be doing. I took a break and met up with a friend discussed some of the ideas that we had floating around.

I decided it would be better to go back to the original design of the mischievous antagonist. We also felt it was necessary to lessen the scope, take out the levels, keep only boss fights, inorder to focus more on a solid polished experience. This is what came of it, either by way of magic or by imagination (it’s not exactly apparent in our entry) we see two brothers play out a story together. One brother likes playing the hero while the other likes playing the villain. To keep more within the theme of the compo, the foreword introduces them as two brothers locked away in their rooms for all eternity.

Being that the other brother would play all the villain parts, I wanted that to translate in the design. I decided that sinister wicked jagged smile would appear across all them along with the green skin:

Unfortunately there wasn’t enough energy/time to get the original dark knights design into the entry, this will change (likely will not look like that either).

As for the background:

It’s obvious to note it’s a child’s bedroom. Along with each boss fight the theme of the bedroom was going to change but again there wasn’t enough time. The sinister smile (yes the hotdog in the beginning too) appears throughout the game and in the background, the door foretells the battles to come.

Where this project is going
It all started to come together in the end. I played bits and pieces, but never the full experience. We felt both tired and jubilant at the same time when we submitted the entry. At that point I finally had a chance to play it. And I got my ass whooped by the first boss. I liked the challenge a lot. And as most people will find, that the challenge spirals downwards haha.

We loved the project so much that we plan on working with it more, adding additional boss fights, elaborating on the story, and the artwork. So look forward to that.

Thanks to everyone who’s played, and if you haven’t you can play it here:
The Two of Us

The Two of Us by Ekun & Keo

Posted by
Monday, April 23rd, 2012 7:13 pm

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