Hey there, Gamers and Game Makers!
In this week's blog, I'm going to do a postmortem post on my 2D point and click adventure horror, The Concierge.
The Concierge is an interesting game for me as I don't normally do 2D games and while it's not my first 2D game, it's the first where I wanted to create a real sense of atmosphere using very minimal art.
Before Imade The Concierge, I made a short 2D horror game called The Restless. This in many ways was the inspiration for crating The Concierge as The feedback on The Restless was so good, it gave me the confidence to go ahead and make another 2D game and try to up the bar somewhat with it.
What Went Right
1. Improved Art Style
The most noticeable difference between The Restless and The Concierge was that The Concierge had a much improved visual style. While it was still a pixel art game, The Concierge had more detail than The Restless did. This made both the characters and environment more visually pleasing. Having the extra detail also made animation more easy as trying to animate an good walk cycle is rather difficult when dealing with very few pixels.
2. Better Lighting
The Concierge also made better use of lighting. The Game made use of backed lighting from the engine as well as some predefined lighting and shadows added to the art in Photoshop. This gave a much better look to the game that added a little extra pop to the overall atmosphere of the game.
3. Better World Building
While The Concierge is a short game with focus on one particular story, it does create a better impression of an overall world outside the current events of the game. It creates a lore that feels like there are more stories that exist outside of the hotel and this is something that I hope to build on in a future game based on the same world.
4. Creative Control
The major upside to creating all your own art for a project is the creative control to make it look just how you want it to with your own style to it.
What Went Wrong
While every game has its limitations, working in 2D rather than 3D means you have to account for things you normally don't have to in a 3D game. Because the game was in 2D, that meant scenes could only be viewed in 2D space which meant I couldn't add as much as I would have liked to in some scenes but rather had o decide on what layout made the most sense.
While improved lighting was a major plus to the game, I didn't quite hit the mark I would have liked for the game. The shadows seen in the game are static and rendered in photoshop. While this is perfectly normal for most 2D games, I would have liked to have fully dynamic shadows in the game.
While character animation improved greatly in this game, I still wish I had the time to do more animation on it. Even for little things like a door open and close transition for switching scenes. I would have loved to add more environmental animation to make the hotel feel more real. Stuff like smoke from a left cigar at the bar or water dropping from a pipe. These are things I hope to carry across to my next 2D game and improve upon.
While there are some things I wish I had added to the game, The Concierge is still a game I'm very proud of as one of my few 2D games and having received such great feedback on the style, atmosphere and world building, it's left me with the desire to return to the world I've created here and see what other stories are to be told from it.
Until next time!