Following up from Rohan’s previous post on moving from the 2D prototype through to the 3D game we have now, Matt talks about the challenges of completely retooling the games graphics.
While Rohan was facing the imposing task of hand coding every interface in each of the ships, I’d begun to realise that the task of building the graphics for each of the ships was going to be equally monumental.
Each room of each ship required several hand drawn versions, clean, dirty, damaged and a plethora of switches, each with their own set of states. With Photoshop, the task of producing each state wasn’t particularly difficult in and of itself, but it did require a fair amount of patience and organisation to maintain. It was when requests to modify small sections of the rooms came in that the whole thing started to get complicated. It meant reworking all states of the rooms to accommodate any of the little pixel by pixel changes that I’d made.
A large amount of game development is about iteration, being able to quickly and decisively make changes to features, visual or mechanical. The hard coded, completely hand drawn aesthetic that we’d gone for looked beautiful, but were impossible to iterate on in a timely manner.