DEVLOG #40 – Everest: The Root

Hi Ascenderians, this time, moldovite is back!! In this blog, I will tell you about Everest.

Everest is one of many districts in GOA’s civilization, it is not a mountain nor a city. Everest is a massive sacred root and becomes the center of religious activities.

So why it so special?

Citizen of GOA thinks that the root is the path to the heaven. It is a sacred bridge that connects the world below to above. Because of that, many people in goa begun to come to Everest to pray for health and success to the almighty.

Just like many focus grounds before, we start it with a sketch before we went digital. For Everest, Amber (the art director) make a sketch like this

And because Everest is the root that connects the two world, it surely has something magical and mystic that make Everest different from other roots. After a lot of discussions, we choose purple and violet for the color of the tree and the surrounding. The color is chosen because they represent the color of magic. mystic and fantasy.

Here is the digitalization of the sketch earlier

4

Ta daaa…… The Everest! The root of God!! 🙂

If you look in detail, you will notice that there is a minor change with stair in the upper left, this case happen sometimes, for the sake of game design sometimes we must chop off the art, and adjust it. I think it’s not bad. And like civil war quote “sometimes we need to lose the small battles in order to win the war” so it doesn’t mind me at all.

And that will be our end of this session, let me say my goodbye to you…

Moldovite sign out.

DEVLOG#16 – Irritating Implementation of Platforming Predicament, Part III: Parallax, Day Night System, and Quests

Hi Ascenderians, nice day to you!

Welcome to this entry of the devlog. I am Chalcedony, a programmer of Ascender and also an apprentice in devlogging. Today I shall be your host in journeying through the backstage of Ascender, giving glimpses of what happened off-stage.

Let’s get acquainted first with what’s going on in the screen. As you should have known from this post, we have the so-called parallax background (and foreground)…

parallax
parallax in action

The day night cycle system…

daynight
day and night cycle

And the quest system…

quest
quest system instance

Do you ever wonder what’s really happening outside the camera’s bounds? Well, it’s pretty ugly, I tell you, but here goes anyway…

sebelah
look at what happens offscreen!

This log wouldn’t be complete without explaining what’s going on! Let’s investigate them one by one, starting with the parallax thingy.

On a 3D world, these are a no-brainer, you just move the camera and parallax effect will naturally happen. On a 2D world, these are conceptually simple, too. You just need to move the background slower, and the foreground faster. Basically, things closer to the camera move faster. It can become a hassle to setup though. For an instance, this messy setup below shows just perfect on the camera.

messy1
what a messy structure!

And then we have the day night cycle. Again, in a 3d world, sunlight can be simulated rather easily using Unity. Too bad they don’t provide 2D light! To make darker scene for night time, I just tint things at different rates. Light from lampposts are faked by shooting spotlights into the scene.

light
spotlight shot from the camera

Quests are supposed to be interesting. I thought of making generic quest template, but then it will only be capable of serving generic tasks (delivering things, getting x items, etc.). It would be dull and boring, right? Hence, I have to make a different script for every quest available in the game. Don’t forget to check the information provided in the pause menu when doing quests later!

map
map, showing quest hot spots
task
quest description

Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes the tour. But your quest isn’t over! Why don’t you stick yourself in the action? Grab a copy of the alpha version now, and let us know what you think!

Ta-ta for now!

Chalcedony

DEVLOG#15 – ParaParaParallax!

Hello Ascenderians!

It’s me again, Jade, the lead artist from GameChanger Team. I’m so happy to see you reading our blog until now, mwah!

So far, Ascender the Game has expanded from prototype version, to Pre Alpha Version. It has been sooo many features added to our beloved game, like the Rune, skills, character, NPCs, animation, and the most important thing is:  Outdoor Background ;D

We all know that in side scrolling game, the most important thing besides the character it self is the background. Without a proper & well suited background, players won’t get the feel when playing, so we put most of our effort to create a beautifully hand drawn background.

At first, we just put our background here and there, then just edit the color a little bit and done. But, then we felt that it dosen’t feel “big” enough to represent our wonderful Goa civilization, so Amber, me, and the other artist decided to make the background with Parallax Scrolling technique

So what is parallax scrolling? here’s the sample image for parallax scrolling from wikipedia

A side view of the layers used for parallax scrolling in The Whispered World

A side view of the layers used for parallax scrolling in The Whispered World

 

It’s a technique in computer graphics where the background images moved by the camera slower than the foreground images, so it creates an illusion of depth in a 2D universe and enhance the immersion for the player. We use this technique to express the beautiful civilization of Goa, under the surface of the world of Ascender. Now I’ll tell you how we make it.

The first step is, we make the focus ground. Amber took charge for all the sketch after disscussing some matters with Amethyst and Calchedony. Then when the sketch done, Peridot divided the layer based from what the buildings and materials.

 

prof house 4
Raw version

 

prof house 4 grayscale
grayscale version

Second, me and Moldavite start to colorize the file from Peridot, one by one, step by step until all done in perfection.  We calculate the materials and texture carefully fofr the sake of semi-realism feel.

