This week we’d like to show you some more of our rough ideas for Star-Razer! If the development of Shellrazer taught us anything art wise, it’s that things change constantly and you need to be able to adapt quickly to make sure the game looks right. In Star-Razer we set out to have a wacky and colorful universe full of weird aliens and awesome firepower.
Here are some ideas of the fleet screen. We wanted the hub of the game to take place in your ever expanding, custom fleet. Here you could dive into a single ship and tweak it out before sending it off to a super cool mission. The exploded view on the assembly screen is most likely too big in scope but that’s what roughing out ideas is all about!
For the first few art document ideas we played around with races. The Stingers shown here are a pretty generic insect alien race with a few neat ideas. I always liked the idea of rogue bug-men who severed their connection to the hive by chopping off their antennae. The colors on this guy are pretty loud and very “90s action figure” so they’ll probably go through a bit of some refinement before we decide to build their ships.
So another week warps by! Hope you guys enjoyed another quick look into our up and coming projects!
As you probably know, Shellrazer was free last week, and we had over 500,000 downloads in that week. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me! However, this week we’re going to talk about something completely different. New stuff!
I love space games. In fact, I relocated from the Netherlands to Canada to work at Relic Entertainment on the most awesomest space game of all time: Homeworld 2. It was a huge privilege to work on such an awesome title, and ever since I started my own company, I wanted to make my own space game. We were talking about what we should do after Shellrazer, and the Space game came up. Jesse said he couldn’t really draw spaceships, in true self-deprecating manner, but he drew a few concepts anyway. An lo an behold, awesomeness ensued. We both got very excited about the idea of making a space game, and we were going to talk to Shane about it. Before we even got started, Shane told us one of his bucket list games he wanted to make was a space game. Bingo!
Alright, so it’s still in the very early prototyping stage, andwe don’t have that much to show for it yet, but we do have one of the first official concepts that Jesse drew up. Also please note that we called the game ‘Star-Razer’ for now, but that probably won’t be the final name of the project.
This shows how we’re thinking of setting up the ships. The idea is that you can manually replace the modules, so you can build out ships for specific functions, such as a medic, a scout of a heavy artillery, or a combination of these.
We also want to have a bunch of different races that all have their own ship types and behaviours. Of course our first race will be turtles, gotta love em.
Ok, that’s it for this week, keep an eye out for more info about our space game in the near future!
This week I’ll be showing how we put the levels together for Shellrazer in our custom level editor tool.
When we build a new level for Shellrazer, we start off with the floor. The floor is basically a spline through a bunch of points. In the editor you can add and remove points, adjust the subdivisions between the points, and, best of all, test the floor right when you create it. As you can see in the image, the turtle is on the floor at all times, walking from left to right. The game is running at all times, as you adjust the settings in the editor. Also, the finish flag is always present in a level, as you can see in the screenshot below.
Alright, now that there’s a floor, we need to make it look a bit more pretty by adding a background. Jesse created a few nice backgrounds with layers that parallax when moving the camera, so all we have to do is choose which one we want to show for this level. I chose the Beach background for this one.
In the editor it looks a bit weird, as the background isn’t filling the entire screen. This is normal though, because the camera is zoomed out way beyond anything we ever show in the game. You can see that the sky in the background is only as big as it needs to be when the camera is zoomed in.
Next are the ever important enemies! The enemies are placed in the level in groups. Groups are just that, groups of enemies that are placed in the level. By using groups we can tune finely which enemies fit well together. Each group has a difficulty rating which can be used for randomly placing groups in the level. In the screenshot below you can see that I added three groups in the level, all three random groups. The (1-5) in the description is the random difficulty range, and the 5.00 behind it is the X coordinate at which the group will spawn. It’s also possibly to assign a specific group (instead of a random one) to a location, so we can ‘script’ certain levels to always include a particular enemy, so we can nicely introduce the new enemies.
The next step is prettying up the level. This step involves placing background buildings in the level. Originally this was supposed to allow us to do wildly different backgrounds for different levels, but we didn’t use this too much. We should probably have generated the background buildings in a procedural manner rather than hand placing them. But, it did the job.
Now the last step is testing, tuning and more testing. To make sure a level isn’t too hard Shane did many runs of the game, tweaking the numbers, and doing more runs of the game, until the game difficulty ramp was just right.
Another week goes by quick! Especially when the game is available for FREE for half a day more! Get it now!
Until next week, keep those turtle-cannons blazing!
This week is a super great one because our update of Shellrazer is live! To celebrate this momentous occasion Shellrazer is going to be free for a week so be sure to let your friends who couldn’t pick it up before know!
All of those original Shellrazers will get the frosty content with the next update and will soon be setting foot on the cold continent of the yetis. 25 levels await you guys along with a bunch of new baddies and 2 new weapon platforms! We hope you have as much fun with the new content as we had making it all. Have a blast everybody!
Just to top it off here’s our Ice-Breaker trailer! Cut together by our designer extraordinaire Mr. Shane Neville, this short and sweet flick will surely get you in the mood to roast apart those nasty yetis. Here you can see just how effective those two new platforms are when dealing with the new horde. Be sure to try them out on the original world as well for even more fun combinations! We’ve also added a “Shell” rating to all the levels so you can test your builds to get the maximum score!
So another week stomps by here at Slick! We really hope you guys enjoy the update, we had a great time building it all for you. So until next week, keep those turtle-cannons blazing and those yetis underfoot!
I almost can’t believe it: Slick Entertainment is a decade old! In the last 10 years we’ve made a bunch of great games, and I am super proud of what we’ve achieved with our small team: 4 fun games, custom C++ engine on 6 different platforms, 3 games feature online multiplayer, all hand-drawn art for […]