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Mobile Game Prototype: Creating The Playable Character & Gems

Hello once again everyone, it's already nearing the end of November which means the Christmas break will be upon on soon! Hooray!

This week has been quite hectic (I still need to finish doing Christmas presents for instance) so there isn't as much art as last time, but I've still got some nice sprites for you! Now, to quote Keanu Reeves during the Cyberpunk 2077 E3 Conference last year...


Never Tango With An...Inuit

Pixel Art Inuit Character Walking in 4 Directions
Inuit Character Walking in 4 Directions

First up, it's our playable character - an Inuit! Originally, I was thinking of having an explorer of some kind as the playable character in our game since it would fit the cave exploring aspect quite nicely. The team and I had a quick discussion about what the character might look like, as it might be nice to not have a male lead (as has been a stereotype in the industry for some years). So, I tried to create a gender-neutral looking person so that the player can infer the gender if they so wished.

I did some quick research into the clothing of Inuit people to get a sense of colours and a sense for how the clothes generally look before following this up with a colour scheme and creating the gif you see above. It's worth mentioning that this gif shows animations for the character walking, which won't be what will happen in the game.

Pixel Art Sprite Sheet For Inuit's Basic Movement
Sprite Sheet For Inuit's Basic Movement

Each direction is composed of 3 frames: standing, walking with the right leg first and walking with the left leg first. Since this is a prototype, we will make it so that when the Inuit is moving along the ice, it will freeze frame on one of the two walking frames. This should suffice in giving the impression that the user is sliding the character along the ice.


Bonus Gems

We plan to have bonus gems in the game that will function as in-game currency. The plan involves a few types of gems (which we will for now denote by colour), but due to the lack of time I've had this week, I've only made a start on a couple designs that we might want to use.

I've gone for 2 styles - one that's softer around the edges to seem like a natural formation, and one that's very solid and impactful to the eye. More designs will follow, and as I have done with previous assets, I will try to create options for the team so that we can have different visuals in each of our levels. This will start to feed into the creation of the UI where icons and other assets will be required to clearly signpost to the player where to look for information about the game, such as the level number or moves left.


Weekly Events - inKUbator & Board of Study Meeting

This week, we had another inKUbator session with graduates from the university, however because of being occupied with an abundance of other things I was only able to half-listen to the conversations taking place. I did manage to get involved a bit more when questions opened up; particularly when it came to styling CVs. There's been a definite clash of opinions with how a CV should be styled - specifically, whether to use one column or two columns.

I had styled my CV originally with some columns in it (which may still be viewable on my site!), since it made better use of space and allowed me to get everything I wanted to say on it in a clean way. It seems that apparently columns are not accepted for a few reasons, so restyling my CV to a traditional format definitely caused me some headaches. It's also meant that other styling elements have had to be removed, such as the colours, which I feel makes it harder to read, but it would be better in the long run supposedly. The only way to know if it works will be if anyone asks me to partake in an interview!

Additionally, I got involved with the Board of Study meeting that took place this week. It is in a similar vein to the meeting I had last week, except with a greater number of the staff from the faculty where student reps volunteer to take part. As far as I could tell, I was one of 2 reps that went - so all ears were listening whenever I was speaking which was quite daunting! I brought up similar comments that I had made at the previous meeting, but also gave thanks to all the professors for their hard work. Many students feel that the teaching staff are getting off easy compared to the student body, even though that isn't the case, and I know they are working hard to support us during these rough times. So a little thanks and acknowledgement of their efforts I felt was the least I could do!


Closing Thoughts

I've got a bit of a checklist pressuring me currently, so I'm hoping to tick off some of the items in the upcoming weak just to alleviate some of the stress I've been feeling. I'll still continue creating art and coordinating our efforts for the prototype, rest assured!

I think that's pretty much it from me this week, so until next time, thanks for reading and stay safe! Buh bye! :)

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