When starting work on the original prototype that eventually became Oddhop, I thought it would be fun to collect some images along the way. And this is what I did — so here is a post showcasing various images from the old, ugly prototype to the now nearly finished (at least visually) game. Personally it is motivating to look upon these images, as the game looked like shit not too long ago, so some progress has definitely been made!
So let's take a look! You can click on the pictures for a bigger view.
You know that period of time where you are afraid to show your prototype to anyone, because it looks so bad it might actually physically hurt some people? Yeah, this is that period. On the left above is a screenshot taken on 17th of February, 2014. It's from the very first prototype, back when we had square levels! Those creatures would all rotate around in unison, for no reason other than it looked funny. On the right is how the game looked with hexagonal levels (March 2014). I quickly realised I wanted to use hexagons, both for visual appeal and also for more varied gameplay (more movement directions). I had my first animated (test) creature made at that point.
(Not that I'd show these to anyone, either. Except now I guess I did.) Here on the left we have a radial hexagonal level (November 2014). Switch from rectangular hex levels to radial was made purely out of aesthetic reasons. It just looks much better. Here you can also see the first iteration of the creature that ended up being blue in the final game.
On the middle is an early 3D background test (February 2015). Initially I had the idea to use lightmapped 3D scenery as the background. It would have allowed some nice things like different light maps for different times of day (it was simple to swap lightmaps in Unity 4.x, Enlighten[yuck!] in 5.x made that not-so-simple to pull off), and also opened up the possibility to use some premade assets (rocks, trees, etc.) without having to model everything myself. Those cliffs pictured are my own (quick test) models, though.
I played around with the 3D backgrounds for a while, including 2D trees on top of the scenery. It wasn't really working so I ditched the 3D stuff and went for image backgrounds. In retrospect it was a good decision even though it meant much more work! So, on the right there is an early version of the swamp background theme (June 2015).
On the left is some lighting color studies I made, when searching for a pleasant color scheme for the swamp (June 2015). (As a side note: I really want to work on a PC game in the future and use proper, dynamic color grading!) Note the flowers on the background, we took those out soon after this. In the middle image (July 2015) the lighting is starting to look like it's now. At this point there were still no other backgrounds done, only the swamp! I made the backgrounds in decreasing order of complexity: swamp first (it needed render textures and shaders for the water animation), then the lake (water shader), snow (snow flake particles) and finally the forest (nothing special). That also was a quite good decision, if I may say so myself.
As for the lake theme: for some time I was just using the swamp trees on a green background with a blue diamond slapped in the middle as a placeholder, it looked quite horrendous (as you can imagine) and Teemu (the game designer) hated it, so I finally started working on the proper lake. On the right is an early lake screenshot, shortly after that disgusting blue square. (August 2015).
Here's more progress on the lake theme (August 2015). In the middle there is a first 3D test of the new "revolving platform" gameplay mechanic, originally it was a 2D gear sprite (October 2015). And finally there is a random night-time shot, showing the old placeholder portal graphics (November 2015). It is the forest theme, but as you might notice I only have a placeholder background texture there and the trees are from the swamp!
And finally, here is a shot showing the work-in-progress version of our "portal" wells (December 2015)! That's it for now, I have some WIP UI stuff but that's not very interesting (I would think), so I guess this shall do the job. Let me know in the comments (or hit me up on Twitter) if you liked/hated this post!
Phew! I barely made this third monthly update in time! I don't have a new screenshot to show this time, but wanted to show the new MHGames logo I made a while back. The old one was quite badly dated and needed some refreshment, I made something simpler and cleaner looking.
We've been expanding our closed Alpha-group quite a lot on both Android and iOS (if you want to try the game, drop me a note!). The initial feedback has been great, even though not many people have finished the game, so we haven't really received any definitive data on the difficulty level of the game. If you're part of the testing group, reading this and feeling a stab in your heart, you need to play more! Okay I'm (partly) kidding, of course.
