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Super-charging power-up re-designs and new art sketches for my upcoming Kickstarter!

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Update #016 - 13/05/16

Hello again, nice to see you.

I've been working hard on the design, layout, and content of the Kickstarter for the last couple of weeks. This has included a lot of research and a lot of reading. I'm really happy to say that I think I've nailed the reward structure now, I've got 12 planned tiers that are a bit different to my last budget post, I'm excited to share those soon! That will be the content of my next blog post, so stay tuned!

With that simmering away nicely, here's what I've been cooking up recently... (OK, kitchen metaphors for some reason?? i don't know)

In one section of my Kickstarter pitch, I want to talk about various aspects of the gameplay. I thought it would be nice to include some sparkly graphics to represent the various implemented power-ups, and what they do. I decided to re-design them, as the old designs were supposed to be place-holders. They previously were very similar in design to those in Llamatron, which whilst a key inspiration I'd like to make sure I'm distancing myself a little from visually.

Swirl experiments!

After a little play in GIMP I came up with these interesting swirling graphics, I thought they matched the psychedelic feel I'm leaning towards, and the dual colour palette lended itself well to having multiple swirl types, so a consistently readable 'power-up item' base that I could add symbols to to represent different things.

As I said, I was making these with Kickstarter in mind, so here's a sneak preview of the artwork I'm going to use on the Kickstarter page to describe them. The font I use is my custom one that I've designed for this project. I created it to look readable on low resolutions, with a base letter size of 3x5 pixels, though some larger letters (M, W) are 5x5 pixels.

The new 'damage up' power-up design

The new 'speed up' power-up design

I realised that perhaps the scale of the re-designed icons were perhaps a little large for the game, so decided to mix it up a little with the other power-up illustrations, and decided to be a little illustrative, just for the Kickstarter. I think the best design process is one with mixed experimentation and iteration, and so I'm happy to just push things about a little before refining them for the perfect in-game result. I often stumble across more interesting designs this way, so sometimes it's OK to make something that isn't perfect the first time. That said, I think these look pretty good and am very happy with them as assets for the Kickstarter.

bomba bomba bomba

i love u


ricochet!! oh, yes i drew that bullet animation by hand frame by frame, yes it was probably not the best way to do it, yes i didn't realise how many frames it was going to take (like 60 or something), no i don't mind cause i like it

Whilst planning out and drafting the Kickstarter, I found it difficult to create the text content without the imagery to both inspire me and also frame what I was writing. Instead of spending a lot of time creating high quality image content straight away, I made and used quick sketch versions to pad out my writing. This was great because it meant I could quickly change my mind after seeing that a certain image/text combination wouldn't be that great, and helped me push forward much faster. Plus it was super fun to draw like that. Here's a couple of examples:

Test project header sketch

Everything is slowly but surely coming together, I'm starting to get pretty excited about running the Kickstarter soon! I plan to follow this up in the next few days with some more detail about my decisions on the Kickstarter reward structure, and my reasons for changing quite a lot about it. In the meantime, I hope this was an interesting insight into what's going on with the project right now!

As ever, catch me on Twitter or make a post here if you'd like to message me about anything!

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