I’ve finally arrived here in DC, and I’m ready for a long weekend of work. First order of business, however, is to bring you up to speed on the art end of things here for UPSAT.

Art Style:
UPSAT is going for a cartoonish, fun, casual feel for art. We want to lull you in, nice and gently, then, “BAM!” welcome to the world of pain and frustration. For the backgrounds I am dropping the heavy black outlines in exchange for a clean, sleek, readable environment that doesn’t take away from the main gameplay objects. The gameplay objects, however, will have the characteristic black outines to differentiate them from the background and help the player to more easily recognize them. In such a fast-paced game, visual clues like this will greatly enhance usability.

I am going to work with vector graphics, because a) vector graphics are so easy to work with in regards to scaling. We had some issues in the beginning of the process where we had to change target resolution sizes and I thought it prudent to start using something that would make my life easier if that situation ever came up again. And b) overall ease of use with regard to aesthetic changes. Utilizing the pen tool, I can make minor changes to the shapes, and the fills will update. The gradient tool is stellar for making objects pop to look 3D. It takes one click to copy fill patterns and styles. When working in an ever-changing environment like game design and not being able to spend hours redoing art since my free time is valuable, vector graphics make my life (and in turn, Chris’ life) a lot easier.

The UI us pretty simple: 3 bars on the bottom denote game score, game title, and life count. A timer bar is place on the left hand screen, which either slowly or quickly drains to zero depending on game level. A multiplier meter is on the right side of the screen, which has a series of six bulbs that light up when you get multiple games correct in a row. When you reach six, you gain a multiplier and the meter returns to empty. Finally, at the top of the screen there will be two bars, an achievement bar and an insult bar. These bars will drop down when you either unlock a special achievement or need some extra encouragement to keep on trucking…

That’s all for now. We’re trucking away, breaking necks and cashing checks. Look out for more updates over the weekend.

-Chinchilla Master