Escape From The Cosmic Abyss

VandalkVandalk Posts: 22Member
edited January 2018 in Projects

Hello All! This is an endless runner/flappy bird like game I'm doing for my portfolio!
Current Version on

Older Versions:

This is a very early playable and the art is still placeholder sketches! When the final escape is completed it will be divided into three parts, the "jetpack flappy bird" part, a "timberman" like part, and finally, a "fruit ninja" like finale, though all adapted to this idea of an astronaut and cosmic tentacles and with some extra features. For example, this is a "flappy bird" but you can also dash or shoot tentacles away.

Anyway, the game is available at for Windows, Linux and Mac!! Any and all feedback are welcomed!

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  • VandalkVandalk Posts: 22Member

    Color Concept for the bacground of the first environment!

    For the next iteration of the game I want to do some adjustments to the "jetpack" feeling of the controls, as was suggested in another forum, and make the columns on the background somewhat random to add some variety!

  • VandalkVandalk Posts: 22Member

    Finished the backgrounds and added them to the game! Also did a lot of tweaking to the player controls so that it's more smooth, and has more "weight" to it! Check it out in action on this gif, and a bit about the art production bellow!

    On the game, you might notice that the columns in the background vary in number and positions. For that I did 5 variations of each layer and randomly choose between them as I spawn the backgrounds.

    There was also some work on the particles, which now behave in relation to the world, and not as a fixed animation.

    Here is the most recent version of the background, done based on the concept from last week! It's integrated to the version of the game (v0.2) available on! Bellow is the old background one for comparison.

    After the color concept, I started blocking the shapes for each layer, and tried my hand at some vector work with inkscape as I knew I wanted a more "flat" artstyle rather than "painterly" like in the concept.

    A very loose painting is quick and easy to get general shapes and colors but it takes a long time to refine into a polish into final game art, at least for me! So I use it in my planning, but I'm trying to develop myself more in this artstyle that uses flat colors and a few gradients, which is style I used to have a lot of fun with in the past.

    The vector work wasn't working out for me, so I got back on Krita and started with base colors and some gradients to set the mood:

    I almost added them to the game as is, to test for contrast and if they were working while in movement, but I was really insecure and a bit lost about how to get to the final results, so I decided to try and finish the front column:

    I redid this two times before getting to this result, which I liked, and started to experiment with it on the back layers.
    But it was only when I got to the third layer that I was truly sold:

    When I finished this, I was finally sure I was on the right track!

    This is my favorite composition for the background! The one used in the game is the top one, with all the layers together, and the two top layers help with the parallax and the sense of movement in the game, but this one is my favorite as a stand-alone image!

    Anyway, this was the process to getting from prototype art to here! Hopefully next week, I'll be back here with the art development for the astronaut character!

  • VandalkVandalk Posts: 22Member


    Today's devlog is about character art development! It hasn't been implemented on the game yet but take a look at the progress for the astronaut character:

    To the left we have the current art, which are just some proportions I arrived at after studying the character with some sketches. It was enough to get the game going so far, and it was great to experiment and validate the character size in game. The middle was the digital sketch already taking into consideration how to subdivide the characters parts for further animation. And finally on the right the completed art.

    I'm using the same workflow I found for the backgrounds, that was the topic of the previous devlog, that is: I make the basic color shapes, add some line details inside the shapes, than shade with flat colors and soft gradients on some areas.

    Then I exported all the parts as individual pngs, which you can have an idea below:

    Finally, I imported it all into dragonbones, a so far opensource and free 2d skeletal animation software. I've been getting a dialog everytime I open the software with a message that it will become paid, but so far if you create a free account you can use it fully.

    It was my first time animating with bones and meshes and it was really cool, and a real time saver! I turned all the limbs into meshes and could animate them to great results, as you can see in the following gifs:

    From top to bottom Rising, Falling, and the complete loop with transitions in between.

    I'm really liking the end results and can't wait to implement in the game, but before that comes enemy art! It's time to dive in those tentacles and make them menacing!

    I hope you liked this update, and see you next week, with enemy development, and hopefully, a new version of the game with all this implemented!

  • VandalkVandalk Posts: 22Member

    Today's Devlog is about the art development for the "obstacles" in the game! They took a lot more work than I anticipated, but I did learn a lot about frame by frame animation:

    The process was similar to the character animation, just a lot more laborious. Since this animation has a lot of overlapping parts, and a single "tentacle" should be at times in front and behind the other, I couldn't wrap my head around how to make it in a cutout animation style. So I decided to animate it traditionally, drawing frame by frame.

    For that I used Krita, the same open source software I've been using to do all the art, since it also has animation capabilities. It was a fun process, with a lot of learning while I was doing the sketch animations and discovering the best key poses for each animation:

    Better speed quality:

    Better speed quality:

    Better speed quality:

    But taking the animations sketches to final form, took a lot more than I expected. With every color I'd choose to add meaning I'd have to go over all the animation frames, I decided to go with a simple, base color and light color only scheme. It did work for this game as I want the "abyss" to be like a "living darkness" so I did like the end results.

    If I had to do it over though, I think I'd do a simple bone animation, without caring for the overlap at first, and then, if the software allows it, use some kind of mask to erase the overlapping parts, and animate only that "mask" in a frame by frame fashion.

    So if there's any more experienced animators reading this devlog, please tell me in the comments what your approach would be! Is there more efficient ways to go around this? Or specific software that would have helped? I only had the idea about animating the "masks" over a bone animation in the end of this process, but I don't think "DargonBones" has this option, does spine have it?

