Starslinger Kings Dev Log

Starslinger Kings DevLog 03 - Robot Chop Shop

Matt here. Today I'll talk about how I solved a issue on SSK, and not a code or game design related one. Todays problem comes down the character concept art, before we even started the character code (not entirely true, but go with me).


original ssk sketch

So SSK is a game about customising your robot builds and sending them into battle. This meant we'd have to deal with a lot of parts. At first this just started as random robot and part sketches. But the problem became apparent very quickly!

How do we know if all these pieces even fit together at all?!

We didn't, which was the problem and a future nightmare to fix later if not compensated for early. Also random sketches didn't create very good content to show as dev progress.

This is how the robot chop shop was born.

Each part is drawn on a different layer, so heads and arms can be subbed in and out visually easily to see what goes and what doesn't.

To make this chop shop work, there had to be some rules however. The core (chest and gut) piece is the centralised part and therefore must be roughly the same size for each core. Also the leg parts all have to be roughly the same height also (less we create a coding nightmare later). With those rules in place, we can stick any kind of crazy arm or head on easily without compromising the coder's (Adam) sanity and pick and choose which pieces we like, need changing or axe quickly.

Plus it looks way cool!


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