VividBlog 1 – Conception

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So I’m going to attempt and start a blog series about the development of my game, Vivid. It was around the last few days of December 2014 that I began thinking up ideas for the game. I’m always thinking up new ideas, putting them on paper then seeing if anything comes from it. I wasn’t sure what game I wanted. All I knew is that it was going to be a relatively simple platformer since that’s my strong suit.

At first I wanted a Megaman type game, a simple run and gun. But I’m not the type of developer who simply wants to make this or that. Exploring new ideas and concepts is what I strive for in my design. So I needed to think of a new concept for players to play with inside the game.

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(Kirby Triple Deluxe – Hal)

The first idea was that there would be multiple backgrounds. Ever played Donkey Kong Country Returns or Kirby Triple Deluxe? In those games there were parts of the level you could see in the background and eventually reach or swap between. My idea was that you’d have layers the player could swap between while playing. This gave a pseudo 3D element.  I went further with the concept by making it so there were 3 backgrounds; red, yellow, and blue. That’s when the game really began to take shape.

While doing research for similar games, Way Forward’s the Mighty Switch Force popped up. It also has a similar switch mechanic but instead used blocks. There were only two types the blocks could be. That being transparent or solid. When thinking about how the levels could play out, I thought perhaps using different colored blocks instead of backgrounds might make designing a little easier. So now we have a run and gun type game with an ability to switch between 3 colors.

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(Mighty Switch Force – Way Forward)

But one problem I realized with this design was that it’s simply the Mighty Switch Force with 3 blocks to change between. And if players were to freely swap between these blocks, the design would rarely need there to be 3 kinds to get the job done. To solve this issue, I approached the blocks with a different mentality. Instead of needing to jump off or on them…what if you wanted to touch these blocks? So I made it when you touched them, you were rewarded with a collectible.

This helped shape both the game play and story for what would become Vivid. Since you were touching colored blocks and changing between them, many ideas about who the character would be appeared. I thought it would be fitting if the collectible was color itself and that it was used to return a colorless world to normal. A similar game with this theme of reclaiming a lifeless land was Okami. So I eventually made a goddess with wolf features in reference so Amaterasu.

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(Vivid Radiance Initial Design)

This was the initial design of Vivid after some doodles on paper. This is quite different from the current design in several ways. This being her official design:

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(Official Design of Vivid)

I’d eventually make a prototype that took a few weeks to work out, learning how to make the block changing work correctly took some fiddling around along with the platforming. And after that, for the next 2 years I’d experiment with different ideas before settling with what I have now. It’s honestly a little embarrassing both how long it took and how simple some of decisions were before I felt it was a true fit.

I’ll discuss those in the next Blog – the Many Forms of Vivid!

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MaxBlog 1 – Hi there!

Just putting up this short blog to state who I am and what I’m doing. I’m a wannabe game creator whose been failing at making games for over 5 years. Okay, well that’s being negative, and while I haven’t made anything successful, I have had a lot of fun.

Through those failures I’ve learned a lot about game design, art, and production. For the most part its just been me at the wheel but I’ve made plenty of friends who’ve tested my nutty games and given advice. And I’m hoping to make more with better games in the future.

My current project at this time is called “Vivid!“, and have been working on it for nearly 3 years at this point. It’s a 2D platformer about using color to attack, platform or solve puzzles. It’s gone through quite the journey but I’ve been pretty satisfied with it thus far. If you’re interested, I’m pretty sure I’ll have the recent demo up soon once its been tested by some friends for bugs!

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