 

prof house4 demo
Finished Focusground. I’m satisfied with the crystal’s color ❤ Moldavite did a very good job!

Third, we polished the color, mood, etc with Amber, then Amber make another sketch for the first, second and third layer of the parallax scrolling. We made the picture while thinking about the concept art of Dolopo, it look fascinating because of the detail of the residence so Amber decided to draw the residence silhouette, colored with brownish orange watercolor for the 3rd layer, reddish orange and brownish yellow for the second and first layer. By the waayyy we colorize this parallax background layer with water color!  woooooott

when I look at the water colored background for the first time, i thought it won’t work well with the focus ground. The  technique is far different digital and manual, so obvious, right?) the contrast is too off, the texture and feel is different, and so on. But then Fire edit the images with all his might, night and day, and the result were suuper gorgeous when combined with the focus ground.

dolopo sample
Implementation of the watercolored parallax background, beautiful isn’t it?

Then we move to the foreground. We made this foreground to deepen the immersive feelings trough the gameplay, add dimensions and enhance the realistic feelings. All the foreground made carefully to not block the players eyes to seeing Sky walking around back and forth exploring the area.

After done with the foreground, then Calchedony set the camera movement for each layers, set the lighting, and so on.

And here’s the result!

ezgif.com-video-to-gif
Ascender the Game with parallax scrolling technique background

You’ll experience the beautifully done parallax technique for the rest of the game on Pre Alpha Version,  so don’t forget to download the game, leave a comment and follow us here and on Facebook for more info about Ascender the Game! ;D

Untill we meet again!

 

Jade

DEVLOG#09 – Imagining Ascender

Hi there, I’m Amber, the art director, this is my first time for me writing this game development blog. First, let me take you for a walk in imagining the concept world of Ascender through this blog.

I want you to imagine a big world, full with Ascendrians (ancient people of Ascender) living peacefully in their own group without conflict or greed. They communicate with nature and use its resources, then hold ceremonies as a symbol of thankfulness. They are used to sing and pray together, with calmness and emotion control to keep themselves from confronting each other.

Ascender world_ok

Then, later in Ascender world’s history,they found a disbalance among themselves, and they began to differentiate between themselves. Those who are able to achieve synergy with the nature, can manipulate and harness its power, are called the purists, whereas those who didn’t possess such ability, but is excellent in logical thinking are called the scientists. The scientists improved their way of living by researching and technology. Sadly, there was a third group of people which wasn’t granted any purity nor logical skills. These people, whose rely only on their body strength, are called workers.

In that ancient times, those groups of Ascendrians were still living harmoniously together regardless their differences, but it didn’t take long before they go separate ways. After centuries, they are growing larger and larger, with the scientists being the largest group, followed by the workers. Capitalism began to corrupt Ascendrians, which became big concerns for the purists. As it is not their nature to confront each other, they were forced to evacuate into deep jungle, surrounded by factories, skyscrapers, and toxic waste.

The purists had nowhere to go, as the nature was getting ruined. Trees were cut down, sea was full of oil, and the air was contaminated and full of dust. The elder of the purist decided that they had to vanish with all the nature that’s left, and preserve them to stay pure. The only way they could go is upward, where the air is still fresh. So, alongside the nature spirit, they combined their almighty magic to lift the parts of the world which was still pure to the sky.

Finally they did it. The depressed, threatened minority race show their teeth, their true ability. That giant continent, rising slowly to the sky, left only huge holes on the ground. Such display of power, amazed all other Ascendrians beyond their logic and technologies, and set their ego burning. It was a challenge! As the floating islands were getting smaller from the view, the scientists speed up their research, fueled by the anger and jealousy to achieve what the purists had done. But before they did it, the whole ocean slowly moved up above the ground, into the sky, like a big giant jelly. It’s not long before they eventually blocked the sunlight.

That was the ultimate act of the purists, blocking every Ascenderians left below from reaching their pure continent. It’s almost dark in the ground below sea water, only a gloomy bluish light faintly illuminates for days. Then suddenly, the sea water above cleared, causing bright sunlight to be shed on the ground once more, although not as bright as before. It was the purists who cleared the ocean from toxic waste and oil, which now effectively separate them with the world below.

Left with holes, contaminated air, and no water, was unacceptable for the scientist. So, they created a giant mechanism to lift the remaining land above to get fresh air. They were able to mimic the floating island with heavy machinery, but they cannot got any further as the sea obstruct their way. They researched and experimented, but to no avail.

What remained on the ground was mostly the workers now. They were bound to meet their doom. Without any knowledge of technology, they left behind with no trees, no water, nor fresh air. Some tried climbing the tallest building in order to grow hydroponic plant with few water left, but not for a long term.

In that times of desperation, most of them tried going down into the ground, dug deeper and deeper, and ultimately lived in the caves. They found underground water source, and built the first ancient underground civilization called GOA, with some technological knowledge and magic from some scientists and purists who refused to go up.

That, is the first story told by Ascendrians, which recovered from an ancient text from the first year after the world separated and created layers of civilization, with GOA as the lowest layer deep underground. Now, centuries after that event, the memories of the past event had been buried, and the present generation living no longer know about the world above them.

