For Part 4 of the series, I originally planned to begin taking you through step by step as I worked with my artist, Jordan Langille to specify and refine the game artwork while we actually did it. Unfortunately, development time was at a premium during the six week game programming contest, the 2005 OMG Cup. So, instead I’m going to give you a higher level overview of the project in retrospect.
When I first asked Jordan to produce the artwork for the video game, I only had a rough idea of what I was going to need. I didn’t really have the engine to a point that I could give him very many specifics. So as I stated in the first part of this series, I set Jordan on the task of designing the Bullfrog application icon.
While Jordan was working on the icon, I focused my development efforts on getting the sprite rendering code to a stage where I could know how many animation frames I would need and in what sizes.
Thankfully, my code reached this point about the same time that Jordan finished the application icon. So I was able to give him a list of the six bugs that were going to be included in the OMG Cup version of the game. I also requested animation artwork for the main character, a Bullfrog.
Here is a list of the sprites I requested:
- Gnat [16×16]
- Mosquito [16×16]
- Horsefly [32×32]
- Bee [32×32]
- Dragonfly [64×64]
- Butterfly [64×64]
- Bullfrog [64×64]
As it turns out, none of these sizes were final and like most things in software development projects, the requirements changed. Thankfully, Jordan was patient enough with me to push through the changes and produce some great animations.
To help me program the rendering and animation engine, I first created temporary animated sprites for the frog and for the gnat. Instead of wasting effort with temporary art for all the bugs, I just reused the gnat artwork in various sizes to distingquish each bug. For reference, here is a single frame from each:
Following my refined specifications, Jordan produced the following animated sprites:
Jordan also convinced me that we shouldn’t settle for the plain black background I had originally planned. He put together the background shown in this in-game screen shot:
That about wraps up the artwork behind Bullfrog. Keep yours eyes peeled for a full postmortem of the entire game development project in the coming weeks.