The headlining factor for many people in a video game are the visuals. Players turn to the visuals as a way to teleport them into new worlds and different locations that they themselves would not normally be in. It’s a way to immerse your player into a world of your choosing.
The most important part of a game? In my opinion no. A great game comes with a nice balance of intuitive gameplay, fun levels, good visuals, and challenge. In the end the main reason we play games is to have fun, right? Now with SMINIS we had our fair share of challenges throughout the creation process. Being in charge of the environments I had to make sure that they portrayed the look and feel that the team decided on, a feel that just screamed SMINI!
Modeling & Texturing
The modeling and texturing for this game was a fun process because the style that was picked allowed us to be very creative though all the areas of the SMINI world. Each Zone is a new and unique location in this evil scientist’s fortress. Every area brings something new to player and this can really be seen as the game progresses. The further you go into the game the more it unravels and the more dangerous is gets. The first Zone we have is “The Dumps.” The poor SMINIS are forced to work in bad conditions for their evil master, pushing and hauling piles of junk and garbage to different areas. Not only that, there are tons of hazards that can easily crush, slice, and smash the little guys.
As you go through this zone you’ll see that it has a bit more of the darker theme in the game where light is low and hazards are very high. Now combine that with our one button play style and you’ve got yourself a pretty challenging situation on your hands. Challenging and fun.
Getting the textures right for the game was a great and fun challenge for me. The style is a somewhat of a comic/toon style but everything that shows up on the screen is made up of 3d geometry and not 2d images. The texturing had to fit this scenario to look good.
This was probably the biggest challenge I faced during the creation of this game and was tweaked up until the very end. Lighting for mobile game is nothing like lighting for PC and Console games. Most of this is because of obvious hardware differences.
Each zone has its own unique lighting setup and colors to push the differences in the location where they are. We really wanted some items in the game to glow, glow is an element that the engine we were using ( and most for that matter) does not support for mobile platforms. We still wanted them in there so I came up with a way to somewhat fake them in and get the effect we wanted
Below are three images of levels, each from a different Zone in the game. I strongly believe that as a team we were able to come together to make a game that players will visually enjoy as well as challenge themselves all while having a great time saving these little guys.