Discarded Pixels in Blue

Bridget_BG_WIP_Aug18

I haven’t given up drawing with a pen (quite the opposite), but I thought I’d post some pixel art game concept work that I don’t think is quite right (yet). The idea was to try making some pixel art backgrounds look more “hand-drawn”. I don’t think it’s the right approach for the game I’m working on with the other Pixelgrams team, but it is something I will pursue on a personal project if I get the opportunity. This tile set was made using Pyxel Edit, which to date is the best tile editor I’ve used. I’m sure there are others out there, but that’s the one I use.

For pixel character animations I have started using Aseprite:

Timf-0003_640x640.gif

A few words on Bitsy

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 13.02.31

Bitsy is a free-to-use game making tool by Adam Le Doux (here is his twitter). Most people in my timeline know about Bitsy’s many charms, but if you don’t then here’s a few words about it:

Bitsy is a very simple to use tool for making small (and not-so-small) narrative games that run in a web browser. There are limitations regarding the level of detail you can put in your game’s graphics and also in the interactions between your sprite and other game objects. However, Bitsy does allow you to set up useful things like conditional dialogue for characters, exits to and from different scenes and collectable items. It’s great for making little worlds where a player can walk around, explore, talk to characters and collect stuff. Understanding and working with Bitsy’s limitations encourages you to solve game making problems in subtle and creative ways. There’s a lively Bitsy community over on Itch, which is a good place to look for ideas and solutions to problems.

There is almost next to no coding involved in making a Bitsy game, making the experience an ideal playground to quickly try out some game / story ideas.  It’s also a great tool for novices (children, middle aged accountants etc) to see if they like the game making process. I’ve made a few bitsy games, but I haven’t put them online as I don’t think they were up to much. I did start a new one a few weeks ago, intended to only to take a couple of days but as ever I’ve been distracted by work and other projects. However, I’ve been tinkering with it in short periods of spare time, and it will probably be finished in a couple of weeks.

Check out some other people’s games on Itch. Go give Bitsy a go, it’s wonderful.

31 Days on Acorn Island

Acorn Island was a simple, hand-drawn game I ran on Twitter in October 2017 (also as part of #inktober2017). The idea was to draw something in pen and ink and then post it to Twitter where players could choose what to do / where to go next. I’m sure it’s been done before, but I wanted to make a game out of relatively simple tools such as a pen, paper and a smartphone. Maybe it’s more an ‘interactive story’ than a game. I don’t know. You decide.

It was good to be forced to invent something new everyday while attempting to carry along a story. I didn’t impose any rules on myself, beyond not being allowed to think or plan things too much. The game contains all the usual silly animals in hats, trees and pirates.  I’m amazed at how much my drawing style changed over the month. I definitely wanted a looser feel by the end. Anyway, below are the 31 different images that came out of the game. Below the images is a link to the Twitter thread (where most of the posts are, but not all. It took me time to figure out that I could just keep replying to myself).