About Making Assets and Bad Guys in Wizsnooks

On my previous post, I talked a bit about why the art of our game, Wizsnooks, looks like that, mostly showcasing some assets. Today, however, I want to bring up something a bit more meaty instead. Say, how about a step-by-step deployment of an asset?

And what better than doing that by showcasing bad guys? I mean, Kroltan already showed you the guts of the game, while also proving once more than old-timey cartoon villains are the best. So, let’s go from there.

Remember, the tool I’m using is Krita, which is completely free and downloadable from here. To make the best use of it, you need a digital painting tablet. This can still be done with a mouse, but it may take way more time. Getting a 50~100USD tablet is a wise investment.

Wizsnooks is snooker or pool, mixed with roguelike fantasy elements. So, clearly, our enemies will also need to be pool balls. So, the assets begin with a simple circle over a backgroundless layer.

Below it, I filled the layer with color, which can easily be later shaded and recolored for different enemies. The less layers you use, the quicker you can do the process, but with a color and a shade on different layers, you can have more customization in the future.

When I had the ball done (which was layer copied, pasted and edited multiple times to make a sheet), I proceeded to sketch enemies. Each sheet consisted of an Idle pose and a Rolling set of poses. The plan was to make the idle look menacing, like an enemy should, while the rolling was meant to look funny.

So, I turned down the opacity of the ball, and sketched on a new layer above them. Then, when I was done sketching, I would make yet another layer with the lineart, and delete the sketch.

I later colored on a layer below it. There’s techniques such as coloring over alpha and the like, but I’m mostly just going with the basic instructions. This is how the colored layer looks under the lineart.

And here’s how it looks with the opacity of the ball at 100%.

Needless to say, the process is repeated for every pose. Because these are circles, it would have been simple to just draw over the circle, like the protagonist, and be done with it.

However, that was by design to allow the player to look good with helmets and swords. The enemies, to outstand, would need a bit of volume, so there were parts that needed to stick out.

And there it is. Now, Jorge made an animated version of the Dragon Orb (which we affectionately call Dragorb). Here’s the cute little fellah.

That’s pretty much all there is on the subject. Feel free to ask any questions or the like about the development of these assets or the use of Krita. I’ll try to answer to the best of my ability.


Here’s hoping you get a chance to see the whole thing come alive by playing Wizsnooks, available on your browser and downloadable for Windows, Mac and Linux. If you want to chat, this Discord server is where it’s at. And last but not least, here’s the Whales and Games Twitter, so you can keep in contact with us.

In behalf of our team, we hope that you have a fantastic judging phase. We’ll continue to check more games, so be sure to put your best face. Cheers! ? 

Getting the Ball Rolling in Wizsnooks • A Success Story

This has been my favorite LD so far, I had the opportunity to work with great teammates: Moski arting (he’s who drew Skeletorb, seen above), Robin sounding and me coding, and debuting as part of Whales and Games. I had partnered with @Moski earlier, in LD39, and sticked around their Discord annoying everyone until stockholm syndrome hit them again and we decided going for LD41.

Our entry is Wizsnooks, a billiards dungeon crawler!


This is a telling of the Jam’s events through my eyes, but not the game’s post mortem! Not yet at least. Stay tuned for that one some-when this week!

Day One

Our team decided quite early on on the Snooker RPG idea, so I immediately started working on a prototype for snooker physics so the artist’s eyes bled and gave him motivation so we could see with our own eyes.

Then we got the first batch of sprites and I started working on some animations and flair. This will be a repeating theme within this post: make a base mechanic, then fluff it up so it looks good before moving on to the next.

After that, we knew that an RPG needed an inventory, naturally. At the time we thought it would be nice if we had attack and defense stats that would affect how balls respond to collision:

  • A higher Defense stat would increase ball stability after bouncing on enemies, effectively a “knockforward” on hit;
  • As for Attack, it would increase the knock that the enemy ball takes, so a wielder of a strong weapon would need only small nudges to send enemies flying.

I had a lot of time while the artist worked on a crapton of equipment sprites, so I spent a lot of the time writing up a very flexible attribute system based on ScriptableObjects (more on that later) and making the inventory UI with stat comparisons.

Day the Second

After spending a million years perfecting a satisfying loot animation, I bodged together some more code to drop items based on a percent chance. And sneakily, I inserted a new requirement for the code: item rarities! No idea how would they matter, but I wanted colors so I put them in.

We decided going more RPG and less Snooks so we added health and made attack and defense stats affect that.

Oh, and also, the initial tileset was in so I had to learn how to use Unity’s tilemap in 30 minutes. I sorta did, but the repercussions are visible to this day.