Speaking of difficulty level: we developed a gut feeling that the Water-levels were actually easier than the Swamp-levels, so we've switched things around: Water-level pack is now II, and the Swamp is III. Not that they need to be exactly in difficulty order (as that varies per person), but I think they're better this way.
Again, in no particular order, here are the things still need to be done. I added couple of things that I had forgotton earlier.
Not going to do a full list on things I have done since the last update, but here is a brief summary. I've done the social gaming integrations (meaning achievements, leaderboards on both platforms), statistics are now gathered, did the above mentioned eye movements for polish, and our sole In-App-Purchase (ad-removal on Android) works. I've also cleaned up and optimized the code, getting rid of the old and nasty prototype parts. So yay me! Solid progress, even though I have been playing quite a bit of Earth Defense Force 4.1!
See you in a month, maybe?
Well look at that, I made a second post in the series of Oddhop status updates, just like I sort-of-promised! For comparison, check out the earlier post here. But first some exciting news: currently Oddhop is about to start private Alpha-testing very soon! It is a small step for humanity, but a big one for us: before only a handful of folks have tried or even seen the game.
In addition to Alpha-testing, I set up a page for the game (Oddhop). Check it out for more information! I've also been preparing the Oddhop Press Kit, which will be posted soon. UPDATE: The Alpha-testing has begun, and the Press Kit is now available!
As customary, here's a brand new screenshot and then we'll dive right in just what the hell is going on with the game as of late!
Again, in no particular order, here are the things still need to be done. As you can see, the list is much shorter than it was last time! Personally I'm happy with the progress made in the last month, I've put in as much hours as I possibly could.
Here's a reminder what was in my TODO list before, and now is looong gone!
That's it for the February update! See you possibly in March!
To kickstart the new year, I thought a status update type of post is in order, to document what's going on with Oddhop and what still remains to be done. We shall see if I can make this a monthly occurence — no promises — but I will try. Before we start, you can have a new pre-alpha screenshot from the game! Enjoy!
Alright, here is a partial (I've left out some minor things that are not of any interest) and tidied up list of things that still needs to be done with the game. These are not in any particular order, mind you.
So what's done then? Well believe it or not more things are already than not done, even though writing my TODO list out like that was slightly frightening.. (It certainly didn't look as bad when in more condensed format, shit! ) For example all important graphics have been drawn, backgrounds are done, most of the visual effects have been done. Of course at the polish phase I will probably go over and add more effects and stuff, but still.
When Teemu and I started talking about doing another game together some years back, we eventually decided to do something quick and simple first, instead of a bigger project. So here we are: working on the game since February 2014, so almost two years now. Not full-time though, and there were periods of month or two where I barely worked on the game, but still. "Quick and simple", hah! Believe me I'm going to be very happy when the game is finished and released, no matter how well / poorly it does! To any aspiring game developers reading: do not underestimate the time it takes to make even a small game! So start small, and finish it! That's the most important and hardest part, finishing a game. Anyways, I better get back to work. See you around!
Just a quick post. I made a tiny teaser trailer for our upcoming, original Android/iOS puzzle game Oddhop! Enjoy! I'm guesstimating the game will be released in the first half of 2016, hopefully in the first quarter, even. Do give the video a thumbs up if you enjoy it and/or are looking forward to hearing more about the game! Comments are also most welcome, as always. What's shown is pre-alpha footage so there will be some graphics changes and tweaks, but at least it's something. Oh, and we're still keeping most of the actual gameplay under wraps, so patience is a virtue!
Keep an eye out for more info in the coming months. I also have to apologize for the shoddy video quality; I had to crop in heavily due to Oddhop being a game played in portrait while the video is obviously in landscape. For the launch trailer I clearly have to try a different approach. I will probably code the trailer and render it to an image sequence, then encode the video from the images. Oh well, time to worry about that later.
The teaser music is a royalty-free track courtesy of Kevin MacLeod (see the video description for details), and as such doesn't have anything to do with the game, just to let you know. We're hoping to have some original music in the game.