    Anyway, now that I have all the obstacles animations, I'm only missing the "shooting" and "Dying" animations for the player! I'm off to do them and bring it all together in the game! Expect a new version release in the next coming days!

  • VandalkVandalk Posts: 22Member

    Wow! It's been soo long! I was away from development due to some freelance works I had to take to pay the bills, and I had no time to work on this project!

    Well, now I'm back! The game has been updated to version 0.3.1 with all the art I talked about on the previous devlogs implemented into the game, and now with 100% more lasers!

    Better resolution on gfycat!

    I changed up the shoot ability, instead of a small hard to aim bullet, it become a more useful large easy to aim laser, that stays onscreen for a couple of seconds.

    Implementing the previous art though, was a challenge. I wanted all the sprites and animations to have an outline, and I initially though of making all the art without this outline, and adding it via shader.

    But my knowledge on shaders ir pretty limited and I wasn't able to add the outline the way I wanted. Following some godot shader demos, I was able to add the outline to a AnimatedSprite Node, but the astronaut, for example, is made of three AnimatedSprites Node. One to handle the body and legs, one for the front arm and one for the back arm. I divided them like this so that the shootinh animation could be independent from the falling/rising animations.

    But since the shader I learned to make only works on the AnimatedSprite, as it needs to access the texture, the outlines on the front arm would go above the body of the astronaut and that's not what I wanted. So I ended up making two versions of every sprite, a normal version and a "silhouette" version, so that I could have the normal versions above, in the order they needed to be, and the "silhouette outline" versions behind all the normal versions, so they could act like an outline. Then it was a mather of synchornizing the different Nodes using the AnimationPlayer, but as they had the same animations and the same number of frames, that was the easy part. Plus Godot's AnimationPlayer Node makes this easy though it's still a boring, manual labor

    Here's an image to explain this better:

    I'm sure there must be a solution using shaders that is a lot simpler than this, but I'm going with the best I can do while I'm learning! Does any one know how this could be done with shaders?

    Other developments of this version where around the menu and save files. I finally made a basic main menu, with an options menu! The only option so far is to toggle full screen, and it saves whatever you choose. It was cool to learn how to do that, and get more familiar with programming menus and UI. I also used this opportunity to fix some bugs in the in game menus, like being able to "Pause", go to the "Tutorial Screen" and unpause the game without exiting the "Tutorial Screen".

    The Countdown screen before every run was also removed and replaced with a "press up to start" screen, this way you control whenever you want to start the run, and you don't start falling, giving more control to the player.

    Well, that's about it! Hopefully the next update and devlog won't be so far away and I plan to work on adding the bgms that Sam Oz is kindly contributing to this project, as well as adding some sort of force field or shield as a power up to the player!

  • VandalkVandalk Posts: 22Member
    edited December 2018

    Hello Everyone! It has been a very long time since I did a devlog!

    I was having some trouble to progress in the game as this is my first game and I'm learning programming, and I had to take some freelance jobs to pay the bills! Once the freelance work finished I started to do GameDev.Tv's Udemy Unity courses to learn more about programming and gamedev in a more structured way. I also picked up's Godot Kickstarter, and after doing some lessons from their Unity 2D course, most lessons from the Unity 3D course, and the first lessons from their Godot Course, I felt more confident to come back to this project!

    And what a blast it has been! Things are progressing much more smoothly and at a much faster pace! I''m happy to see where this game is going and I'll try to to some quick devlog posts catching up on what I had done before stopping and what I have done since resuming work on it.

    So to start the main additions to the game that I did back when I took a break from the project:

    • A main menu with options where you can toggle full screen and choose the bgm!
    • Adding in the game the awesome bgm Sam Oz did for me! He found me  through tigsource and offered to help! Thank you so much Sam!

    An upgrade System!

    Adding Shields to protect the player! You can have up to three shields at the same time!

    This was all done months ago, so I wish I could talk more in depth about them, but I don't remember their details! The upgrade system helped me to learn a lot about save data and persistent data! The shield helped me learn about making modifiers and "equipment" in a certain way! Oh, and of course, with som many menus, I leaned a lot about loading scenes and UI coding!

    The new feature that are already on this release that I'll talk more in future devlogs are:

    -New Enemies!
     -Double Tentacle
     -Triple Tentacle
     -Barrier Tentacle
    -A Level Select Screen
    -Levels - The game now is structured around Levels that have pre-determined length and types of enemies, but randomizes their height an spawn order.
    -A Tutorial Level!

    There are currently 4 available levels to be unlocked and you can get it on! I'm eager to hear some feedback on them! Are their progression too hard? Are they fun?

    Next time I'll start to talk about that second list of features in more detail! See you soon!

  • andro__21andro__21 Posts: 2Member

    Superb Work !

  • TheMnkTheMnk Posts: 39Member

    I like the art of the game but something a bit strange happens.
    When you die and the letters appear, they initially make a little blink, why does this happen?

  • VandalkVandalk Posts: 22Member

    @andro__21 said:
    Superb Work !


    @TheMnk said:
    I like the art of the game but something a bit strange happens.
    When you die and the letters appear, they initially make a little blink, why does this happen?

    Thanks! I noticed that on some screens as well but I wasn't able to pin down what's causing it. I think maybe the screen is loading before the _ready code switches it to the correct animation? so it might blink with everything visible before it changes to the intro animation where everything is invisible and slowly fades in again.

  • lawnjellylawnjelly Posts: 28Member

    Good stuff it plays very fluid with a good frame rate, and the artwork is great! I found it pretty difficult but am not used to playing these games. :blush:
    I can see the influence of jetpac, I spent many hours on that game lol.

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