July 7 Update
Hey everyone, it’s your friendly neighborhood game developer, Marcus Williams, here. I’m designing most of the tiles, UI and visual effects you will see in our upcoming mobile game, Grobo.
Since our last showcase at AnimeNext, I figured I’d give you a quick update on the game and talk a little bit about what we’re working on. First off, we really appreciate all the feedback and support everyone has given us. We are continually updating game and working hard to deliver Grobo’s curious adventure through Megatropolis.
Today, I plan to briefly highlight some of the work we are doing to tackle visual clarity. A lot of planning and consideration goes into designing a puzzle game such as this. When we first started Grobo, we were still toying around with our overall visual aesthetic. In the beginning, we didn’t have much art; there were only two tiles, hazards were large and cartoony, and we reused a lot of assets. For testing, these assets served their purpose; they were simple, clean and visually distinct. But the overall look lacked cohesion and identity, leading us to make many of the changes you saw in our beta build.
As many of you noticed and informed us, some level tiles are not as easy to see as others. Rest assured, I’m working on fixing this. In order to better understand what needs to be changed, I decided to look back on some of the early art we made in our test build.
As I mentioned earlier, the game only had two tiles - rust colored and not rust colored. Not very interesting but a step up from a basic checkerboard pattern. Currently, we now have unique tile sets for each area you will explore including color variations. We also experimented with damaged and undamaged tiles per set as well as accounted for environmental changes such as going in and out of buildings.
In short, we significantly increased the number of potential tiles that can be used for each level, but not all tiles are made equal. Despite each tile being very detailed, when shrunk down to match its in game resolution, certain details are lost and the art gets a bit muddled with the background. In addition, though the number of unique tiles have increased well passed our test build, maybe we have introduced a bit too much variety. What the test environment lacked in style it made up for in better visual consistency and clarity.
So what exactly are we changing, you might ask. A few things will happen. To write every single change would require a list longer than the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, so I’ll only mention a few: 1) based on all the feedback and testing I am currently filtering through all the tiles and cutting problematic ones, 2) many of the tiles that survive the purge will have their colors readjusted and 3) individual details on each tile will be simplified and made larger.
Right now we are hard at work designing new levels and polishing up art to go with them. Believe me when I say that we are listening to all of your feedback and working hard to make Grobo even better. Personally, I’m very excited to show all of you the updates we have been making to the game but it’s still too early for us to do that. You can expect to see many of these changes at future play testing events and showcases. Although, I do plan to share some of these updates a bit earlier on our social media accounts and in future blogs posts, so stay tuned for those.