The Main Menu

I got a lot of awesome work done this week! 95% of the audio is now in the game (the only remaining audio is the last boss, and a handfull of environmental sounds.) I did a first, tiny bit of playtesting. Aaaaaaand I got the main menu done!

Thanks to the menu system I set up a while ago, the hard part was making Wryn’s animations. I wanted to repeat what I did with the original Bleed and use the main menu to show off Wryn’s personality. It also ties directly into the game, since the first level opens with her in front of her couch, playing video games.

So! Here’s what went into making the animations for the main menu.

First, I planned everything out on paper. I printed off the main menu with little borders to represent the edges of the screen, so I could draw everything to scale and make sure it all fit together. I drew the borders on the other pieces of paper to help me keep everything aligned. I drew a lot of Wryn’s head but not much of the rest of her, since I can use Photoshop to cut and paste her various expressions over her body (which doesn’t change nearly as much.)

I scanned the images and traced them with with hard pixels using my tablet. If I was better with a tablet (or had a bigger/newer one, maybe?) I wouldn’t have needed to draw and scan them first, but whatcha gonna do! I mixed and matched the heads and bodies to create all the animations I knew I needed. I added the arms and hands in Photoshop — they were simple enough that I felt comfortable drawing them with my tablet.

I coloured them all in! It looked pretty ugly and discouraging at this stage but I’m glad I kept with it.

I added lighting. I also changed elements to bring the images more in line with Bleed 2’s art style — for example, the hard black outlines have been changed to be a darker version of the colour they surround, instead. I think it’s a lot easier on the eyes.

Then I did that over and over, a whole bunch of times, until I had all the frames necessary for her animations! Wryn and the couch are separate to save space — she’s the only part of the image that moves, so there’s no need to store the entire couch for every frame of her animations. I draw the couch, then I draw her over top. Bingo bango.

Then it was a matter of setting it all up in code, defining her various behaviours and how she would use the frames of animation for each of them, swap between behavious, etc. Here’s the result! I think it turned out pretty cute.

There is one, MAYBE two other scenes in Bleed 2 that will need animations like this. After that, most (if not all) of the art work will be done for the whole game! Woohoo!