It’s been many years since the first Blobbit game came out and as many years again Mark and I have pondered on when we should work on it again. Neither one of us had the time previously but the planets have aligned correctly somewhere in the Universe and we both agree 2016 is to be the year a new Blobbit game will appear!
But where to start? I’ve thought long and hard over the years of what the next Blobbit game should be. Things have moved on a lot since Blobbit Dash and during that time so as the medium with which games are played. No longer are phones an obscure format with tiny low resolution screens. Neither are consoles all about mega 3D rendering engines and incredibly arduous intro sequences and cut scenes, oh hang on some still are, swiftly moving on…
|Work in progress comparison old (left) vs new with alpha shaded shadow too! (right)|
After scouring through all the old art assets I began the long haul in sorting out the various art files, some will require a fair amount of work some will require just a bit of tweaking but the most important thing was to establish a unified contemporary look with an almost contradictory retro feel.
|Blobbit Dash (2005)|
First off is the main character sprite, Blarold Blobbit. We could have just used the original assets ‘as is’ and be done with it but the problem is that the literary version of what a Blobbit looks like was quite a bit different to the very original green sprite I created back in , ahem 2005! The first iteration of the character which was only ever intended as a cutey green blob for a game Mark needed some quick art for. It was created before Blobbit was Blobbit and none of the story, the characters or the whole Blobbit universe ever entered my head. I said Blobbit 3 times in that last sentence. Blobbit on the head son , Blobbit on the head!
It was only after the original Dash game had gone live I began to think that maybe there was more to this character than I’d first imagined and it was then the whole world these creatures inhabit began to take form inside my head.
|Blobbit pencil concept|
Even though the pixel art look of the original game is more cartoon like than say a seriously detailed drawing like this one of a Blobbit here, I always felt I needed to bring the 2 interpretations together just so in essence the character looked like he would belong in either visual space.
The biggest change was the introduction of the missing nose which the original sprite didn’t have and the change of hue from a full on green to a less in your face colour. The eyes have also been adjusted so they’re a little bit bigger and last but not least I changed the art style of the sprites to give a much smoother look all round.
Once I’d settled on getting the initial standing sprite looking right the next task was to animate him. After re-acquainting myself with Promotion from Cosmigo, the amazingly good pixel art package I use for any and all pixel art I create, I began the process of applying the new graphics to the other frames. A process that continues and will do until the whole lot is updated.
During our discussions we decided that as Mark is using Unity to develop the game it would be beneficial to use something like Spriter to create all the game animations. The original animations for the most part were traditionally done using frames which are laid out in a strip and played back to create the illusion of movement. I wanted more flexibility and freedom and one such system that provides that is Spriter. I’d used it before and even though with straight pixel art it doesn’t really need if you’re a purist the extra oomph it provides is awesome!
|Original Blobbit Animation Strip (No nose!)|
So once the frames are updated I’ll be setting them up as proper Spriter animations which can then be used as is and with all the lovely effects and flexibility the original versions just didn’t have.
In the next post I will go over the process a bit more and show some of the Spriter animations in detail. I have posted a few of these animation snippets already on my Vine account so please check that out if you haven’t already done so. One other thing, Blobbit Push also has an official Facebook page where all the latest news about the game is posted, new followers are welcome so don’t forget to like the page. Mucho gratias por favor!