Monday, February 25, 2008

A year drawing

The time is March 2006. Most of Samus´ moves are done, so I ventured in a dark and unexplored area of my life... Sprite Drawing.

I´m a sound technician, I really suck at drawing, but since I needed some original enemy sprites I decided to draw them. It didn´t matter if they were not that well drawn, some placeholder images would be fine.

So, first of all I ripped existing enemies from Metroid Fusion, since a part of the space station emulates the SR388 enviroment. Using the original Metroid 2 sprites as a starting point, I drew each enemy from scratch. I even developed a shading technique, it might be poor compared to a talented artist´s work, but I managed to draw all the enemies in a couple of months. I documented my humble spriting technique, I´ll post it here next time.

By this time I had the first couple rooms done, from the beginning up to the first Metroid fight. I added the classic transitions between rooms, a parallax scrolling system for backgrounds, hidden areas, a camera system with scriptable controls, Varia and Gravity suit, a save system, Samus´ ship, among other things.

On the second half of the year I faced my first real programming chalenge: the minimap system. I put a lot of thought before even writing a single line of code, I had too many ways to implement the map. I modified a small level editor for an unfinished breakout game, and used it to make the entire map with small 8x8 squares. Then, I made the editor export a series of 2d arrays describing each square. So, all I had to do is make a way to draw the entire map on the pause screen, and a few squares on the game HUD.
This was the first HUD element I made, ironically the most complex.

The game levels advanced a lot in those months. By the end of the year the first temple was roughly completed. A lot of other elements were tweaked and improved. Samus now had a health system, with damage multipliers that change according to the game difficulty and the current suit. I also added all the beam combos with their respective effects and sprites.

And here is where the real life factor kicks in.
By the end of 2006 my recording studio wasn´t going very well. So, my partner and I decided to close it. We spent the entire week before christmas dismantling our studio, the same studio we spent 6 months building a couple years ago.
So there I was, no business, no job, no partner, no mood for fangame coding. I almost broke up with my girlfriend, and THAT would´ve sucked.
By new year´s eve, it was the first time of my life when I actually closed my eyes, and made a wish: "a better year, just that".

2007 would be a year of change.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey dude I totally dig what you are doing here for this remake. I am a HUGE Metroid fan and keep checking back on this site to hope that something was updated, and to my surprise you did recently. You plan on making this remake availavble to other people right? I really hope I get my hands on it because it looks amazing. Keep up the good work and blog more often, I find this stuff fascinating! Good luck dude!

Jeff said...

This is looking great. I've always wanted to see a Zero Mission type treatment for Metroid II, so what you're doing here is very exciting. I'm really enjoying your descriptions of the development process as well. Keep up the good work, can't wait to see what you finally come up with.

Ramiro said...

creo q el comentario que te puse antes no salio por x motivos
Bueno, me llamo Ramiro y soy de Bs As tambien :)
me entere de este proyecto y me entusiasme mucho y más cuando supe donde vive el creador.
te queria comentar q yo soy un artista pixel desde hace ya muchos años y me encantaria ayudarte en este proyecto con el tema del diseño y sprites, etc
Está exelentemente programado e imita muy muy bien el motor del MZM.
¡suerte con el proyecto!

espero tu respuesta

-Ramiro

Anonymous said...

MEAN MAORI MEAN go hard dude!