The End Credits

Making Bleed 2’s end credits is a large task that I’ve put off for far too long. This week I finally dove into it! I roughed out the whole sequence in Premiere (the same process I used for the game’s intro) and then penciled, scanned and began inking about 30 images (the same process I used for all the other large images in the game.)

I admit, the only reason the credits are such a big task is because I insist on making them one. Arcade action games aren’t exactly known for their gripping stories or lengthy conclusions, but at least a short ending sequence and a cast roll (showing all the enemies you triumphed over!) lets the player revel in their victory a while and come down from the game’s climax. You can’t deny the old-school satisfaction of a cast roll.

I also believe putting some effort into the ending can affect how your game is remembered. A simple text-on-black credits sequence is the least you can do, and nobody will fault you for it, but the more fun you have with it or the greater effort you put in, the more it seems like the game was made with love and care, and the better chance you have of solidifying a lasting connection with the player. That’s how I’ve felt beating games like Viewtiful Joe and Bayonetta, at least, so I’m trying to re-create a similar feeling with the end of Bleed 2.

Buuuuttt the game has a lot of bosses, so there’s a lot of images in the cast roll, so… that means drawing, scanning, inking, colouring, shading and implementing a butt-load of pictures. I could just use their in-game sprites as I did in the original Bleed, but I’m really proud of this game and I want to take it to the next level if I can. I’m sure any business-minded person (or even fellow game devs) reading this are disapprovingly shaking their head at how I’m using my time here — and I almost didn’t do it — but it’s important to me, and something I planned to do, so I am.

(Plus, while I’m doing this, I’ve got the first few testers going at the game, including the world-record holding Bleed 1 speedrunner Noobii, who found a bunch of the bugs mentioned in last week’s post! I feel I didn’t properly shout him out there so I’m mentioning it here. I’ll get more people trying it as the weeks pass, but I’m starting slow and sticking with people I know at the moment.)

I’m making good progress and hope to be done by the end of next week! I can’t justify spending ages on it or anything, but I think two weeks is acceptable. This is actually the last major piece of content left to do — once the credits are in, the game is “complete!” It’s still got tons of bugs and imbalances and things that need to be rigorously tested and fixed, secondary features I might be smart to add, etc etc etc but in terms of having a “finished game”… it’s gonna be so exciting and satisfying to reach that goal!!

Finally, a bit of polish I keep meaning to mention but it never seems to fit: I added victory poses on the “level clear” screen! It adds just a bit more character to the whole thing, and can be used in the “arcade clear” screen too. Whee!

See you next week, hopefully with a finished credits sequence!