Part of the deeply unpleasant death animation for having plant seeds growing from your head.

It’s a jungle out there.

Most of the work I’ve done this week has been adding features for the jungle levels of Wheelbound. In addition to the killer super-fast-growing plant seeds I was making last week, I’ve got some vines that will entangle and kill the player if you stay on them too long, and spiked thorns that will instantly…

Big Jungle Tree Tiles!

Alien Plant Simulator

So… it’s been ages since my last update to Wheelbound. This is due to the inevitable temporary burnout that tends to happen when you work feverishly away on a creative project. However, this week I’ve been working on it once more and made some great progress. The initial tutorial-ish area is done, including the first…

Using a wind sound effect and fluttering leaves makes this wind shaft come alive.

Sound Effects – adding life to the world

Recently I’ve been adding a few sound effects into the game here and there. It makes so much difference to how alive the world feels, and the “feel” of playing it. For example, the jetpack upgrade just feels so much more powerful and weighty with a solid whoosh sound to accompany it. Good sound effects…

Having your face eaten will spoil your afternoon.

Death and basic AI

One of the things that you will find when you play Wheelbound is that death is graphic, sudden and unforgiving. We’re not having any kind of health bar or damage system. You’re either alive, or you’re not. In terms of design, that leads to puzzle-oriented environments, a requirement for regular save points to avoid unnecessary…

A work in progress shot of the alien jungle tileset I am currently working on.

Alien Jungle

I’ve spent most of this week drawing pixel art tiles. The end result will be a weird-looking alien jungle filled with bizarre plants and creatures. So far so good, but there’s no trees yet! 🙂 Eventually there will be a mix of background and foreground plants to give you the sense that you are surrounded…

Working on the remaining tiles...

Rock Tiles Pixel Art

Most of this week has been spent drawing nice pixel art tilesets. I thought I’d share the technique I use to get pretty good looking rocks. The first step in designing a tileset is to have a template of what tiles you will need. If you work this out beforehand, then you run less chance…

Wheelbound Elevator

Elevators

Most of my weekend has been spent getting elevators working in Wheelbound. I’m using the Box 2D plugin for Multimedia Fusion 2 for the physics engine, so it took quite a bit of tweaking to get right. The first few times, the elevator wasn’t powerful enough to go up with the weight of the player…

Tilebound

Level Editor

It became pretty clear early on that making a game like this within any kind of reasonable time frame would require a level editor. This has many advantages: Easy re-use of assets – e.g. we can draw a single tileset and use it for as many levels as necessary. Easy to playtest and make changes…

Super Metroid

“Research”

So as part of designing Wheelbound, I’ve been playing as many exploration games and platformers as I can get my hands on. Influences on Wheelbound are many and varied. The obvious one is Super Metroid, but the final game will have certain shades of a huge range of games: Castlevania, Hexen, Abe’s Oddysee, Thief, VVVVVV,…