This post might be a little long because I'm mashing two weeks of progress into one. To make things easier for you guys, I'll try to space out my progress as much as possible!
First up last week, I worked on the main menu assets. Everything was hand drawn through Photoshop CS5 (arm, chopsticks, sushi, dish). The only thing I didn't personally draw was the font... but I did however change it up to suit our needs. I used several filters, brushes, and blending techniques to achieve each desired look for every asset. The dish, by far, was the hardest to get looking just right. Overall, the main menu took about 3-4 hours. In the end, there were about 24 layers, and many of those layers were condensed and merged. The ninja hand/arm asset alone was done in 10 layers.
Secondly, I have most of Chin completed. All that is left for him is texturing and animating the rest of his animations. Right now for animations I have: Idle Run, Idle Run (sword), Attack Run (shuriken). For making the sprites, I found two programs that would help in converting my 3DSMax files into sprite sheets but unfortunately... both of them supported files that were much different then mine (.DTS/.DTQ, .B3D, .X). I spent a good few days trying to research how to convert these to use them, but I had little luck. What really made this very dis-hearting for me is that this influenced how I created, rigged, and animated my model. In the end, I just decided to render them out straight from 3DSMax. I then found another program which took each picture and merged them all into one sprite sheet. This was the one thing that worked in my favor up to this point!
Last up this week, I created the background and platform assets for our Level 1-1. Once again, I created every single piece in this level, using the same techniques as mentioned before. The only stock images that I used in the actual creation was the sky and the mountains, but they were still heavily modified. Everything else, I used reference pictures to understand how each house was built and how their living areas looked like.
To start off, I created each piece of the house (base, wood, sidings, trims, windows, roof, etc). From there, I created a different house setup using the same pieces, plus a few more. After that, I copied over each of the different houses I made for the "distant background" and darked them. In order to keep this as a background and not have it interfere with the "gameplay elements", I decided to put a nice small black to transparent gradient over the buildings... which really helped bring out the enemies and platforms the player is jumping on!
This Photoshop file had a total of about 30 layers. Once again, this number is drastically dropped down due the fact that I duplicated layers and merged them all to create one easy to manage layer. For instance; I have the base pieces of the house I created first. After that, I took all of those and merged them to have a layer called "House merged". I used that to copy over each house in the background. Overall, I had so much fun making this level!
Next week is the alpha presentation for our game. I think we're all really ready for this! BRING IT ON!