Thursday, 29 May 2008

Level 05: Ancient Rome [Complete]

The fifth and final level complete.

Dominic Lopez.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Level 04: Lethal Lava [Complete]

Level 04: Completed.

Dominic Lopez.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Level 02: Ancient Egypt [Complete]

[Level 02: Completed.]

Dominic Lopez.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Titles - concept

This a quick idea of what the Paint-Ed titles might look like. (Drawn by Chris and coloured by me)

Nova Bomb Studios (Team Logo)


Paint-Ed (TM) sponsored by Nova Bomb Studios.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

[Level Vectorisation]

With Paint-Ed! Levels complete in design, it’s now time to “Vectorise” them. In other words, trace and colour in Adobe Flash. I had to be careful here, as Chris’ fill effect required a mask to be put over the level with a b/w outline layer above that. Here is a quick breakdown of the technique structure (from top to bottom) to my understanding: The Ed sprite is on top of the B/W Outline layer of the level. This B/W Outline Layer sits on top a White Mask that animates revealing the fully coloured level at the bottom. This results in a fantastic effect. But I have one problem, I cannot give depth to the levels due to the way the technique works.

To achieve depth on flat image, I can not only fade the background as they get further away and have each move at different speeds, but for an extra effect, I can have Ed move behind different parts of the foreground such as bushes. To do that I would make certain parts of the level as separate layers and place them on top of the Ed sprite layer. But they would be above the White Mask layer in full colour, where they should be B/W. In other words, only Ed and the Ink Leeches can be in colour and on the top layer only. Anything else that is above the White Mask layer has to be B/W Outline.

In regard to vectorising, I do the outlines first so Chris can start animating and I let him know of any areas to watch out for such as jump heights a general directions etc. then I continue to colour and do a background for the level. This is the final result:


As mentioned before, the background was to be faded. I decided to keep things simple by making it less detailed compared to the rest of the map. So I only used 3 tones of green and planned out a “formation of the bg so I complimented the rest of the level (below) "O" means Open.

Everything worked really well yet i felt something was missing. that was when Radhika added minor details to the map that really finished it off (below).

Dominic Lopez

Rome Level [Revise]

This was the version I was not happy with due to the lack of everything. Radhika and I discussed over this and came up with this concept (below). Radhika suggested a “Leech Pit” holding a sea of Ink Leeches and a catapult to launch Ed onto collapsing platforms as he makes his way to the other side collecting the artefacts as he jumps. If you did fall, you would not die straight away, oh no! You would have a very slim chance to get to land but I guess, as there are so many Leeches in the pit, your chances of survival are close to zero. In addition, you cannot progress to the final boss unless you collect ALL the artefacts. If you don’t you’ll have to try again and that might mean a dip in the Leech Pit if you’re brave enough.

Dominic Lopez

Lava Level [Revise]

Above is the original sketch for Level 04: Lava. Below is the revised version. I replaced the “rotating platforms” on the left with more natural looking fragile rocks. This revision not only blends in more with the environment, but it also adds extra challenge after the Mine Kart jump as those rocks break as soon as you land on them. I further replaced that floating brick pillar (top centre) with a more natural “floating/tilting” rock (assuming that floating/tilting rocks are perfectly natural that is!). I also cleaned up that area due it looking clustered. I widened the final climb on the right.

With a note to Chris’ fill technique, I think it would be great if the colour was the lava and as you were running up the hill, it would chase you and fill the level at the same time!

Dominic Lopez

Egypt Level [Revise]

Above is the previous concept for the Ancient Egypt level. Chris and I discussed over this design and agreed upon it looking too “empty” with not many things to do.

Therefore, I got rid of the middle bit with the swings, pushed back the sides a bit and put two pillars in the middle for a spot of wall jumping for Ed. I also made the chamber on the bottom right harder to get into having to wall jump your way into the small gap above before you fight the Ink-Leeches. On the top area directly above the chamber is coated with “wet-sand” that will slow movements down. You would not want that as there is a big mace swinging towards you at full momentum! Of which I made more accessible by making the spikes into small ledges to climb on.

Above is the final revision for this level. Starting at the beginning (bottom left), there’s now a rope instead of a hill. Furthermore, you have to wall jump off that wall to get to the rope. I squashed this area more and made the slide bar with more twists that ends on a breakable platform. You will slide straight onto it, but you had better think fast as it crumbles beneath your feet instantly. The next area is a mini-maze…with traps and Ink Leeches! Traps include a spiky rock that crashes down on you; sharp arrows that fire at you and… a big boulder that chases after you! After you have cleared the maze of Ink Leeches, you have to go back to the small platform and perform a few skilful wall jumps in order to progress upwards.

Above the roof of the maze is coated in wet sand and guarded by those arrows like inside. To the far left I replaced the ladder with more natural-looking stones, and to the far right, I made the spiky stones smaller to make life easier with layers and general animating when Chris does the colour-fill effect. I generally squashed this area more to allow more wall jumps and a tighter space to battle the Ink Leeches in the chamber. Radhika suggested a tornado for this level, so I decided to put this at the top where it will act as either a hindrance or a blessing depending on your timing with it against the big mace. Oh and I redesigned the artefact graphic at the top too!

