Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tree scribble

I've been filling notebooks with extensive sketches of worlds built out of a single homegrown tree. Houses, monuments, clouds, vines and more, drooping, draping and bursting forth in a blossom of growth.

Last night I had a chance to jot down some of the graphics in Painter. My few hours of effort resulted in a basic tree trunk, some foliage and a little girl. Overall, I suspect this would be a pretty easy game concept to get up and running.

Further implementation thoughts
Harold stopped by last week and we brainstormed a little on the Tree Story idea.
  • Collision detection: The foliage uses 1/2 circles as a the collision detection zone instead of the typical rectangles you find in most platform games. This should give the worlds a bit more of an organic feel and results in some simple controls. For folks that have been playing with the Space Cute graphics, you may be able to reuse your existing collision detection systems.
  • Bundling to create platforms: By overlapping a few simple foliage brushes, you can create interesting and realistic trees.
  • Blurry parallax layer for depth: You can create a feeling of depth by putting blurred foliage on a parallax layer behind the main action. Scroll this layer at a slower pace than the main layer that the player is on and it will seem like the scene has perspective.
If anyone is interested in playing with some of the graphics, let me know and I can upload a few in a more reasonable form. Before implementing images, I'd recommend first creating two simple prototypes:
  • Movement prototype with primitive half circles for terrain and a blob for the player to test out movement and the 'fun factor' of the design.
  • Tree prototype: Use long rectangles and half circles to see if you can auto-generate interesting trees.
Hope you are well on this rainy Seattle sunday afternoon. :-) I think it is time for a bit of tea.

take care