Armikrog: First Playable Level

July 3, 2013

Though much of the game has been loosely designed the team needs something concrete and productive to work on. We need a goal to strive for that represents real progress on the game, so a good start is the first playable level.

A first playable level doesn’t have to be pretty, but it has to be functional. The main character Tommynaut should be able to walk on a floor, push a button and collect an item. The Unity engine will be up and working as we apply temp sound effects and make sure music plays, character animation can load, and the camera presents the best point of view for the player to experience the game.

While my designs are still images, it’s the magicians Mike and Ed at Pencil Test Studios who do the animation. The first playable level might have some puppet animate visible, but most of it is “pencil test” animation, which consists of roughly drawn, loose animation sequences that aren’t even cleaned up. The drawings still represent correct proportions and snappy timing, so they act as a playable proof of concept before we pull the trigger and devote expensive resources to final puppet animation.

We’ve got about a month to make the first playable level, but if it succeeds we’ll have a huge, reliable and definitive tool kit to make about 75% of the game! While Mike and Ed are working on this first playable level, I’m working on a super-tight design for the first 1/2 of the game. So if the first playable works out, we’ll be ready to go into production on the first half of the game, and the work being done will be very close to finish when it gets dropped into the working engine.

20 Responses to “Armikrog: First Playable Level”

  1. Elliot Says:

    awesome new! I hope it goes well!

  2. Nathan Says:

    Loving the production updates, a great insight into your creative process for us indie developers. Any chance of a pencil test bonus room? That would quite special!

  3. Thiago Says:

    Is it a side-scroller or a point-and-click game????

  4. Anna Says:

    I am curious, is this game going to have similar puzzles to the Neverhood, in the sense that you’ll have to write things down in order to remember them? (Or maybe I was the only one who did that. There was a lot of memorization in those puzzles!)

  5. Great to have some insight into the making of the game like this. I personally wouldn’t know where to begin.

  6. Shmerl Says:

    It’s great to see Armikrog progressing! Have fun with creating new levels :)

  7. Inkan Says:

    Thanks for the update! It´s really appreciated. Do you have any idea how much clay you will buy this time?

    • Elliot Says:

      I wonder the same thing Inkan. If things hold to what we have seen so far with the mix of materials, it doesn’t seem like they will need all that much.

  8. Greg Says:

    Really enjoying these updates.

  9. It’s always good to hear from you. I still can’t believe that this game is really happening!!

    Thanks for the update!

  10. Bryan Says:

    Will you guys be showing any of these rough animations and levels or are you keeping that stuff under wraps?

  11. Thanks for sharing with us. :)
    It’s always interesting when creators share their process!

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