Hello everyone! I am here again to show you guys some of VvtZ history and to reveal the campaign date release! First of all, for the Campaign date:

The Crowdfunding Campaign will be released on August, 29th!

But fear not, if you think you won’t be able to help in that date, your credit card will only be charged if the campaign is successful, not immediately, so you have a bunch of time to program yourself if you plan to donate to help this project come to life (and get all those exclusive goodies)! :3

Now this is the final date, and everything is mostly set up for that! I’m doing some more research for the rewards but already did all the assets I needed done for that! It was a long run, full of difficulties, but I’m nearly there and I’m extremely excited to share this with you all! Thank you for being with me(!!!!)

I would also like to show today some changes the game went through since the very beginning! I hope you’ll like it, even though the first screenshots were very uh… cringy! So, be prepared!

The full development of Virgo Vs The Zodiac started in january, but before that, I guess around end of december? I had posted this on a rpg maker thread on 4chan, just something I called at that time “Waifus and Astrology”:

(Very substantial dialogues)

This was the very first Virgo. She already had her ponytail, but I was trying a greek approach that didn’t work out very well. At the time I was still trying to figure out Anime Art and was wondering what the hell people did to make things to look good and consistent, I wondered a lot on if it was just magick or if I would be able to, someday, make something tolerable to my eyes.

This here is the very first… Dungeon? At the time I was still fixed on the idea of making VvtZ to be a randomly generated thingie. You would be able to go to any realm at any given time, making it impossible to really create a storyline of events. The realms would have dungeons, instead of being scary themselves, so it was a lot more ‘simple’ at the time. Of course, I couldn’t hold myself and made a bunch of political lore behind everything making it impossible to remain as random visits from the Zodiac Killer.

Virgo was also like this a long time ago. I can’t even. I was really proud at the time. What is even happening in her clothes. What, indeed. (the dialogues for the first sequence were basically the same, just a little better in the final version with the help of the proofreaders!)

The scenes were like this, and Virgo was… pink? At the time I didn’t had the exact colours for the Zodiac Qualities System yet, so she was just fixed because I like pink. This scene took an absurd amount of time to be finished so I decided to change it to pixelart to do it faster! 

Also that one time I was struggling with the interface. It took me two days straight working to figure this thing out. I don’t even know how I came out alive from that battle.

And here we are now! This game still has a lot of room to improve in terms of consistency, but I am happy with all I’ve learned over time! I learned tons with the release of the demo, basically on how to deal with criticism and to move forward and even deep life lessons. I am extremely grateful that I could be able to step out of the tough times I went through to begin the development of something I would enjoy so much like this and I’m extremely grateful for all of your support until now!

I hope you are still alive and well after all this cringy material, and I look forward for the Crowdfunding Campaign! I need need need to show you all everything ASAP!

Someone recommended a little wakeup animation for Bun, and lots suggested a slower shake at intervals instead of constant.

There were other suggestions also, most of which I’ll be implementing (and some I already have). Including some new spike sprites, to make them more readable.

Once all that’s in I’ll update the demo file with the changes.

For now, enjoy a sleepy Bun.

Okay, I’m FINALLY happy with this!

I cleaned it up a lot and gave it a much better colour profile (I think). A little band of gold for accenting, but otherwise it’s primarily green and red.

I use Gimp and Blender primarily! I have made a few posts in the past, where I explain some of the workflow and general theory of making old PS1-style graphics… They may be a bit far back in my post history though.

I have a couple of simple videos which show some of the techniques I use, but I fumble about way too much for streaming. Here are some videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjVMD-nR6ws

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDLS7wGfddc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A-xmR7cIwA

Hope some of it helps!

2

Ship Upgrade Screen (Test Layout), Brainstorming & CRT Shader

Based on the “Mission Briefing“ screen, I created a first test layout for the “Ship Upgrade“ screen. You can reach this screen from the “Hangar“ screen, which I haven’t designed yet. However, in this upgrade area, you can pimp your ships technology. It should be possible to buy as well as sell level points for a specific technology. To make navigation more comfortable, it should also be possible to reach the later coming “Pilot Upgrade“ area from this screen via LB/RB as well.

Recently I did some brainstorming about a primary and secondary weapon/defense system and here are some ideas for some weapons (and upgrades): 

Primary Weapon Upgrades

  • triple laser (front) 
  • backward laser 
  • diagonal laser
  • four-directional laser (front/back/upward/downward)
  • double drone lasers (two drones are following the fighter and are shooting at enemies as soon as spotted)

Secondary Gear (Weapon or Protection)

Attack:

  • Bomb (Mighty bomb which destroys all enemies within a specific radius)
  • Homing Missile (A missile which follows the next target)
  • Mine (Lay mines to destroy enemies. Good for wild chases!)

Defence:

  • EMP (paralyses enemy types and deactivates laser barriers for a specific time)
  • Shield (Activates a shield which gives protection from bullets and enemy collisions)
  • Health Recharger (Refills health)
  • Stealth Function (Makes your ship invisible for a specific time, but you are not able to shoot during this time. Enemies like turrets won’t shoot at you. Uridimines won’t be activated etc.)

These are all loose ideas. We need to test some of them and decide later which fit best to our gameplay. 

I forgot to mention: for hardcore retro lovers, Andrew implemented a CRT shader to our build done for Aberdeen. By default it’s disabled, but if you prefer the old school look … anything goes! ;)

What comes Next?
Andrew is still converting the game to GMS2. Two levels are converted and some tweaks were done. but as long as the conversion isn’t 100% finished, It does not make sense to add new levels or assets to the project file. As soon as the conversion is done and the new build is bug free, I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, I’ll probably do some art assets and make some deeper thoughts about the upgrade system.

Making of the Luna Lionfish

We first started working on the Luna Lionfish in the middle of 2014 during the pre-production of splash, (back then the game went under the temporary name ‘Under the Sea’). During that time we focused on the feel of character more than anything else.

One year after that first sketch we needed to refine the Lionfish. One reason being that we needed to update it to the style we had developed during that year, and another reason being we needed sketches more suitable for making it into game assets. We then made two more sketches focusing on color and behavior.

The last stage before animation we have to brake down the previous work into smaller parts and recreate it in illustrator.

Thanks for reading! :)

Prototyping: Reflect

The more I head down this path of game creation I find Inspiration comes from a lot of sources, some of them expected some of them not so much.

Being an avid Star Wars fan I found myself re-watching one of the movies recently and one scene, in particular, caught my interest. It involved light sabers reflecting blaster bolts back from where they came.

Originally posted by gianluc30

And I thought to myself hey there is a game in that.

Keep reading