Dominic Lopez

Jungle Level [Revise]

Above is the original concept for Level 01. As I said in my previous blog, I wanted it to be dense with more routes etc.

I made minor changes in this version that I think gave it more accessibility. And with the added details it fits the jungle scene better.

Dominic Lopez

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Level 05: Ancient Rome

This is my concept for the final level in Paint-Ed! I wanted this level to be either extremely difficult or very sparse and simple. At the time, Chris had developed some attacks for Ed to use in game. The last level is supposed to be something memorable and epic- A Grande Finale! I think this needs some extra thought as its none-eventful and dull.
Players move from left to right using air-attacks to obtain some of the artefacts. The object of the level is to reach the Roman Colosseum on the top right which is guarded by an army of Ink-leeches.

  • Level Artefacts

Dominic Lopez

Level 04: Lethal Lava Level

As the title suggests, this level is deep underground, filled with lava and it’s dangerous! What’s so dangerous I hear you ask? It’s the only level where you can lose a whole life! The levels up to this point have been pretty easy-going and straight forward offering no real danger element aside from the Ink-Leeches. Upon realising this, I decided to make this level (level 4 out of 5) somewhat more challenging by including a one-way system (left-right travel with no back-tracking) and lava for the death element. There are also piping hot steam ducts that can really scorch Ed and weak platforms that break away upon first touch. I also included a devious Mine kart that travels really fast…into your doom! The only signal you get to jump off is when it jumps off rails momentarily by a steam duct.

So the level starts with Ed falling down the passage on the far left. The player is then forced into drawing a raft of sorts to surf the lava until Ed reaches the bottom. From here you can take the short route along the bottom (that is harder) or move up towards the mine kart and progress along the top. A little way past the middle you have more platforms to get across that lead toward a tunnel (blue – at the bottom). From here it’s a race to the finish as the lava begins to erupt behind you Hill Top Zone (Sonic The Hedgehog 2, 1992 SEGA Genesis) stylee.

As well as all the other hazards, I also want earthquakes that paralyze Ed for a few seconds and rocks that fall from above injuring him.

  • Hidden path
  • Moveable parts
  • Weak structure on platform
  • Level Artefacts
Dominic Lopez

Level 03: Atlantis The lost level

Again, sticking to myths and legends, the third level in Paint-Ed! is underwater and based on the lost city of Atlantis. I decided for this stage that it should be divided into two halves by a giant rock with hidden caverns inside. Players can take the top route if all they want to do is swim around for a bit. I put in these “Torrent Gates” that provide a temporary speed boost when passed through. The player can navigate the top route fairly quickly, but if they wish to battle the boss, they would have to take the lower route where there are more Ink-Leeches and of course the artefacts are hidden away in the tunnels.
  • Hidden paths

  • Torrent Gates

  • Level Atrefacts

Dominic Lopez

Level 02: The Pyramids, Ancient Egypt

Above is a block diagram for the second level and as you can see, it is one of the many Pyramids of Ancient Egypt.

  • Main Area
  • Artefact Area
  • Cut Scene part (when complete)

I drew this just as a guide so that my teammates (or anyone else for that matter) knew how the level was structured. Players will start at the base on the left and will make their way up through the Pyramid to the peak. As with other levels, Artefact collecting happens but with a slight change that they have to be “inserted” into a shrine of sorts close to the top before they can battle the end-level boss. It’s structured this way because of the way the Egyptians built their structures and input many shafts and temples inside them for their Pharaoh.

This is the level itself that players will navigate through. The Egyptians were great pioneers of technology, and their Pyramid structures still strike mystery and awe into our minds to this day. With that in mind, I wanted this level to be full of hidden traps and mechanical devices pulling and pushing you into different areas – kind of like a rollercoaster. And as well as the hidden traps, there are also hidden treasures in the forms of regular level artefacts, and Ancient Egyptian artefacts.
As with the Jungle level, this is split into tiers where the player makes their way to the goal in a vertical direction. I put loads of hidden spikes and pitfalls (the non-fatal kind) as a challenge element but also so the player doesn’t just stroll through. To the far-right at the bottom is a chamber that locks you in with a bunch of Ink-Leeches that won’t be unlocked until you defeat them and obtain the artefact. Just above that is another area passage with spikes and “Thwomp-like” traps that give you grief toward a chamber holding another artefact. To get to the top area you have to climb a ladder on the far left of the level. At this point Ed can climb across to retrieve an artefact. The upper and final area has a swinging mace thing that also moves back and forth along the platform it’s attached to for extra distance! It’s that platform that you place your artefacts into.

  • Hidden areas

  • Moveable parts

  • Regular Artefacts

  • Egyptian Artefacts (and shrine at top)

Dominic Lopez