For the past few months I have been working with a team of fellow alumni through the CalArts Game Makers Club to make a video game. We were assigned responsibilities, pitched to each other and collaborated on the game idea that we voted for. In this case it was a jetpack based platformer that featured a firefighting superhero that sprayed water in order to extinguish fires and rescue bystanders.
Credits for the game:
Alex Aguilar – Character Art, Music
Elyse Filigheri – Asset Art, Concept Art, www.artofelyse.com
Holland Sangster – Music
Jeff Huang – Programming, Shaders, https://fundamentalphantom.co.uk
Kayle Khanmohamed – Sound Design
Martyna Wasiluk – Level Design, Game Design
Nathan Savant – Team Lead, Game Design
Paul Flores – UI, Character Design, www.paulfloresanimation.com
I greatly enjoyed the entire experience. All of my fellow team mates were professional and worked hard to see our game finished by the established deadline. I really enjoyed working with my wife on this in particular because we were both responsible for a great deal of the art. My wife was assigned to be an asset artist and initially I was assigned to be the concept artist, but ended up deeply involved in the creation of in game assets as well.
My early concepts mainly explored main character designs and what the fire might look like in the levels.
I also did a tiny bit of game design when I visualized the main character carrying the npc’s on his back which everyone thought was funny but wasn’t used in the end product.
Before we found the look of the game I did some work visualizing what a level might look like.
After all of this it was my wife Elyse who developed a look for our game that utilized grey scale artwork with color to emphasize the fire and water. The idea being that the fire would cast a glow that would have rooms look more orange the more on fire they were. With a solid look going I worked on making NPC characters that could be rescued.
I tried to make the characters be ones you might find in a hotel setting, with some being employees or guests.
After this point the game was coming together nicely and the need for a user interface was becoming necessary to address. So I went ahead and designed a few options, among them being a thermometer (yes I realize its upside down, don’t we all just use digital ones now anyway?), a little gauge, a water level indicator and some boxes and buttons.
While the boxes and buttons got used, none of my ideas for a health bar really panned out. Instead our programmer came up with a novel idea of using the icons I provided to create a sort of health pie chart that would reveal a burnt up skull beneath. So, I immediately made some art for that, inspired by earlier games that used detailed faces for health indicators like classic Wolfenstein.
I made a few options to pick from because I wasn’t sure if the high detail was going too far and if the burnt skull was too morbid. In the end they went for the less detailed design and the most burnt skull.
As the game was coming together it was decided that the villain that up to this point had no artwork was going to be present in our first level and in the credits of our game. At this point our other asset artist Alex had made great concept art for our death so I made some finished artwork based upon his designs.
So with that added my contributions to the game were done and the game was released!
I greatly look forward to more projects with CalArts Game Makers so check back in a few months (more like half a year) for further developments! Also before you leave, please check out our game in the link above or in the games section of my website!