Now, obviously, the priority was adding disembodied hands to the game, like any sane person would naturally choose to do.

Had to add events to every possible situation in the universe so soundman could add sounds to them.

Doomsday

Day One’s meneacing seemed to have worked, the artist was quite motivated. All menu sprites were done even faster than I could see them being pushed to the git repository. Tilesets flooded the Assets folder.

I also reused the drop animation’s sprites for a death screen, and burdened myself with the tiny visual detail that the death screen’s sprites are actually the player’s currently-equipped items.

The rest of the time was spent fixing bugs and polishing mechanics, while artman drew more items and soundman made more maps, and balanced artman’s items.

We hit publish, having needed the holy Submission Hour, with the game clocked at 19 items, 4 rarities, 4 monsters and 13 levels. Turns out a lot of items hadn’t been balanced and added to the loot tables (I mean, poor soundman having to do everything today, but such is life), otherwise we’d have 23!

Day the After-th

I spent this day using my webdevguy skills to polish the fuck out of the Itch game page, while secondary platforms were built (Win32, Linux, OSX). I mean, just look at it! So pretty!

Thuswhile

I think this was a fantastic jam, finally with a Theme That Didn’t Suck, awesome teammates and no social interruptions (for once)!

So many great games! Now goodbye while I go hunt for some more entries!

My Role as the Artist of Wizsnooks

On Ludum Dare 40, I wrote about how I spent 2 days drawing characters for our game. It was a follow up to the post I made on LD 38 about Krita, the free open-source program. Today, I’ll be retreading the whole thing, but applied to the art of our latest game, Wizsnooks!

The games developed here at Whales and Games usually consists of a programmer, a sound effects person and, in the lack of any other art-people, me. So, during the brainstorm of ideas for our game, someone suggested mixing snookers with roguelike elements in a medieval setting. Seeing the appeal, I quickly sketched a concept of sorts for it:

When we finally decided to use that theme as our game, we had to start thinking about the whole “looks” of the thing. I even tried at one point going with non-lined art to parody Dark Souls or something, but in the end, we chose to stick to my classic style. I even sketched many possible faces for our protagonist white ball.

And Just Monika.

I could go into detail about the story behind every enemy of the game, the tiles and the weapons, but the core of what I want to comment is this. Because of how our team is managed, the programmer(s) can focus on making a great game and the sound person usually does a few tracks and then offers main support to the programmers. I, the lead artist, have no real knowledge of programming and can barely use the tools to upload my own assets. However, having one sole task, I get to draw a lot, and then some, and then some more. Here’s a few screenshots of the development of art assets of the game.

I really want to thank my team, since, otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to participate in game development in this fashion. Dedicating pretty much the whole game jam time to art lets us make more with our time. If you’re interested in seeing how this all went from still assets to something live, do give Wizsnooks a try.

And for those that would like to do their own assets for future game jams, go download Krita. It’s 100% free and constantly updated. It can also be used for sprite work. Like all good tools, it takes a while to understand it, but even with a very cheap digital painting tablet, you could really make your future projects sparkle.

That’s all for now. Whales and Games thank you for reading and for participating in this jam. If you feel like chatting, our Discord channel is live. Cheers! ?

Snooker your way into the Music of Wizsnooks!

Hello everyone! I’m the Audio composer and Sound Designer of the game Wizsnooks made by Whales And Games!

For this game I’ve worked on two music pieces. One majestic game theme and a introductory main menu theme!

The Main Menu theme is normally the second music track I make in Game Jams. The reason behind is that I many times focus firstly on the game experience making the game theme and the SFX for it. If I have enough time after that’s done, I’ll start working on the Main Menu Theme.

The Main Menu theme actually inspired the current main menu background and the lore of the game. As I was regularly posting small updates I did to it. When we were discussing what the name of the game would be, Moski, made a small scribble of the main menu after he was listening to one of my updates.

While we had known that it was medieval we still hadn’t figured out a plausible explanation of the setting of the game. After the scribble we came to a conclusion that our game would be a wizard’s snooker game! And done, we just found an explanation and shortly after we decided on the game’s name! See what a piece of music can do to the artists? Always post updates to your workmates! ?

You can listen to the main menu soundtrack here.

Game Theme

While creating the game theme my objective was to create something that was adventurous/fantasy, but still casual, with some epic mixed in there.

The game was inspired in some fantasy game tracks, like Rayman Legends and Magicka. I tried to get the more up-beat melodies from Final Fantasy, in the beginning, but that didn’t felt really well placed with what I was creating.

You can listen to the Game Soundtrack here.

I hope you guys enjoy our music!