Today I did a bit of Concept Art for a quite overdue project, Moai. It’s been a long time coming but I wanted to lay down as much ground floor as I could before continuing to blog about it and promote it.
I worked out a basic sprite sheet and using the TileMap I am now able to lay down the collisions for my levels and then on top of that I can draw and save to Layers in order to use everything repeatedly on Unity. This is good for several things but the main two reasons are that I can now just make individual objects and add them to my scene, so if I see a place that needs more light or maybe more grass or a tree, then I can just go into my art’s folder, grab anobject and put it in, without having to worry too much about the collision of the actual level.
So far the art has been for the most part done in Flash, with a few Photoshop tests here and there. However a project of this magnitude and with the art style I visualize I believe this requires the use of brushes and high res files so I’m thinking I will re-do the art of the beginning levels slightly in order to have it achieve a similar style to that of the current concept art and the new art that will come from it.
There are four main parts to the current build of the project, these are; “Moai Island, The Beach, Forest Entrance, and the Cave of Wonders.”
Moai Island is just that, an island at the left of the map that you can access through a boat if you wait long enough for it to come by. These Moai heads are actually patreons or supporters for the game and you will be able to hover your character or pass through and see the name of the actual people that have been supporting this game one way or another.
The Beach is where the first couple of levels are played out, in it you learn that Moai is a statue that can walk, run, jump and hang on to ledges, as well as activate switches in the environment in order to advance to closed off locations in the island. It will be your introduction to the mechanics of the game as well as the environment mechanics that immerse the player into the game world.
The Forest Entrance is a long stretch of mystical woods, that will introduce the player to the creatures in the island. These creatures are Forest Spirits and behave very much like spiritual beings that want to aid or at the very least make you feel like this is a real world inhabited by fantastical creatures with fantastical intentions. Amongst these creatures are the Light Nebulas, which are jellyfished like bugs that light up the forest when it turns dark.
And the misterious Bugalopo, a masked venison like creature with huge antlers that lurks in the shadows of the forest and leads Moai towards his ultimate goals, and the fairies.
Highly inspired in the Forest Spirits from Princess Mononoke by Hayao Miyazaki, these creatures live in tiny tree like houses. They go about their business for the most part, with a cute little guy popping up at important saves spots across the island.
The level pictured at the top of the post is the first concept art for the “Cave of Wonders” in it you will get to learn more about the Moai creatures and their story. Like who they are, why they are in the island and why you are one of them.
As you walk a top of the hill after completing your first puzzle. You arrive at a grass covered wall. With nowhere to go but back, you walk backwards only to find the ground beneath you collapse, and you are thrown down a long hole hitting the platform like enviroment.
Falling to your “doom” you land on a bed of bouncy mushrooms. (Important game mechanic that allows for interesting puzzles in the future)
You open a gate using your “Growth Ability” and the wall to your left opens to reveal a winding cavern filled with flowers, strange markings (Moai interactivity points) on the walls and fireflies.
You roll down the side of a steep cliff and land on a puddle of water that’s been form from the rain that makes its way down to the cave from above.
A mark on the wall glows as you approach it. Interating with it will make the plants behind you grow.
Moai is able to interact fully with his environment, even if new animations have to be made he should feel and look as if he’a passing through those flowers.
I also got an interesting idea on a neat game mechanic that could encourage several play times and is in itself a puzzle. Well the idea is to limit the amount of energy Moai can spend before he falls down and turns back into a rock.
So there are certain things that will give him back life, and those things will be when he is meditating. When he stops and contemplates his life energy recharges a little bit.
I’m think it would be interesting if Moai somehow started maybe growing cracks on his stone or if he starts losing his clothes and his parts start breaking about. Maybe when you stop like that, he falls down and crumbles into the floor.
Maybe he could even leave a cool Moai when he does that.
Right now I’m basically just thinking of ideas for the story, piecing everything together in a cohesive way and building the world of Moai. It’s a good exercise to get more acquainted with the game and slowly put together a list of to-do lists I can tackle mechanic wise.
That will be all for this development blog, see you all next time as I explore more ideas and continue working on the game. Moai: An Interactive Experience