Hey everyone! I’m Joe, artist for Green Pixel’s games and for our first Ludum Dare entry: Dr. Vile in The Greater Good! I did the art and my friend and Green Pixel’s programmer, Rich, did the programming so we’ll each be writing a post-mortem of our experience.
First off, congratulations to every who participated in Ludum Dare 25! Whether you finished what you wanted to finished or not, think of how much more you have now than what you had before you started! I had that mindset going in and even if we didn’t finish in time, I would have still had art assets and we still would have had a foundation to build something out of. Thankfully, we did finish and now, not only do we have a great foundation to continue to build on, we have a game that people seem to enjoy! Thank you to everyone who’s played and we greatly appreciate your awesome reviews!
I’ve never worked on a project that had such a short timeframe. To all you 48-hour devs, kudos to you! I can barely tie my shoes in the time it took you to make a game! Right when we found out the theme, Rich and I immediately started brainstorming. From aliens to meteors to Mayans, we eventually decided to go the mad scientist route. And, thus, Dr. Vile was born! We gathered all our gameplay ideas and then I opened up Photoshop and went to work
I drew inspiration for Dr. Vile’s look from all the mad scientist cliches out there. Lab coat, crazy glasses, disheveled hair, etc. It was tough fitting everything into a 16x16px sprite while keeping it discernible but I think I managed! He looks like a mad scientist, right? I also drew inspiration from a character in my webcomic, The Pocalypse, named Doc. Doc is also a mad scientist and I’m sure you can see the resemblance!
After I created Dr. Vile, I created the world around him. I usually work in one .psd for our game projects so I can keep everything together and keep everything in line with the theme. Here’s what I ended up with
There may be a few things missing (like Dr. Vile’s computer assistant, Lexe) but that’s pretty much everything in the game! This simple (and small!) art style let me work with the time constraint while still being able to create as much “things” as possible. One important thing that I’ve learned from past game projects is the speed of my work, depending on the style of the game. This personal knowledge was invaluable in estimating how much I could get done in 72 hours
Another extremely important thing for this project – and all projects, big or small – is how well Rich and I communicated. We’ve been working together for about 5 years, from a larger company to an indie studio to an at-home business, and knowing him for so long has created a great sense of communication I think that there’s nothing more important than that when you’re working in a team. For this project, it was crucial that we remained on the same wavelength because, obviously, art and programming are not the same. Rich let me know what was needed and what wasn’t and I prioritized my art list accordingly. I could have put Dr. Vile’s laboratory on the top of my list yet it wouldn’t have made it into the game. Imagine the time I would’ve wasted on a big, fancy laboratory if we didn’t communicate effectively! And, while we both had the same overall vision for the game, the finer details had to discussed so we both knew exactly how the game would look and work I regularly send images like this to Rich to make sure that I’m on the right track:
It was a super fun 72 hours and I look forward to doing a Jam again! I wouldn’t have done anything differently and I’m glad that I now know that we can create something pretty cool in so little time!
We are planning on expanding the game so stay tuned for updates (we’re hoping to add crafting, more weapons, more locations, more everything)! Follow us on Twitter @GreenPixelDev and feel free to visit http://www.greenpixel.ca and check out our other projects
Thank you again for playing Dr. Vile in The Greater Good and if you haven’t, play it now and give us your feedback!
Also, keep an eye out for Rich’s post-mortem!