The original idea for the show was to have an artist design a world, or a level that a character could interact in. The artist would create the assets to populate that world and the collectibles that the main character needed to collect to win. Right away I started thinking about what those "collectibles" could be and why the main character would be collecting them. After I moved away from the idea that my main character was a bad guy, I thought "Why not make the collectibles people?" Then I thought "Since the world is a candy/ice cream world...why not play with flavors?"
My first ruff layout the world here shows my thoughts on having a king and queen to rescue. Each being held captive by a specific set of enemies in a different part of the game board. This of course meant that now I had to create two sets of world assets instead of one. One for the above ground, and one for below.
Then the idea of going after the three main flavors of ice cream princesses popped into my head. That lead to the above concept and here you can see where I've mapped out location of the princesses, and some of the other world collectibles like the Sacred Cones and Sacred Scoops. I've also highlighted pitfalls, traps, and play paths. This layout also required me to make THREE sets of world assets. A Vanilla world, Strawberry world and Chocolate world.
Here is an example of what one of those world assets files looked like. These are most of the assets used to create just the Vanilla world. It includes ground tiles, platform tiles, background and decorative elements, hazard tiles, collectibles and basically anything else I can think to cram in there. When this is all assembled it creates something like this...
(Note: The background was not the final background I went with for the Vanilla World) Here you can see the theme of Vanilla world was cones and ice cream. Popsicle stick fences, ice cream cone trees, waffle cone ground, and mounds of delicious vanilla ice cream hills.
Strawberry world takes place inside a giant, molten strawberry jam filled volcano. Here we have molten jam filled lava pits as well as the evil Berry Bombs floating around and hanging off ceilings ready to stop Carl in his tracks.
Lastly, Carl must travel deep underground into the Cocoa Caverns to find and rescue the Chocolate Princess. He must travel along the old pipes used to supply the world with melted chocolate all the while trying to avoid the Cocoa Creepers and dangerous peanut brittle shrapnel.
Let's look at how our heroes transitioned into pixel form. (Sorry for the low res jpegs..they are super tiny sprites after all).
The final Ice Cream Carl all ready for action standing by his trusty ice cream truck. He's complete with his magic ice cream scoop and has been cleaned up some from the concept art. Scars have been replaced with rosy cheeks.
The Royal Family; The Neopaliking with his three daughters. I'm was pretty pleased with how much detail I was able to retain with such tiny pixel counts.
Our monsters; The Cocoa Creeper, the Cone Drone, and the Berry Bomb. Each one of these race of creatures have kidnapped one of the princesses and has imprisoned them.
The Vanilla Princess has been encased in the hive of the Cone Drones. The Chocolate Princess has been engulfed by the Cocoa Creeper Queen. The Strawberry Princess is being held captive inside the evil Berry Bomb King. Will Carl be able to save them in time??
Lastly, a sneak peek at my cover image for my game.
Hope to see you guys there this Friday. It should be totally awesome to see all this adventure in action!