This is our challenge, to capture and present the multilayer civilization world of Ascender. Stay with us to see out process of creating the beauty and complexity of Ascender world. Amber will guide you through the enigmatic journey, let’s start imagining…

DEVLOG#07 – Districts in GOA

Hello Ascenderians,

It is my first time being a scriptwriter. Usually I become a producer which responsibility isn’t directly connected with the game development. The first thing I did was researching information regarding script, walkthrough and dialogue in the game. I also quickly learn about the responsibility and duty of a scriptwriter in the game.

The truth is…. Theory is always different from practice !!

It is not easy to create a story for a complex game with many elements. Not only the story, I also need to create a number of quest concepts that will be implemented in Ascender. After trying some variation of story and quest style, I almost gave up and stopped writing.

However, one day when I researched quest walkthrough of some adventure game, I truly realize the meaning of Ascender. Long story short… I take the basic meaning of Ascender and connect it with my hobby from a long time ago, which was hiking. I research several beautiful mountains in the world and look deeper on its uniqueness. I decided to use Himalaya Mountains as the main inspiration in developing cities in Goa’s civilization.

Why did I start the story development of Ascender from its cities? I did it because I believe that adventure platformer games need to have a clear and understandable world. I am also certain that by starting to develop the city with its uniqueness, it will create a clear and related quest within the world.

Goa is the civilization that is located underground. The civilization provide its power, light and water artificially. The land and ceiling structure is developed efficiently for transportation and other living facilities.

civilization

Ascender Sketch

There are eight districts in Goa’s civilization which some of the districts’ name is taken from Himalaya’s mountain area (Everest and Mustang). Everest is a holy district where the citizens do their divine ritual. Mustang is a farm and plantation area that provides food for the whole citizen.

  1. DOLOPO (Central City)

It is the residential, educational and business central for all Goa’s citizen. DOLOPO name is taken from regency in East Java, Indonesia.  DOLOPO is the center where people gather and commune.

  1. MAGALO (Ancient Districts)

MAGALO is the ancient civilization that provides the technology for DOLOPO. There is no historical information regarding about the city.

  1. RANESH (Forging Area)

Physical and structural condition of Goa’s civilization relies on metal such as iron, aluminum and other mineral. It is also used to create various utensils for household and industry. RANESH provides a workshop to produce such tools.

  1. HYMLA (Mining Areas)

As mentioned before, Goa is located underground. No wonder, there are a lot of minerals found in the area. HYMLA is the place where mineral is primarily mined because it contains the richest mineral in Goa’s civilization.

  1. HELION (Techno Area)

The ancient technology used in Goa can control and maintain many facilities in Goa. It is computerized which contradicts its surrounding. HELION is comprised of servers and system maintained by technician. The area has become the backbone of the civilization.

  1. RAJUMLA (Energy Area)

RAJUMLA area contains a unique mineral called onyx rune that is different from what being mined in HYMLA. Onyx rune contains special energy to support whole Goa’s activities from small daily chores to a complex task of maintaining public facilities.

That’s all from me…

 

Cheers,

Ruby

DEVLOG#04 – Creating The World

Hello Ascenderians!

I’m Jade, the lead artist in Game Changer Team. Today I’m super excited because now is my turn to share about the art of the world of Ascender The Game.

So first of all, I’ll tell you about how Amber, the art director, designed the unique Goa civilization that has been described by Ruby, then how I colored the sketches made by Amber.

Goa is an underground civilization, so of course Goa need some artificial stuffs like oxygen, sunlight, and even artificial rain. They also need an energy source to fulfill the needs to keep the artificial systems working, so Amber created Rajumla, the district of energy. Here’s a sketch of Rajumla.
RAJUMLA SKETCH

Then i think it would be nice if this energy district is filled with dark brownish color with a greeny-yellowish light on the background, and completed with shiny blue here and there as an accent and to balance the contrast and the color  pallete 😀 So i start with brown color as the base and adding some white as a reminder there will be a light bouncing on the stone’s surface.

RAJUMLA BASE

After that, I added the colors and details here and there and voila! Rajumla the energy district is done!

Rajumla

nd now about the character. Ascender The Game has 2 main characters, they are a robot named Sky and a human named Ocean. Actually, Ocean is a human from another civilization above the sky. Ocean’s biological parents threw her down to the civilization below them because they don’t want to have a kid with no arms & legs, before finally Professor Toro took Ocean home. Here is a concept of Ocean with artificial arms and legs from Prof. Toro.

OCEAN FINAL EXPRESSIONS OCEAN

Because Prof. Toro need some more materials to perfect the artificial arms and legs but he can’t walk too far because of his age, Prof. Toro created a robot to do the mission, named Sky.

SKY FINAL DESIGN

Isn’t Sky cute? 😀

What do you think about Rajumla, Sky and Ocean? Let us know by putting your comments below and don’t forget to subscribe, because next time I’ll tell you Ascenderians about how we made Dolopo, The Main City of Goa.

Okay then, till we meet again!

Jade