Thursday, June 27, 2013

Making of Space Qube, Part One

I always want to write something about the process of making Space Qube but can't find time to do it. I uploaded few interesting videos today for an interview so I decided to write something today otherwise I probably will never do it :)

Stage 1, Prototype

At the very beginning, I was working on the prototype using my spare time when I was working for AMD. I created the voxel editor first then I though it would be cool if I use it to make a shooting game. I choose space as background because the performance of rendering a lot of voxels on iPhone 4 was not acceptable. So I came up the idea to use space as the background then I can avoid rendering a lot of voxels :)

The original idea is making a super simple endless game in short time because I didn't think I will be an indie at that moment, I just wanted to make a iOS game after work. The original gameplay is that the player just shoot and try not to collide the enemies. The enemies will try to hit the player and the speed of game becomes faster and faster until the player die.

The editor and gameplay prototype

Stage 2, Mock-up

After having the prototype, I thought I will need an artist to help me out. So I asked my old friend, Bic, to help me out. He also had a full-time job so he can only use his spare time to help me. At that time, I thought the casual art style should fit to our gameplay. So I captured few textures from Angry Birds Space to mock the game. The background layer system was pretty much done at this stage.

Mock-up game using the textures from Angry Birds Space

Stage 3, Pre-Alpha

Then Bic made the textures according to my idea to replace the mock-up textures. The god-ray post-processing effect has been added to the game at this stage because iPad2 is powerful enough to render this effect. I was thinking 8-bits casual art style is a perfect match to Space Qube but I think I was wrong when looking back now :)

The original art direction tried to emphasize the 8-bits pixel art

Stage 4, Alpha

At this stage, I was still working for AMD but Louis just quitted his full-time job to go indie. Louis knew I was working on Space Qube for a while but he can't help me out since he was busy. Now he had time to help me out. So we started working together on Space Qube and I also decided to quit my full-time job to focus on making Space Qube. After Louis joined, he made a big change on the art direction. The result is the current Space Qube and I think he made a good decision on the art direction and lift Space Qube to a higher level. At that time, we already had the idea of adding bosses at the end of each level but I didn't implement it yet.

Big art direction change after Louis joined

That's pretty much the evolving process of Space Qube and the game actually changed a lot since the first prototype as we keep polishing it. I actually didn't know we can walk so far when making the prototype but we did it. Although Space Qube is not perfect but I think we have done all our best to polish it as much as possible. It is really interesting when looking back the whole evolving process. We also learned many things during this period and it should help us to make a better game in the future. I also didn't know I will become an indie so quickly when making the prototype but I was very happy about being an indie so far and hopefully I will be happy about being an indie forever :)

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